[I've been 
reading]

Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town   book icon  
by Elyssa East (2009)

read: 28 June 2017
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Known about this book since forever but hadn’t picked it up. Glad I finally did. It’s a very evocative look at the history of a place, a slightly wild place in the middle of a very fusty New England locale. East gets enchanted with it via some artwork and then digs deeper. I recognized a lot of Massachusetts in her portrayals but I think it was useful that she’s actually not FROM there because it’s good to see that sort of thing from the outside. At its core this is a story about a murder, but there’s a lot more than that. It made me want to go walk in the woods which is about as good as I can say for a book.

Her Fearful Symmetry   book icon  
by Audrey Niffenegger (2147483647)

read: 24 June 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I read The Time Traveler’s Wife and loved in and was hoping this would likewise be good but maybe not as soul-crushingly poignant and ... it was and wasn’t. A very good story centered around a woman who dies and a bunch of people who live near a cemetery. And twins. Niffeneger’s author profile in this book claims she works at HIghgate Cemetery which is sort of true (she did in the process of doing research for the book) and sometimes the book veers a little too far off into factual recitation, but overall it was good and not quite as gut-punching as her debut novel.

Suspended Worlds: Historic Theater Scenery in Northern New England   book icon  
by Chris Hadsel (2015)

read: 18 June 2017
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

This is an exceptional book that I was enjoying so much I brought it on vacation with me and had to mail it back to the library! A great peek into the history and restoration of Vermont’s (and Northern New England’s) painted theater curtains looking at who made them and why and how many of them got restores. So great, so loving, wonderful photography and a lot of nice side stories. This was a joy to read.

Another Brooklyn   book icon  
by Jacqueline Woodson (2017)

read: 18 June 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Not sure how I hadn’t read anything of Woodson’s before. This is a great coming of age story of a young black woman whose family moved from Tennessee to Brooklyn after what we (later) learn was the death of her mother. The book is told in a series of vignettes flashing back to periods of her upbringing from the perspective of what we know is an accomplished professional woman. She tells the stories of her thick-as-thieves and we eventually learn what happened to all of them. Her father at one point finds religion with the national Of Islam and there is a lot of slightly-removed influence of these various parts of her life. While the novel is not autobiographical Woodson did draw from her life experiences and this book does seem very very real.

The Great Starvation Experiment: Ancel Keys and the Men Who Starved for Science   book icon  
by Todd Tucker (2008)

read: 18 June 2017
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

A great book about a thing I’d mostly known about through a few iconic Life Magazine photos. Tucker tells the story about the starvation experiment--a one year program participated in by conscientious objectors during WWII--and along the way manages to impart a lot of information about science experimentation, CO status, and the general zeitgeist of the United States during wartime. It’s a really interesting well-told story, heavily footnoted at the end but not otherwise bogged down in the sort of teeny details that might get in the way of the narrative.

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