Ends up that running a weekly feature takes time and effort. It’s well worth it, of course, but I need a break — and help. From you. The search for insight and understanding in unlikely places takes the most time. So if you know anyone, including yourself, who is passionate about books and eager to celebrate sentences, characters, novels, authors, and literary experience in general, tell them, urge them, command them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re all evangelists in a worthy cause. Speak up, for crying out loud. Thank you, and long live Sancho Panza!
Home, a book recommendation
By Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson, Home is a story about Jack Boughton’s return to Gilead, Iowa after a 20-year absence. His father Robert Boughton is a dying widower who is cared for by Jack’s 38-year old sister Glory Boughton. Through her eyes, through her hopes, sorrows, and disappointments, the story of Jack’s homecoming is told. A lost and scoundrel soul, Jack returns to Gilead with a carefully guarded plan to set his life aright. His stay is fraught with anxiety and tenderness, vulnerability and hope — always hope, especially by those who love him most and can be profoundly hurt by him. Countless scenes are so deeply moving that one stops in sheer amazement, as when Robert Boughton, eager to spend time with Glory, falls asleep at the table with his fork in hand, or when Jack gracefully plays the piano for his father’s enjoyment. Robinson is a master at evoking the reader’s deepest layers of experience, as well as making the presence of the past (excuse the expression) palpable in such everyday objects as shirts and lampshades. Home is a marvel, a gorgeous achievement, and is well worth your time. Savor Gilead first, otherwise a rich dimension of meaning will be lost, or as Robinson unforgettably writes in Gilead, you will miss “the great taut skeins of light suspended between them.”
Did you know?
Between the Lines averages about 350 visits per week. While this is nothing to sniff at, your kindly host is greedy as Gekko and wants more, a lot more, so please share the blog with anyone and everyone. Even better, list me on your blogroll (Mark Sarvas, chop, chop!), and who knows, I just might return the favor.
WordPress site metrics allows me to track search terms used by incoming traffic. Little did I know that when I captioned an image thusly, “Zaniest threesome ever,” I unwittingly spun a web to snag this tasty little morsel, “how to prepare wife for a threesome,” which is funny because it’s funny but vexing, too, because it’s hardly the kind of traffic I so richly deserve. Or is it?
Joyce Carol Oates and Harold Bloom politely declined to go Between the Lines. Don DeLillo, not so much. But in his defense, I did mis-spell his name with a lowercase “l.” Accidents happen.
San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom still hasn’t responded to me. Which is commendable in a way, because he’s got more important things to do than to discuss ideas.
On the Horizon
Next feature will cross Monday, November 16.
David Mitchell’s feature will go live on Monday, December 14 at 12:01 a.m. To prepare, read Cloud Atlas, a wonderfully inventive novel, which was shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize. If you fear it’s too large an undertaking, shame on you, but somewhat pardonable, so read Black Swan Green instead.