Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Novel Of Africa & History Of Whaling Top Weekend Reading List

This weekend I’ll be reading Doris Lessing’s novel The Grass Is Singing and, also, a history of whaling called Leviathan by Eric Jay Dolin.

The Grass Is Singing is written by a woman who spent her younger years in the former Rhodesia. (Now Zimbabwe) The book, published in 1950, is set in apartheid South Africa.

It tells the story of the interactions between a white farmer’s wife and a black servant on the farm. 

Imagine writing something people are still reading nearly 60 years later. How many bloggers will ever be able to say that?

I’ve just begun Leviathan. However, I’ve already learned that the explorer Henry Hudson played a large part in starting the British whaling business.

Looking for the Northwest Passage in the early 1600’s, Hudson encountered the bowhead whale. Hudson never found a shortcut to the east, but he did find a whale worth killing for its oil and other products.

I just finished the historical novel Augustus by John Williams. This was the 1973 National Book Award winner for fiction. It is the story of both the rise to power and the long rule of the first Roman emperor.

The story is told by the use of imagined letters between notable and not so-notable figures of the time. I was at first turned off by the format, but I was won over quickly.   

June 29, 2007 - Posted by | Books, Sea Life

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