This is the view from our front door outside of which I’m sitting. You would think it was a lot cooler by looking at the lush green plants, but it feels like a tropical jungle. It will get a lot warmer before it gets colder, but that is the theme of August in Illinois. We could never wear our Back to School clothes until the end of October.
There is a certain anticipation about the start of a new year. For all of you, perhaps, the new year is January 1, but for me it is always when school begins. I meet my new class. I receive new instructional materials. I greet old friends and colleagues, parents of former students and new. It’s good to be back into the structure of a school day, something I will surely miss when I retire in two years: the routine, and the purpose found in a day spent teaching. So I am not entirely reluctant to say good-bye to summer.
We’re supposed to send a photograph of our summer fun for a welcome back activity. I sent in the photo of the Man Booker books I’d checked out from the library. Everyone will laugh, or groan, but that’s been some of the most fun for me: reading the long list.
And here’s a rather harsh, one word summary of each of the books I’ve read so far. Just my opinion, mind you, not that of the (Wo)Man Shadow Jury‘s as far as I know, and certainly not that of an official judge:
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh: disturbing
The Sellout by Paul Beatty: accusing
Hystopia by David Means: psychedelic
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout: gorgeous
Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves: boring
The North Water by Ian McGuire: terrifying
I’m loving The North Water, which I began last night. Action packed and beautifully written, such that I feel I am on the whaling ship with the men, and it’s a scary place to be. Wonderful beginning. (But, as I progres, it’s getting more and more horrifying. Be warned.)
I hope your Sunday is going smoothly, that your summer was full of high points with any low, and that you have a good book at hand. Blessings on the rest of your weekend.
p.s. I have not forgotten the Japanese Literature Challenge, and neither has Booker Talk. She has featured Japanese Literature on her blog today, and I thank her for including me in it.