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JD_Cunningham

@JD_Cunningham@sunny.garden

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JD_Cunningham , to poetry group
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A neighbourhood.
At dusk.

Things are getting ready
to happen
out of sight.

Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.

But not yet.

One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.

A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
this moment.

Stars rise.
Moths flutter.
Apples sweeten in the dark.
-- 'This Moment' by Eavan Boland

@poetry

(Art credit: Eva Kryshtapovich)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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It's been a year since the Seattle Public Library joined with the Brooklyn Public in the Books Unbanned program which gives young people (13 to 26), anywhere in the U.S. free, digital access to all the library's ebooks and audiobooks.

Now the two libraries have issued a report about the program with feedback from young people who are using the program. A blog post from the Seattle Public Library has background information about the report and a link to it.

@bookstodon

https://shelftalkblog.wordpress.com/2024/04/10/in-their-own-words-youth-voices-on-books-unbanned-censorship-and-the-freedom-to-read/

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"I used to draw and write to keep a hold on my imagination, certain that I was going to lose it, since all adults lost their imagination at some point. I clung desperately to the childlike gaze that finds motives for curiosity and astonishment in everything it encounters." -- from Cross Stitch by Jazmina Barrera, trans. Christina MacSweeney

An engaging debut novel about friendship, embroidery, travel, literature, and the coming-of-age of three friends. And now I really want to learn how to do the complex Yucatán needlework technique of xmanikté.

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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Bookish temptations from The Millions - their extensive list of books being published over the next three months was posted this past week, and one that immediately caught my eye is a collaboration between Jamaica Kincaid and artist Kara Walker, 'An Encyclopedia of Gardening for Colored Children' which comes out in May. And I'm sure there are all too many more on this list that will end up on my wishlist.
@bookstodon

https://themillions.com/2024/04/most-anticipated-the-great-spring-2024-preview.html

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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I
We came from the far side of the river
of starlight and will cross back over
in a little boat
no bigger than two cupped hands.
II
Thinking about compassion.
A firefly in a great dark garden.
An earthworm naked
on a concrete path.
III
I think of the journey
we will take together
in the oarless boat
across the shoreless river.
-- 'Travelers' by Ursula K. Le Guin from 'So Far So Good'

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Lourry Legarde)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"A book is the best means of transportation: it carries you far, doesn't pollute, arrives on time, is inexpensive, and never gives you motion sickness." -- from 'The Wild Book' by Juan Villoro; trans. by Lawrence Schimel; illus. Eko
@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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Pale grey and yellow limbs,
That never move
But step unceasingly in beauty,
You have come to me,
And all my thoughts are as a forest
With crystal-feathered birds.
-- 'Trees' by Hildegarde Flanner

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Gustav Klimt)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"A great many books are firmly closed despite the general impression that they’re wide open—they’ll jovially present their back cover as page one and be baffled that you thought there’d be more." -- from 'Parasol Against the Axe' by Helen Oyeyemi

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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A Spring breeze is blowing
I'm bursting with laughter
--- wishing for flowers.
-- by Matsuo Basho; unknown translator

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"Leaving Lamb in his top-floor office, its soft light softened further by a veil of cigarette smoke, so that any observer of a sentimental nature might imagine him a grubby Santa, putting the grot into grotto." -- from Mick Herron's 'Standing By the Wall'

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"Whatever their country of origin, all kites are born in the popular imagination, which is what gives them their slightly naive look; Ambrose Fleury's kites were no exception, even the final pieces he made in his old age bear that stamp of innocence and that freshness of soul." -- from Romain Gary's 'The Kites', tr. Miranda Richmond Mouillot

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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My library hold for Helen Oyeyemi's newest, Parasol Against the Axe, arrived and I was able to sneak a few pages in yesterday. Taking place in one of my favorite settings, Prague, the book feels like it's going to be a strangely intriguing one. And it has a book-within-a-book that changes stories depending on the reader.

This week the New Yorker has an interview with Oyeyemi, which should be an interesting piece to read after finishing the novel.
@bookstodon

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/helen-oyeyemi-thinks-we-should-read-more-and-stay-in-touch-less

Likewise , to Random
@Likewise@beige.party avatar

The older I get, ___________

the easier the phrase, “are you f-ing kidding me” seems to just be at the forefront of my mind.

