I thought it would be fun to share books that we’ve read that might have escaped others’ notice. New reading material is always a good thing, right?
Here are my offerings:
The People of the Sea (David Thomson)
This book fell out of print around the 1950s, but was “rediscovered” and reprinted thanks, in large part, to the efforts of Seamus Heaney (who also provides an introduction in the edition I have). David Thomson tells us about his search for the legend of the Selchie and reconnects with the people and land of his childhood in the process. This is such a good example of “writing close to the earth” and writing what you know. The way he writes these real-life salty characters and their surroundings is just spell-binding.
Reading the Mountains of Home (John Elder)
Like People of the Sea, this book is an author’s attempt to reconnect with the past and his own Place. Using Robert Frost’s poem “Directive” as a framework, Elder chronicles his walks into the mountains surrounding his Vermont home. The combination of literary analysis, local history, nature writing and introspection was, for me, a joy to read.
I absolutely adore Lynne Reid Banks’ The Farthest-Away Mountain, which is her oldest children’s book and is, sadly, out of print. A young girl makes a vow to visit an impossible-to-reach mountain and learn the secret of its colorful peak, to learn why gargoyles are so sad, and to marry a prince. Magic ensues.
Beyond that, I’ll have to stare at my bookshelf for a while.