Saturday, June 19, 2010

Two Books

I truly agree with the premise of Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford, but it was so densely worded that I had bad flashbacks of college texts. So I gave it up and agreed with the Crawford: working with your hands is very satisfying and requires creative intelligence.

I didn't try very hard with Crawford because I have several tempting novels on my mantel.  I just finished Except for Me and Thee by Jessamyn West, an author new to me.  It was very good.  I liked the crisp, lovely writing; the realistic characters and relationships, with heartbreak, joy, work, and tedium mixed together; the subplots involved serious themes, but the plot as a whole had a gentle bent  - a rare and realistic combination.  I'm pleased that there are more Jessamyn West books to read.

"She lit the big glass-bellied, unshaded kitchen lamp.  The lamp, its circle of yellow light her partner is secrecy, pleased her.  She had left the kitchen in beautiful order, the table set for breakfast and every chair ranged squarely in front of a plate.  The room was a joy to behold, but her nose didn't take the same pleasure in it her eyes did.  First of all, no one, expecting the night to cool off, had opened the kitchen windows." 
from Except for Me and Thee


Anonymous said...

Gracious! I read that book, oh...twenty years ago? I remember liking it, too, and the name Jessamyn because of it. I'll have to ask after it at our local library and give it another look-see.


Christian - Modobject@Home said...

I'm not familiar with Jessamyn West but I always appreciate a favorable book recommendation. I'll look for this one at the library.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Oh what an excellent writer is Jessamyn West and have always loved her name. I've not read her in decades and decades; thanks for the nudge.
As to the other book, making things by hand is enjoyable and a pleasant way to spend time. I've always knitting or embroidery with me when I have to attend meetings. People make fun of me but like I told one woman, "Yes, and when we leave this meeting, I'll be the only one with something substantial to show for my time." The look on her face was priceless!