Fill in your response.

JD_Cunningham ,
@JD_Cunningham@sunny.garden avatar

@Likewise The older I get the less willing I am to put up with the patriarchy.

JD_Cunningham ,
@JD_Cunningham@sunny.garden avatar

@firefly I hold no brief for the Catholic church by any stretch of the imagination, but using patriarchy in the general dictionary definition of "any form of social organization in which men have predominant power" (Oxford); patriarchal attitudes were around long before the church was and existed in parts of the world that Catholicism played no part in. However, the church certainly embraced patriarchal concepts with fervor.

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow
on the mountain. But when I look up,
saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
the uppermost branches.
I don't cut that one.
I don't cut the others either.
Suddenly, in every tree,
an unseen nest
where a mountain
would be.
-- 'Choices' by Tess Gallagher from 'Midnight Lantern'

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Jennifer Goldberger)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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Like many library systems across the country the Worcester Public Library in Massachusetts doesn't charge late fees but does fine patrons for damaged or missing books. This month they have set up a meow-velous way to pay those fines.

@bookstodon

https://mymodernmet.com/library-cat-picture-fee-forgiveness/

JD_Cunningham OP ,
@JD_Cunningham@sunny.garden avatar

@Nuncio @bookstodon What are you talking about? It's a link to a short piece on the My Modern Met website.

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"There's a catfish under the islands of Japan. That's what shakes everything up: the catfish twisting and turning in the mud beneath us. It rolls and the ground trembles, water crashes, time cracks and breaks." -- from 'Catfish Rolling' by Clara Kumagal

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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I went to look for Joy,
Slim, dancing Joy,
Gay, laughing Joy,
Bright-eyed Joy,--
And I found her
Driving the butcher's cart
In the arms of the butcher boy!
Such company, such company,
As keeps this young nymph, Joy!
-- 'Joy' by Langston Hughes

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Anita Zotkina)

bookgaga , to Random
@bookgaga@mastodon.social avatar

It's my birthday in a few days.

The greatest gift I can imagine is if you give yourself the gift of a book. For the 3rd year running, I offer my suggestions for how to go about that: http://bookgagabooks.ca/2022/02/28/the-gift-of-a-book-is-a-gift-for-many/

  • Purchase from independent booksellers and it's also a gift to those hardworking people and businesses.

  • Pre-order books as "a present to your future self" ... and a gift to tireless and determined authors and publishers.

Please reply and let me know what you got, OK?

JD_Cunningham ,
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@bookgaga @bookstodon Wishing you a marvelous upcoming birthday Vicki! Books are definitely one of my favorite future gifts-to-self. Hope you've sent yourself a very special one!

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"All the time I was in Kinbuckie there was a whistling east wind, a bursting grey sea, and exactly one half-hour’s blink of sunshine; and with such a climate and such whiskies, why everybody in Scotland doesn’t die of drink is a mystery to me." -- from J. Storer Clouston's story A Medical Crime in the British Library Crime Classics collection The Edinburgh Mystery edited by Martin Edwards

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"John Bachelor’s charges are retired assets, which is to say those who’d come in from other nations’ colds; who’d served their time in that peculiar shadowland where clerical work and danger meet. Veterans of the microdot. Agents of the filing cabinet." - from 'The List'

It's always fascinating to pay a visit to Mick Herron's murky and casually pitiless world of secrets, lies, and blame-shifting. In this collection of five Slough House novellas Herron's secret service world is as dark and painfully funny as only he can make it.

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite, beautiful, myself.
-- 'Poem of the One World' by Mary Oliver

@bookstodon

(Art credit: angelo dorigo)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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This week the Paris Review has unpaywalled Jun’ichirō Tanizaki's first published story, The Victim, translated by Ivan Morris, a strange little story about a master tattoo artist. Initially published in 1910 it appeared in the Spring 1957 issue of the Review.

@bookstodon

https://www.theparisreview.org/fiction/4872/the-victim-junichiro-tanizaki?mc_cid=5aab30dc04&mc_eid=bac250fc03

kimlockhartga , to bookstodon group
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@bookstodon Do you own any autographed books? If so, did you personally meet the author at a signing?

JD_Cunningham ,
@JD_Cunningham@sunny.garden avatar

@kimlockhartga @bookstodon Yes, and was lucky enough to listen to a reading and stand in line to have books signed by Umberto Eco and Hilary Mantel.

