03 August 2009

Dorothy- birds of a feather...& books, & wisdom & friendship

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.
They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs,
they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.
That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
Harper Lee

headress by Katsuya Kamo (photo from Coutorture by way of Hollister Hovey)

Today is the last of my book posts from new friends and old, this one with a just slight change in the questions.
Yes to my mind, I've saved the best for last. Dorothy is the dearest, and most elegant of my friends- on this they would all agree.

She grew up on Park Avenue, went to finishing school at Finch, later- married and moved to Boston, summered in West Hyannisport with her family, then returned to New York to work and through all these adventures she read and she continues to...This among many other things we share a passion for, and do we ever talk it. The time we spend together could be more frequent-but I know where she is -She is reading & that connects me to her.

Dorothy what are your first memories of reading?

The OZ books and then of course "The Little Princess" .

I never had my mother read in bed to me...

Winslow Homer " the new novel"

I think my love of books came much later in life when all of a sudden I realized that I was missing a big slice of living so I started to take courses...

Jose de Almada Negreiros, 1930

and finally got to "Alice in Wonderland" and "Gulliver's Travels" and in retrospect, I really don't think that either of these are children's books.

Alice illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Dorothy in her own creation

What is your favorite book?

I think Wallace Stegner's "Angle of Repose.

Well- I don't know if she knows- but this is my favorite too- I think- but a very hard decision. I have read Angle twice since Dorothy introduced me to the book. It calls me back and I could sit down to it, drop all others , and read it again with pleasure, bitter-sweet , & melancholy.

“It is something-it can be everything-to have found a fellow bird with whom you can sit among the rafters while the drinking and boasting and reciting and fighting go on below.”
Wallace Stegner

the author

"It's perfectly clear that if every writer is born to write one story, that's my story."
Wallace Stegner

Angle of Repose, winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for fiction is based on the correspondence of the little known 19th writer, Mary Hallock Foote written to her husband and family during the explosion of migration to the West. The main characters are a part of this migration and their lives are altered by way of it.

Some of Mary Hallock Foote's Illustrations:

What are you reading at the moment?

Right now I am reading" Out Stealing Horses" by Per Petterson a beloved Norwegian writer who also has gotten awards for his book.
( thoughtful, good writing)


"Olive Kittridge": by Elizabeth Strout deserved the prizes it got.(if you're into psychology- this is it.)

Dorothy,What about the Classics? You know I love to read these and as the genre suggests-we can gain new insights each time we read the beloved books.

I think we do need to occasionally return to the Classics . So I suggest:
"Middlemarch "by George Eliot..

"It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self--never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted."
George Eliot

Maybe a return to "To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee.

"In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism." -Joseph Crespino

Two books that are not novels that came out recently that are really good reading.

"The Nine " Jeffrey Toobin (Obviously about the Supreme Court)

the other "Indian Summer" by Alex Von Tunzelmann-about the era of Ghandi, Montbatten and the take over by India from the British Empire.

In spite of the subjects both these books are chatty and even , at times, gossipy- so they are far from heavy.

Do you have an ongoing LIST?

I do have books that are piled up for future reading...

the American Lion

The Given Day (because it's about Boston) by Dennis Lehane. Lehane is author of seven novels; including the New York Times bestsellers Gone, Baby, Gone & Mystic River.


Yes, books are next to the bed..also on the table opposite that I tell myself I will get to ( one is the Encyclopedia of Music and another jokes with asides by Socrates or something like that.... and I could go on and ...

Wisdom begins in wonder.

& for me-I could go on listening.

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.


  1. What a charming and welcoming face she has. She must be a delight to know! I loved both Out Stealing Horses and Olive Kitteridge, so I know she is enjoying her current reads!

  2. sounds like I should have had Angle of Repose on my own summer reading list. Off to Amazon NOW! Warm regards to Dorothy.

  3. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  4. I have put Angle of Repose on my winter list, when the garden doesn't demand my attention. I agree with Pamela about Dorothy's beautiful face, she is worthy of a portrait. I'd like to think that her love of reading has infused wisdom while taking away any signs of age. A curious, nimble mind is a noble beauty.

    Thank you for the summer of reading. I'm glad Olive Kitteridge got her due. She is a small but heavily insightful read. The last two pages are worth the voyage.

    In a turbulent world, I am calmed by readers of all ages still committed to the written, printed and bound work of mystery: the book. Again, thanks LA.

  5. home and Pamela- Dorothy is a love. I am too discreet to say-and besides she would skewer me. She is a fantastic cook too.
    & thank you for sticking with the summer reading. G.

  6. Rose-yes you must det the book- and if you don't love it-don't tell me. It is right up my alley. Thank you for contributing to the summer reading blogs I have done.

  7. lagot, thank you for reading and thank you for your comment. Nothing makes this more worthwhile than a compliment or comment about what I am doing. Gaye

  8. My reading list is out the window orderwise! I have read The Time Traveler's wife (the movie looks terribly miscast) along with this- EF Benson, Caresse Crosby book, Ashcombe-C.Beaton, Beverley Nichols,A Life (these 2 books actually intertwine with friends,lovers,etc.) 2 books on Bloomsbury- Very slow in terms of the ambitious list I created and I want to confess. I got the A S Byatt book-the Children's Book yesterday and that has trumped all

  9. Little Augury, What a wonderful friend here. I like her pick of the Brits in India, we should all read this one. The Angle of Repose must go on a reading list in the future.K

  10. Dear, Well of course I know this lovely lady- so all I can say is I absolutely agree with it all. xo, BCT

  11. Beautiful ode to friendship amongst women, amidst books.



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