Oct 10

Playing Catch-Up

A window at the Murten, Switzerland, police station, in an old castle.

Brushes: I seem to be getting worse, rather than better, at updating this blog.  I really don’t have a good excuse, just that life has been busy.  We had a wedding in the family this summer, then came Open Studios, and I’ve just returned from a trip to Switzerland to visit my daughter, who is there for a study abroad experience.  The sketch I’ve included is from my travel journal from the trip to Switzerland–I collected lots of new reference material and hope to start some landscape paintings soon.

Books: While traveling, I read Room, by Emma Donoghue. I’m struggling with how I should write about this book.  It has received a great deal of attention lately, as it was short-listed for the Booker Prize, but didn’t win. As a former librarian, my impulse is to give you just enough information about the plot, characters, and setting to whet your appetite and make you want to read this book.  However, this is a book that, ideally, should be wrapped in a plain cover and handed directly to a reader.  The reader should be told, “Read this, and then let’s talk about it.”  The less you know about this book when you begin to read, the  stronger the impact it will have on you.  Because I think it will probably appear on many  “Best of 2010” lists, the opportunity to read it without having heard too much about it is shrinking fast.   So I’ll just say this:  Room is about the bond between parent and child, reality, and isolation, and it will stay with you long after you read it.  There are sections so gripping that you will not want to put it down, and sections that are so intense that you MUST put it down.  Given the setting and the  situation, it could have been sensationalistic, but it isn’t.  Do try to read it before someone else tells you too much.