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"It was the first time I had wielded my imagination as a weapon of defense, and nothing ever turned out to be more beneficial to me in this life." -- from 'The Kites' by Romain Gary; tr. by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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The loom is language,
the warp is song.
The day is lovely,
the night is long.

The shuttle slips from left to right
like a bird that flies
with a tail of light
and the weaving grows:
we are weaving the emperor’s clothes,
weaving believing the emperor’s clothes.

The loom is language,
the warp is song.
The day is lovely,
the night is long.

From right to left the shuttle slips
like a song that dies
on silent lips
and always always less is left
as we unweave the lessening weft,
unweaving ungrieving the lessening weft.

The loom is language,
the warp is song.
The day is lovely,
the night is long.
-- 'Anithaca: The Island of the Daughters of Penelope' by Ursula K. Le Guin

@bookstodon

(Art credit: N. Akkash)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"He looks up to the high windows and the light, at the dust motes swimming aimlessly in the warm air above their heads, and imagines that each speck is an iota of faith leaving a person in the room." -- from 'Three Fires' by Denise Mina

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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This novella was published last year and totally passed me by for some reason. Denise Mina's 'Three Fires' like her earlier 'Rizzio' is based on a historical figure, this time the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, the man who almost single-handedly killed the Renaissance in Florence.

He turned it from a vibrant, tolerant, messy, art- and ideas-filled city into a grey, puritan theocracy.

What Mina does so well here is to make a reader have a bit of sympathy at times for one of the nastier figures of history. She traces an interesting family tree of Savonarola's influence through to the modern day and links the two eras in the way she tells the story.

Sparks from his fires still burn.
The world is the aftermath of Girolamo Savonarola.

Beautifully written, this little novella is a fascinating look at a life of a person who can only see the world in absolutes.

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
-- 'The Peace of Wild Things' by Wendell Berry

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Pol Ledent)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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My reading year just got better--Olga Tokarczuk's The Empusium will be out in September and, no surprise, this book sounds like she's doing something different yet again--with a nod to Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain it will also have elements of horror and her signature humor and exploration of ideas. Oooh!
@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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It is a serious thing, nothing.
The notion confounds the mind
As wind confounds the sea.
A woman fixes words to a miracle,
A man describes himself to God.
The syllables amount to something,
But they are nothing to speak of.
-- 'To Speak of Nothing' by N. Scott Momaday

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Sisa Jasper)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"A line of poetry is a kind of invisible shield, a moment of charged silence, a bit of awe, that we carry from one human body to another that we transport by means of language."

Poet Ilya Kaminsky writes about a friend of his in Kyiv, Ukraine reading Dante's 'Inferno' as the city was being bombed.
@bookstodon

(Art credit: Jason Sisino)

https://www.asymptotejournal.com/special-feature/reading-dante-in-ukraine-ilya-kaminsky/

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"New York didn’t set out to charm you. It was like God that way. You had to bring a lot of the enthusiasm yourself." -- from 'The Great Mistake' by Jonathan Lee

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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The wind was a care-free soul
That broke the chains of earth,
And strode for a moment across the land
With the wild halloo of his mirth.
He little cared that he ripped up trees,
That houses fell at his hand,
That his step broke calm on the breast of seas,
That his feet stirred clouds of sand.

But when he had had his little joke,
Had shouted and laughed and sung,
When the trees were scarred, their branches broke,
And their foliage aching hung,
He crept to his cave with a stealthy tread,
With rain-filled eyes and low-bowed head.
-- 'Wind' by Gwendolyn Bennett

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Caleb Hamm)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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Jonathan Lee's 'The Great Mistake' is a beautifully written novel based on the life and strange death of Andrew Haswell Green on Friday the 13th in November1903.

What I found fascinating was the peek into the NYC of the time and the extraordinary impact Green had in the shaping of the city.

He was a moving force in the creation of Central Park, the Met Museum, the Natural History Museum, the NY public library system, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge among other things.

Told from several viewpoints including Green's, the story moves back and forth through his life, but Green remains opaque, even to himself.
@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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All those years
I had only to say
Yes,
But I couldn’t.

Finally, I said Maybe,
But even then
I was filled with dread.

