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Friday, July 28, 2006

Leave Me Alone I'm Reading

Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maureen Corrigan (Read July 2006)
Myke gave me this book for no other reason than he thought I would enjoy it. Isn't that sweet. And I did enjoy it. Corrigan is an avid reader and the book is mostly biographical - dealing with how books helped her make connections with thought and experience throughout her life, as in this quote: ". . . sometimes even a few good sentences contained in an otherwise unexceptional book can crystallize vague feelings, fleeting phsical sensations, or, sometimes, profound epiphanies."

I adored the first chapter, 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough: Womane's Extreme-Adventure Books'. As a college literature teacher, Corrigan brought back to memory two of my favorite books: Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. One of my favorite quotes comes at the end of this chapeter. Corrigan is talking about the extreme adventure of her grandmother who got on a boat alone, left her mother, an unspecified number of brothers, and one sister and sailed to America. "She was one of the hundreds of thousands of immigrant women, from the end of the last century to the present, who began working the instant they arrived in this country and, thus, never learned how to read. The distance that stretches between the world she knew and mine - filled with books - is so vast that to me it's like Grandma Helen's first glimpse of the New York skyline. Incomprehensible."

I liked her praise for mysteries. She says that it was in mystery/crime books that she discovered the work ethic in literature. I will be adding Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon to my 'to-be-read' list.

One chapter 'Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition: What Catholic Marty Stories Taught Me About Getting to Heave - and Getting Even' provided a lot of insight into her growing up years as a Catholic. She is now married to a Jew and they have adopted a Chinese daughter.

Included at the back are 4 pages with Corrigan's book recommendations. That's exciting, but there are many that are not on my list. Dilemma: do I add them or ignore them? I rate this book 4 out of 5.

6 comments:

Myke said...

I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. When I saw it, it shouted your name!

booklogged said...

Thank-you for thinking of me and all your thoughtful acts. You're a dear.

Framed said...

Go ahead and add the books. You can also "whittle" it down later.

Susan Abraham said...

Hi Booklogged,
The classics continue to hold us well and truly in their iron grip, don't they. Just referring to your memories of Jane Eyre & P&P. How well I remember still, the thrill of first discovering Dickens and Virginia Woolf.

Library Mama said...

Thank you so much for visiting over my way. Your blog is so interesting!

I looked over at In Season as well, and enjoyed a game of Hangman. I also enjoyed reading your musings.

I shall be back again. Not only do I enjoy your blog, but also the community who meets here.

Again, I'm so pleased you commented on my blog. Thank you.

jenclair said...

I'm adding Corrigan's book to my list. Love reading about other people's reading...in blogs or books. Thanks for the review.

And thanks for visiting my blog; hope you enjoy Gentlemen & Players.