Loving the autumn leaves we're seeing here. But it's a brief season and then it's all downhill, weatherwise. What to do? Unfortunately, I have few options. I live here.
I had found a bargain-priced copy of On Beauty by Zadie Smith on the bookstore remainder table. After I got it home I was reading reviews and they mentioned that it's an homage to Howards End. So I thought it might be a wise thing to finally read Howards End. Whoo! That took some doing, but I did it. Am I glad I read it? Well, I guess so. I was waiting for the main character, Margaret, to tell the older man in her life to hit the road. Any woman treated in so patronizing a way would surely do that now. But this was 1910 and that did not happen...
So now I have the Merchant Ivory film of Howards End here at home to watch. After all this, I hope I like On Beauty once I get around to reading it. After all, I did my homework.
A quicker read was The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean. This is a really sweet and haunting tale of love and memory. The main character, Marina, works in The Hermitage museum during the Seige of Leningrad--helping to hide the artworks from the coming invaders, and protecting the building once it's damaged by bombs. The tale alternates between that story and the present time, as a much older Marina slips into the sad haze of Alzheimer's Disease.
I liked this book but didn't like the fact that Marina's children knew so little of their mother's past. The book implies she didn't tell them much, but I bet they weren't paying attention to what they were told. That's really sad.
Next up is Cane River by Lalita Tademy. This one's been on the list for a long time.
In quilting news, the Log Cabin blocks are sewn into ten long strips, ready to be sewn into a quilt top. Yay! I'll be away quilting next weekend and this will be project #1.