Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Books and other Distractions

This is the garden by the lake that I tend for six months. I look down on it from the deck above, from the house behind windows, waiting for the rains to stop.  In April, the sun begins to linger for days on end, pushing me out of the house and down to this plot of weeds.  Right in front is my winter patch, still growing, still producing through stormy weather. I have enjoyed harvesting baby Brussels sprouts and baby cabbages, bitter broccoli and cime di rape. 

Most of the time though, I read. Sometimes I start two, three books at a time.

I just finished Frank McCourt's 'Tis.  Yes, the title is 'Tis. Unusual and intriguing.  This is another memoir of his, more immediate and raw than Angela's Ashes.  This is all about his life after he landed in New York from Ireland, at the age of nineteen, working and living in many jobs and neighborhoods, ending up in the Army, learning new skills, earning the GI Bill that finally sent him to school and got him his teaching degree.  His teaching life is yet in another memoir. I couldn't put the book down. The man was a genius, a poet. His startling prose and fever pitched-breathless paragraphs remind me of the best of Irish writers, the best of English prose.

Do yourself a favor. Read this in English. You'll never be satisfied with anything else. 


  1. I shall keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the tip.

  2. I love the garden. I wish I lived in a place where I could have one. I envy you this!

    I read Angela's Ashes, then 'Tis. I liked Angela better, but I thought 'Tis was good, too. Definitely a book worth spending a day curled up with!!
    Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

  3. I will try to pick up both books before the summer is out :)

  4. Loved Angela's Ashes. Never quite got to his other books (someday, maybe).

  5. You do know that he started his first book, Angela's Ashes when he retired, at sixtyfive!