This month’s Dipper is a selection of Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges short essays starting in 1922 and ending in 1986. He was a witty, erudite and critical commentator on life, literature and the world. Everything and anything interested Borges and he wrote about a dazzling diversity of subjects ranging through, but not limited to: history, literature, book and film reviews, magazine articles. This collection includes his Lectures on Shakespeare, The Detective Story, and Blindness – particularly poignant because he suffered from total blindness, a hereditary affliction …. And progressively diminished his own eyesight from the 1920s onward. It forced him to abandon the writing of long texts and to begin dictating to his mother or to secretaries or friends.
I would unhesitatingly include this collection high on my list of Desert Island books. Whatever your personal taste, or mood of the day, I’ll bet you’ll find a short piece to your liking, in this collection. Not all my Dippers are literary, not by any means. Last month’s Dipper was a collection of short pieces, mostly social comment, from the British columnist Lynne Truss and they were a jolly good read, often resulting in laughter, giggles and explosive mirth from yours truly.
Irish novels …. Irish novels … as a rule of thumb, I tend to avoid them. All that rain and Catholic suffering and general gloom. No thanks. But periodically one of Anne Enright’s novels comes my way, and I read her novels, conscious that I am reading a work by a wonderful writer, that succeeds in eclipsing my dislike of Irish novels.
Actress is a marvellous novel, about an Irish actress and her story is related by her only daughter, Norah. I found the book difficult to start with, because the early section dealt with family history and skipped around timewise, and was littered with characters, but once I got through that, I enjoyed the story. Oh the drama! Oh the agonies of doubt, insecurity, career difficulties and rivalries, oh the drama! It’s a brilliant account of a woman growing more and more unstable, related with vivid detail, some of which lingers unpleasantly in my mind – grubby bedsheets, the physique of a middle aged seducer – uuuurrrggghhh! But I read on, cross-eyed, and totally immersed. If you’ve never read Anne Enright, do yourself a favour, and try this novel.
Actress- Anne Enright . Brilliant, difficult, worth the effort. Recommended.
Our Souls at Night – Kent Haruf. A little gem of a book, written with simplicity and sincerity, about companionship in old age, about a small town love affair and an anxious 6 year old boy. The story has great emotional depth . Recommended.
The Enchanted Garden (South Side series) – Abigail Drake. (e book). Quite sexy, and also Wicca Lite. A refreshingly well-written book in the cozy series, with some interesting twists at the end.
In For a Penny – Kelsey Browning & Nancy Naigel (e book) ] Southern Sleuth
Catfish & Collard Greens – Kelsey Browning & Nancy Naigel (ebook)] Series
Not bad for CMs. Three old gals in a Southern setting – loads of Southern sweetness, and summed up by another reviewer beautifully: the Golden Girls meet Dirty Harry.
NOVEMBER DIPPER – Jorge Luis Borges : Selected Non-Fictions ed by Eliot Weinberger. A cornucopia of wit, wisdom and Critical Insights, said the TLS.