Any devoted fan of Woolf’s will already be familiar with her fondness for domestic spaces. Her characters meditate on the meaning of life as they arrange the roses in a crystal vase or notice how the sunlight falls upon the pattern in the carpet. For them, the house is a living, breathing thing. A companion for their deepest thoughts.
The death of the book has been greatly exaggerated. Proof positive is Rizzoli’s A Booklover’s Guide to New York, written by Cleo Le-Tan and illustrated by her father, Pierre Le-Tan. Cleo, who was raised in New York, Paris and London, is a literary newcomer but definitely adept at the writing game.
Haruki Murakami said, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you will only think what everyone else is thinking.” So here’s a list of unusual books to curl up with as the weather changes — from Gothic tales for dark and stormy nights and novels set in strange, romantic places.
For a surreal reconstruction of an almost unbearable home life after the revolution, nothing beats the tales of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, one of Russia’s finest living writers. In “The Story of a Painter” an artist loses his Moscow apartment to swindler who then resells it to another family.
No one captures America’s transition from homesteading to rootlessness better than the heartland writer Marilynne Robinson. In her luminous novel, Housekeeping, a family’s sense of place evaporates in just three generations. Are some of us natural nesters and others born vagabonds?