Wednesday, September 22, 2021

In The Middle of Nowhere

 That’s where I am. It’s 20 miles to the nearest town and phone service is iffy. But that’s all good if you’re Up North…in Wisconsin, that is. For the few of you who know Wisconsin, I’m between Lac de Flambeau and Park Falls. It took hours to find a cabin that was both in the woods and on a lake. This is what we found:

We’ve enjoyed our getaway: kayaking, walking, and, of course Keith has been biking. And I’ve been reading. On the first day alone, I zipped through Force of Nature, the second novel in an Australian series. She’s the rare mystery writer who writes as well as she plots. The characters are complex and believable. I could not put it down!

Then I switched gears entirely and turned to literary fiction.

I am on page 70 but I can’t explain this book. The back cover describes it as a blend of fact and fiction. It doesn’t seem to have a plot but it’s inexplicably mesmerizing. Akhtar is the American-born son of Pakistani immigrant parents and he provides an incisive picture of what that is like, of the generational conflicts, his mother’s longing for Pakistan, and his father’s transformation into an American. So far I’m liking it.

I read some popular fiction this summer, and some of it was actually good. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz does indeed have some surprising plot turns. The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian is a tightly written thriller that kept me at the edge of my seat. In addition to being a good story, it describes the hectic life of these folks who give us juice and pretzels in the air. I loved Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny. Focusing on a man,his current wife, and his first wife, it smartly depicts the perils and satisfaction of fractured families.

Then there are the ones I didn’t much like. I finished Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. It’s a decent beach read but a predictable tale of yet another dysfunctional family. I am perplexed by the rave reviews garnered by Who Is Maud Dixon. The plot is so promising—an editorial assistant pretends to be a famous author after that author dies—but the writing is clunky and unconvincing. I couldn’t finish this one.

Reading is one of the joys of retirement,



16 comments:

  1. We have a place in Tomahawk on Lake Mohawkson. I can imagine where you are. So pretty up there. And the colors are already changing. Enjoy your stay. Sounds fun.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cabin in the woods looks wonderful--enjoy your time and breathe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Between your description and your sketch, I want to join you in Northern Wisconsin! I remember when we were in Madison and we loved it. At the time we had relatives living there. We take off Sunday for New England. We will be in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for a few days and the folks we are meeting there tell us it is supposed to be peak leaf peeping next week!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your get-away cabin sounds fabulous. Being able to kick back and read to ones heart content is also idyllic.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Enjoy your time away and soak in the peace of the woods. Your sketch is lovely and enjoy your reading!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your cabin sketch and all the wonderful up-northness! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the books you are reading. I never know what to do with my Audible credits. I am in a real book hole right now. I just can't seem to find anything to settle down with.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Northern Wisconsin is beautiful, especially this time of year. I bet you found a great place to read beside the lake.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm off to find those Australian books as well as Standard Deviation (I'm pretty sure I have that one already). I really liked Who is Maud Dixon but I would agree it was a bit clunky. Loved The Plot. Love your cabin picture!

    ReplyDelete
  9. being in the middle of nowhere sounds heavenly except for spotty internet cell phone service, gulp. Looks like you are having a great time!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Enjoy your Up North time! It looks like you've found the most perfect - and charming! - little cabin. (And I loved Homeland Elegies, although it is . . . most definitely hard to describe.) :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Reading during the day is one of the joys of retirement. That and being able to do a little traveling in September or whenever you want!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love northern Wisconsin and spent many summers as a camp counselor at a GS camp near Eagle River. (BTW, they used to have great chocolate sundaes in ER!) I don't believe the Milw. council owns it any more though. Love that sketch of yours. Now to check out your books.. have you read American Dirt?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am so happy that you are UP NORTH. I know exactly the area you are staying in. I love THe fudge upnorth. I love the loons. I love the beautiful clear lakes. Steam coming off the lakes in the morning. Happy Reading and vacation

    ReplyDelete
  14. The cabin looks amazing - it sounds as though you are having a wonderful time - enjoy!

    ReplyDelete