What is Sunday Salon? Find out here.
Wow, what a week. Temperatures in the triple digits and stagnant air. We are just not used to this. I spent sometime organizing books for the school library. We will have fewer shelves and will have to cull some books. That is really okay, as some paperbacks are old and falling apart and some titles just don’t work for middle grade readers. It is also a fine chance to create a list of books that we really need. Books that students will find exciting and interesting.
Finished reading The Part About Fate for the Bolano 2666 read-along and am now struggling to put my thoughts into words. I also reviewed three books and joined another challenge. Ridiculous.
I am reading a wonderful book called “The Road To Oxiana” by Robert Byron, first published in 1937. It is about a journey across the Middle East into Persia (now Iran) and Afghanistan. I love his irreverent tone and his descriptions of the land and architecture. I wonder how much of what he saw on his journey is still standing.
Baalbek is the triumph of stone: of lapidary magnificence on a scale whose language, being still the language of the eye, dwarfs New York into a home of ants. The stone is peach-coloured, and is marked in ruddy gold as the columns of St-Martin-in the -Fields are marked in soot. It has a marmoreal texture, not transparent, but faintly powdered like bloom on a plum. Dawn is the time to see it, to look up at the Six Columns, when peach-gold and blue air shine with equal radiance, and even the empty bases that uphold no columns have a living sun-blest identity against the violet deeps of the firmament. Look up, look up; up this quarried flesh, these trice-enormous shafts, to the broken capitals and the cornice as big as a house, all floating in the blue. Look over the walls, to the green groves of white-stemmed poplars; and over them to distant Lebanon, a shimmer of mauve and blue and gold and rose. Look along the mountains to the void: the desert, that stony, empty sea. Page 42.
Have a wonderful reading week!