I wanted to step carefully.
I didn’t want to leap.

What if the beloved
Didn’t catch me?
What if the world
Disappeared beneath my feet?
-- Gregory Orr from 'How Beautiful the Beloved'
@bookstodon

(Art credit: Jacquie Gouvela)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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The long list for my favorite literary prize has been released; the seventy books have been nominated by public libraries around the world and the shortlist will be out towards the end of March, but it's the long list where I find interesting titles I haven't come across before.

@bookstodon

https://dublinliteraryaward.ie/the-library/prize-years/2024/

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"I accepted this gratifying compliment in the spirit in which it was offered, firmly believing that I shall be found, sooner or later, to have thoroughly deserved it." -- from the Wilke Collins short story 'The Biter Bit'

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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I love that, “the Pacific Slope,” I see
snowtiger cloudy granite of the Sierras
and silver scree of the Cascades, vast sweeps
and westward slidings down to wild oats and oaks
in valleys, cresting to the Coast Range then
tangled in ceanothus and salal, and last
fast falling off cliff, down dune, slopes
sweet in fog and sunlight to the sea.
-- Ursula K. Le Guin's 'The Pacific Slope' from Going Out With Peacocks

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Link Jackson)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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Most of my life was spent
building a bridge out over the sea
though the sea was too wide.
I’m proud of the bridge
hanging in the pure sea air. Machado
came for a visit and we sat on the
end of the bridge, which was his idea.

Now that I’m old the work goes slowly.
Ever nearer death, I like it out here
high above the sea bundled
up for the arctic storms of late fall,
the resounding crash and moan of the sea,
the hundred-foot depth of the green troughs.
Sometimes the sea roars and howls like
the animal it is, a continent wide and alive.
What beauty in this the darkest music
over which you can hear the lightest music of human
behavior, the tender connection between men and galaxies.
—Jim Harrison's Bridge from ‘Dead Man’s Float’

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Sven Pfrommer)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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My late December reading was mostly on the lighter side with a few art books added in, and some dipping into the wonderful Library of America edition of Ursula K. Le Guin's Collected Poems.

A very enjoyable time was had listening to the the last two books in Marthe Jocelyn's quartet of middle-grade mysteries about Aggie Morton and her Belgian friend, Hector Perot. Fans of Agatha Christie of any age will appreciate these clever and fun stories, which include a generous measure of winks to knowledgeable Christie readers. (The cover below shows the first book in the little series.)

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"From that time forth he believed that the wise man is one who never sets himself apart from other living things, whether they have speech or not, and in later years he strove long to learn what can be learned, in silence, from the eyes of animals, the flight of birds, the great slow gestures of trees." -- from 'A Wizard of Earthsea' by Ursula K. Le Guin

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
@JD_Cunningham@sunny.garden avatar

The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.

Time is a wealth of change,
but the clock in its parody makes it mere change and no wealth.

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time
like dew on the tip of a leaf.
-- Rabindranath Tagore

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Laura Marshall)

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
@JD_Cunningham@sunny.garden avatar

Book serendipity at work - after recently reading a couple of books about the art and a Florentine bookseller of the Renaissance, two more books about the time, Meredith Kay's, and now there's 'Sofonisba, Portraits of the Soul' by Chiara Montani, another fascinating sounding book to add to my wishlist. Daily Art Magazine has a piece on it here: https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/book-review-sofonisba-portraits-of-the-soul/

@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
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"Why bother with all the history books, when their authors--being men who are envious of women's worthy deeds--do not talk about women's noble actions, but instead consign them to silence?" -- Lucrezia Marinella in 1601

Meredith K. Ray's new book, 'Twenty-Five Women Who Shaped the Italian Renaissance', is a book I'd like to have the chance to read but the cost of the hardcover is eye-watering although the paperback is more reasonable. It looks like a particularly interesting addition to literature of that time and place.
@bookstodon

JD_Cunningham , to bookstodon group
@JD_Cunningham@sunny.garden avatar

He eats rain
and the shared light
of a single star.

The far-rooted wind
blesses and terrifies him
in turn.

His slow fire burns greener
than a great cat’s eye
Blind as the sky,
he never sleeps
but his dreams
can make it snow.
— 'Fir' by T.E. Jay from ‘River Dogs’

@bookstodon

(Art credit: Joanna Szmerdt)

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