Apologies for abstaining from blogging this past week. We took a family vacation to the magical Pacific Northwest. There’s not a lot I can say about this part of the U.S. that hasn’t been said, sung, immortalized in poetry, nitpicked over and filmed, but I’ll add my own thoughts anyway!
The PNW is like rediscovering a fairytale that was wedged between two pages in a book you love. It’s new and familiar, distant and hidden. In Portland, Bluestar Donuts were ambrosia and the farmer’s market was a compressed Shire. The air smelled like salt and roses and coffee. We spent time hiking around Multnomah Falls, exploring Hood River and cowering before the Columbia River Gorge. After that, we traveled to Seattle. I must confess I was less fond of Seattle, but I attribute this to a recurring knee injury which makes me hiss at steep inclines and Seattle is a scooped out city.
All of this got me in the mood for reading, and writing! It was a great time to rest my fingers and just *stare* and *think* and give myself the kind of breathing room that neuroticism doesn’t usually permit. While traveling, I read and thought of two great books that I highly recommend. They’re both very PNW-y in their own right and if you haven’t visited, these books will capture those moods perfectly:
1. UPROOTED by Naomi Novik. There has been so much hype about this and still this book blew my mind. I described it to a friend as a mix of Diana Wynne Jones’ HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE meets the humor of Terry Pratchett and the prickly love interests of My Fair Lady.
2. ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS by Sarah McCarry. This book will not be what you thought it was. Even when you read the jacket, the reviews, the thousands of awards this book has swept up and even the first chapter. This is unlike anything I’ve read. It’s intended to skewer your heart and you must let it.