Sunday, September 15, 2019

Mid-Month Update

I am loving September - the days are warm, the nights are cool, the tomatoes are ripe, and the raspberries are abundant!

Travel - we did a quick weekend trip to Port Townsend, WA for the 43rd annual Wooden Boat Festival. It was wonderful. Flew into Seattle--drove to Gig Harbor for lunch at NetShed #9, then drove up to Port Townsend. Checked into the lovely Palace Hotel (I think we got the last hotel room in town--must have been a cancellation because it was only 3 blocks from the festival dock), and then enjoyed the afternoon and evening. Had a great day on Saturday attending events, walking the docks, talking pictures, and enjoying the beautiful day. Drove back to Gig Harbor--had a fabulous dinner at Brix 25. Flew home to Colorado Sunday morning.  So much fun!

Here's what I've been reading...

Lavinia - my first Ursula Le Guin, very similar to Circe by Madeline Miller in that Le Guin tells the story of Lavinia, last wife of Aeneas, and a creation of Virgil who merely mentioned her in his story of Aeneas fleeing the aftermath of Troy and founding Rome. I enjoy seeing the women who are tangential to the mythic stories finally getting their day. I loved the relationship between Lavinia and the poet, and found her story of pre-Roman life on the Italian peninsula to be fascinating. I'm not a sci-fi fan, so I don't anticipate reading much of Le Guin, but this one was good.

Educated - memoir by Tara Westover, who told the story of her life growing up in a uber conservative Mormon home in Idaho with an abusive older brother, controlling parents, and a mountain on which she could roam at will. It was compelling and inspiring. Westover ended up educating herself with the help of BYU, Oxford, and Harvard. She is also a talented singer and I really enjoyed listening to her sing in a YouTube video that I found.

Fall of Giants - book one of Ken Follett's Century Trilogy, covering WWI through the experiences of a Welsh mining family, German and British aristocrats, Russian peasants, American politicians and journalists and gangsters. I enjoyed it immensely. It helped me wrap my head around the places and battles as well as the politics and societal stresses the marked the beginning of the 20th century. Follett is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors. First rate storytelling against a huge backdrop. Definitely my kind of book. I fully intend to read the rest of the trilogy.

Hope you are enjoying this bridge month - as we shift to fall in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern.


  1. I have also been enjoying September.

    I really like Ursula Le Guin but I had not heard about Lavinia. I also thought that Circe was a great book so I need to give this a try.

  2. Good to see you enjoyed Fall of Giants - it's another one of my TBRs!

  3. Ooh, the Le Guin sounds interesting. I’ve only read a couple from her (and am a fan of Sci-Fi though I don’t read it as often as I would like). But this detour to historical fiction sounds great.

    I read Educated (last year?) and thought it was pretty good, if at times hard to read (even though you know she makes it out).

    I’ve never been able to warm up to Follet. Maybe I’ll give him another try one of these days. I do have a copy of The Eye of the Needle on my shelf and I typically like spy novels. :D

    1. Eye of the Needle is one of my favorite novels! I;ve read it several times, beginning when I was just a teen. I used to love his thrillers, and now I enjoy his historical fiction, too...but his early spy thrillers are nothing at all like his more recent epic historical fiction, so this might be more up your alley.

  4. Beautiful boats!!!

    I read Educated last spring and thought it was really interesting. And definitely memorable.

  5. I love September, too!! And October - fall is definitely my favorite season. Still some very hot days here, but we had lovely weather on our vacation in New York State. Glad to hear you enjoyed a nice trip, too - your photos are beautiful.

    And, wow, what great reading you've been doing! I have not yet read an Ursula Le Guin book, but I want to. And same goes for Educated and Fall of Giants! I loved Pillars of the Earth - the start of another of his epic trilogies. I used to love his thrillers when I was younger, and I love his historical fiction, too - he's just an excellent writer.

    Enjoy your books this week - and the weather!


    Book By Book

  6. Wow the wooden boat festival seems lovely & looks gorgeous. My husband who's a sailor -- and has taken me on week long trips -- I'm sure would like this a lot so I will let him know. We've been to Port Townsend before but not for this. Also thanks for the word on the Follett book since I've had it on my shelf for a very long time and think I would enjoy it immensely as well. He is a master storyteller!

  7. I enjoyed Fall of Giants in 2016, and then early this summer read the second in the trilogy, which is set in the 1930s and WWII. I found a great used copy of the third book at a library book sale in early July, so I'll be ready when the mood next hits me. I think I really need to read his medieval novels--Pillars of the Earth. Lots of people have said that they are Follett's crowning achievement.
    Your travels sound like so much fun. Thanks for letting us know.