Saturday, September 19, 2015

Books, Books, Books

I had a very refreshing chat about books the other day.

Nothing is more fun.

(Well, okay, hardy anything.)

What jogged my memory today was a blog post HERE about a new book called Soviet Bus Stops, by Christopher Herwig.  I haven't got my hands on this book yet, but it looks fantastic...  a photo study of ubiquitous, humble - yet socially important - architectural monuments.  These small buildings seem to have received all the whimsy and delight that official Soviet architecture quashed.  Just Google "soviet bus stop" for the wild range of styles.  This one I like as sort of Romanesque-Modern with a flavor of '60s Pop.  (It'd make a cool garden folly.  Please mentally add a blue pool and girls in Holly Golightly sunglasses, sipping martinis.  See it?)

Not sure if this photo is truly from Herwig's Soviet Bus Stops.  
Copyright-holder please let me know if you want it removed.

Folk architecture - whether designed by amateurs or pros - is always lively.

Picture books are fun aren't they?

That book chat was not about architecture or picture books, actually, more on WWII topics.  I'm currently reading Winston Churchill's The Gathering Storm.  The man can write!  Another WWII book was recommended to me (but I don't have that note handy); in turn I recommended George McDonald Fraser's The Complete McAuslan, entertaining stories of  a Scottish regiment at the end of that war, and his more serious, excellent memoir of fighting the Japanese in Burma, Quartered Safe Out Here

A recent good novel about that period I highly recommend is All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr.  This read was the result of book club friends recommending it to my mother, she to my sister, then the same copy on to me, then to my child...  That's a catchy book!  I won't spoiler it: let's just say that I had to stay up all night to finish it.  Dawn, I'm sayin'.  Actual dawn.

At about the same time a kindly person lent me a copy of Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel.  Also engrossing - apocalypse plus traveling Shakespearean orchestra... how could I resist?  (NPR on it HERE.)  Naturally, I had to give copies of both novels on to others... nothing is as catching as a book.

It's a good week - month! - when you get two excellent new books to read.

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