Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sadness and Guilt

My weekend contained best friends at brunches and lunches, perfect chocolate cake, delightful cousins, new shelving units, knitting, reading, jobs done and a bath-to-come. This weekend's Globe and Mail was terrific. Stephanie Nolen's "An Inuit Adventure in Timbuktu" is the most amazing piece of journalism I've (ever?) come across. ("I wasn't really intending to read this," my husband said to me, "but once I started I just couldn't stop".) Well-written, beautiful, fascinating, and will make you think of things you've never considered before.

And then the books section-- G&M Books, what's happened to you? For you're becoming sort of wonderful, it's true. More than an assemblage of watered-down reviews by friends of friends, and paragraph-length excerpts. The 50 Greatest Books Series is terrific, and not just because the first week's choice is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Oh it's been done before, I know, but don't you find that great books can be discussed forever and ever?

And then the reviews themselves, epistolary goodness. Reviewing The Mitford Letters (which I loved), Graham Greene's letters (which I'm reading), Eleanor Wachtel's Carol Shields book (which is a treasure), Four Letter Word (which I can't wait for). It was as though the Books Pages had tapped right into my heart.

I've also really enjoyed the latest Vanity Fair, whose lives of rich and famous feature such gems of phrase as, "Robin was an ongoing source of sadness and guilt to Lady Annabel after she allowed him to enter the tigress's enclosure at Aspinall's." As they say, you really couldn't make this up.

Also, new Atwood on the horizon.