I don't usually post on Saturdays, but as I have a bit of 'overflow' of things I wanted to share this week, here I am for a very abbreviated post. Just a few quotes that I came across in my reading this past week (of which I will share more on--my reading that is--in a day or so). By the way, for some reason Typepad is dropping comments into my spam filter (even comments/replies I leave and this is my blog!), so if it looks like your comment has been 'eaten' and disappears when you hit the 'post' button, it has more than likely been sent to the spam filter and I will retrieve it very soon!
I wanted to share this quote when I wrote about Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea, but my post was running long so I decided to save it for another day. Inspired by Gift from the Sea, I decided to begin reading her diaries. I believe there are a total of six volumes, the last having only recently been published last year or so. I'm starting with the first, Bring Me a Unicorn, 1922-1928. She was about twenty or so when she wrote this in her diary and had been traveling in Europe with her family.
"But what moved me the most was the sand--sand and sea, sand and sea, out as far as you could look--warm-colored, honey-colored sand, and that restless tide again, again the arms of foam. But the gleaming sands, with the evening light reflected in them and the evening light on the sea, too, pearl-colored here, and there a gleaming brown--café-au-lait brown. To me there is something completely and satisfyingly restful in that stretch of sea and sand, sea and sand and sky--complete peace, complete fulfillment."
Isn't that lovely? Can't you already see glimmers of the woman she is going to become. She is so obviously inspired by her surroundings, and so thoughtful, soaking it all in to use later in her own life and share with others.
I've been really enjoying the short essays that make up Jean-Claude Izzo's Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil. It's a very slim book that could easily be read in a single sitting, but I've been just reading an essay a day. I am liking it so much, though, that I might just gulp down the rest of it today. I'm waiting for his noir Marseilles trilogy to arrive in the mail as I am going to pick up the first book, Total Chaos, immediately.
Izzo was the son of a Spanish mother and an Italian father and was born in Marseilles. He talks about being a child of migration, of having parents who were exiles. But a true son of the Mediterranean region, of Marseilles.
"To be 'from somewhere else' changes everything. You look at the world in a different way. I mean that wherever I am, I am at home. Even if those countries whose language I do not know. I just have to read a travel story or a novel by a writer to make his territory, his memories, my own. And I become his twin."
I will be writing more about Izzo and his work and hopefully noir crime fiction in general, soon.
I've gone a little crazy (though when do I not when it comes to books . . .) with my crime (reading) spree and throwing all caution to the wind (will repent later) have finally picked up the second Emma Graham mystery, Cold Flat Junction. Another reread (like Hotel Paradise). I get such a kick out of Emma. After having read Edith Hamilton's Greek Mythology last year I always appreciate references to the Greeks or Mythology. She's talking about her brother Will who has written a play that involves a deus ex machina.
"The Greeks are important to this story. This is because, although they might've wanted God to come in when things get really messy, they did not hang around waiting for God to take vengeance. No, they managed in on their own, which was swifter (and better probably). Whenever the Greeks murdered somebody, somebody else came along later and avenged the death. Then another Greek would come along and avenge the murderer. So that it went on and on, generation after generation, revenge after revenge. It all seemed fated to happen."
That's pretty much what I got from reading Greek Mythology, too. And yes, I suspect this is going to all tie into the story as well.
Not that I need more books to choose from, I do have a question. I am looking for a mystery with an academic setting. I know they exist--I have read Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night, Joanne Harris' Gentlemen and Players, and Elizabeth George's Well-Schooled in Murder. Do any other titles come to mind? Cozies, police procedurals, vintage or contemporary, even noir. I'm not picky, but I am in the mood for mystery with an academic slant. Suggestions welcome!