October has not had a great start in either the book review or the book reading department. I’ve completed 3 books and DNFed 2 others and am contemplating abandoning a current read. In an effort to break the cycle, I’m sharing a bit of what I’ve read so far as well as some recent life photos.
My first completed book of the month was Risen Motherhood by Laura Wifler and Emily Jensen. They are two moms with a podcast (also called Risen Motherhood) and a focus on finding gospel truths within motherhood. I’ve never listened to the podcast (I’m not an audio learner) but the book was recommended to me and it was terrific. I probably won’t do a full review because it’s a bit of a niche audience but if you’re a Christian mom looking for a thoughtful, Bible-driven examination of motherhood, I highly recommend it. In fact, I’m going to be re-reading it with a few friends (also moms) as part of our Bible/discussion group.
Abandoned Anosh Irani’s new short story collection Translated from the Gibberish about two thirds of the way through. The first part is a meandering, boring introspection about…life? death? writing? But I plodded through to get to the short stories. I read two or three to give it a fair shot but felt it wasn’t worth continuing. I’ve had Irani’s novel The Parcel on my TBR for a while and am contemplating crossing it off.
I also gave up on The Savage Detectives. It was the book that had been on my To Read List the longest, way back since I read Bolano’s 2666. (One of my first book reviews on the blog!) I didn’t make it past the first section, which read to me too much like the fantasies of a teenage boy – all sex and name-dropping and smoking marijuana. I posted on instagram (@karissareadsbooks), asking if I should continue and the consensus seemed to be that if I wasn’t enjoying it, that wouldn’t change as the book continued. Anyone read it?
This next picture needs some context. About three years ago, Peter and a friend decided they were going to build stand-up paddle boards together. His friend had done it before and is an experienced woodworker. Peter was eager to learn. They figured they’d be done by Christmas. Last Tuesday (on Peter’s birthday, in fact) his completed paddle board was launched! It’s been a long process, working on and off, squeezing in time when he could. Peter has worked hard and the end product is absolutely beautiful. (His friend’s is yet to be completed. He has, however, built an entire sailboat, participated in the Race to Alaska with it, and started a business. So his excuses are solid.)
My other successful October reads so far have been The Innocents (shortlisted for the Giller Prize) and Here I Am! by Pauline Holdstock. Both excellent, both to be reviewed soon here.
My current read is Greenwood by Michael Christie, which was long listed for the Giller. I’ve read Christie’s short stories and his first novel and I was eager to read Greenwood even when it didn’t make the shortlist. And yet, I’m just not grabbed by it. I’m not far in but I don’t feel attached to the main character and I don’t really care what happens next. It’s a library book so I think I’m going to keep reading until it comes due and then if I’m still not enjoying it will return rather than renew. Anyone else read it? Will my opinion change? Should I push on?
These next pictures all come from a hike we did today as a family. Today is Thanksgiving Monday in Canada and so we took the opportunity to explore an area of the Sunshine Coast we hadn’t seen before. Peter has hiked in the Tetrahedron before but not this particular trail. A bit of backroad driving and approximately 2.4 kilometres of hiking and we made it to Bachelor Lake.
Rose was not so happy at the beginning (I made her leave her baby in the car) but cheered up as we went and ended up walking a good portion of the trail, even over roots and through mud. Our girls are good walkers but motivation is about 90% of the battle. Look closely at that third photo and notice that Peter is carrying both of them.
The Tetrahedron area is a higher elevation and a protected watershed and it was interesting to see the different trees and undergrowth that thrive up there. It was a crisp and cool but sunny day.
At Bachelor Lake there is a small log cabin where hikers can camp overnight. On our way up we passed a family who had spent the night and so when we reached the cabin, it was still warm from their fire. The girls loved climbing the ladder up to the sleeping loft and we stopped for snacks and a short break.
Believe it or not, this was the best of several pictures I took of these two lakeside!
Thankful that we live in this beautiful place and can explore a new part of it. Happy Monday!