Sunday, March 1, 2020

Books in February 1

February was a busy month for us as we got our stuff put away and dealt with everything that needed to be done after our move. It was always wonderful at the end of days spent doing these things to settle in with a good book.
Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon by Henry Martin
Before we moved, I watched a short piece on you tube about Agnes Martin. I had seen it before—months or even years ago—but it was worth watching again. This time, I was interested in knowing more about her, so I looked her up on the library website. I found this book and another one. We were getting read to begin the process of moving, so I placed both on hold, requesting that they be sent to our new local library, rather than to Donegal Town. I thought they would take a while to arrive and by then, we’d be in the new place and I could go pick them up. I was surprised when this one came in quite quickly. I had time to pick it up one day when we had brought a load. I really enjoyed the book a lot and was glad to learn more about Agnes Martin.

Hands On: The Art of Crafting in Ireland by Sylvia Thompson
This was one of the first books I checked out of the local library here. It was a good overview of the different kinds of making that are common in Ireland. Each section contains a description of what the craft is—embroidery, lace making, crochet, knitting, silversmithing, glass making, etc. There is a bit of the history of the craft in Ireland, where examples can be seen, and a list of resources and groups for each one. I am glad I checked it out, and can recognise the book’s usefulness as a resource guide, but personally, I would have preferred more depth. I own a couple of books that do provide that, so I will just have to re-read those sometime!

Mysteries and Legends of Donegal by Keith Corcoran
Bill got me this book at the information centre in Killybegs. I loved it! It was especially fun because  we have been to many of the places where the author collected these tales, so I knew what the landscape is like.

Agnes Martin: Her Art and Life by Nancy Princenthal
This is the other biography about this artist that I requested. It was well worth reading, even after having read the other one. While the previous biography I read talked about her art in the context of her personal life, this one did not talk about her personal life very much and delved more deeply into the art. This book is the better of the two for learning about how she fit into the art world and how she interacted with it. The other one gave a sense of who she might have been as a person who was an artist.

The Study of Animal Languages by Lindsay Stern (audiobook read by MacLeod Andrews and Julia Whelan)
I found this title in the e-audiobook section of the library website and it seemed like it would be good. It was. I was drawn into the story from the beginning and listened to it over the course of two nights. I was eager to get back to it on the second night, but the ending was a disappointment to me--I think I wanted things to end up other than how they did. Still, I'm glad I listened to it. There were moments when the book was funny and I laughed out loud. At other times, it was sad. This is the description from the website:
'Ivan is a tightly wound philosophy professor whose reverence for logic and order governs not only his academic interests, but also his closest relationships. His wife, Prue, is quite the opposite: a pioneer in the emerging field of biolinguistics, she is bold and vibrant, full of life and feeling. Thus far, they have managed to weather their differences. But lately, an odd distance has settled in between them. Might it have something to do with the arrival of the college's dashing but insufferable new writer-in-residence, whose novel Prue always seems to be reading?

Into this delicate moment barrels Ivan's unstable father-in-law, Frank, in town to hear Prue deliver a lecture on birdsong that is set to cement her tenure application. But the talk doesn't go as planned, unleashing a series of crises that force Ivan to finally confront the problems in his marriage, and to begin to fight - at last - for what he holds dear'.

Now we move forward into March. I ended last month and began this one with a novel by an Irish author that I enjoyed very much, until I got near the end. I need to think about it some more.

Here's hoping that March is filled with many excellent books for all! 😀


Lowcarb team member said...

Mysteries and Legends of Donegal sounds good.

Enjoy your reading in March :)

All the best Jan

JFM/Jan said...

These books do sound like interesting reads but the Mysteries and Legends of Donagel really caught my attention. I love this type of book :)

Shari Burke said...

It's a fun book! The author travelled around the county and talked to various people, who told him the stories.

Vicki said...

Mysteries and Legends of Donegal sounds very good!