Books abound

Hit and Miss #345


It’s been a neat week. We hosted my former roommate as she moves back to Ottawa (yay, cool people in Ottawa!)—it was nice to have someone else around, the idle conversation that comes up. And, always exciting to welcome someone to a city!

On Tuesday night, T and I enjoyed some Moo Shu ice cream and then went to hear Jane Philpott in conversation with Paul Wells on the launch of her new book, Health for All. I’ve long, long admired Philpott (anyone who resigns on principle, in solidarity with a colleague, gets extra points in my book), and this was a great conversation (to eventually be an episode of The Paul Wells Show, wherever you get your podcasts). It was a great crowd, with genuinely thoughtful questions that advanced the conversation, instead of retreading ground already spoken to. We’re lucky to have the Ottawa International Writers Festival in town—and luckier still, as a country, to have Jane Philpott.

Today, I finished reading Hild for a book club with friends (finished it just after the book club, but so it goes!!). The plot itself wasn’t that fascinating to me, but the portrait of seventh-century Britain was exquisite. Hild is a seer, someone who predicts or foretells. “Seer” conjures the idea that these predictions are grounded in myth and mysticism, interpreting omens and so on. Hild certainly weaves such a mystique about herself, but I think, maybe more accurately, it can describe someone who notices, gathering intelligence and piecing together a likely story from it. Nicola Griffith set out to fill in the blanks of some actual historical figures by deeply researching the culture and practices of the time, with particular attention to the role of women—a great read.

Briefly, some links!

All the best for the week ahead!