These warm summer days leading up to my maternity leave see me doing much less than usual. I’ve got a few work projects to wrap up before Sept 1, but I am otherwise taking it very easy. This does mean I am reading quite a bit, but I haven’t been able to drum up much energy for long, lengthy reviews. I feel quite guilty about this because I’ve recently read some excellent books.

I finished Graham Swift’s Waterland and Gabriel Josipovici’s Goldberg: Variations – both wonderful, both intricate and complex narratives. For a change of style, I read Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meat which was quite funny in places, but also serious and one of the best representations of Japanese and Japanese-American culture I’ve read in a long time.

For work I’m enjoying a slim volume of essays by Jacques Chessex called Ecrits sur Ramuz as well as a collection of writings about Ramuz by his friends and colleagues called Ramuz vu par ses amis. Both are excellent and giving me much to think about as I work through my translation. Not to mention I’ve been dipping into Ramuz’s journals a little bit every day and becoming increasingly impressed with his extemporaneous writing style. He began his journals when he was seventeen and right away they show what a conscientious thinker and writer he would soon become.

And finally, today, I’m happily starting Part III of Jeannette Winterson’s The Passion and thoroughly entranced with her writing.