Sunday, August 9, 2015

June Reading and Watching

I've gotten behind in posting what I've read.  For some reason I thought I had done a post for June, but now I realize I never pushed "publish".  In June I finished only three books:

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.   Lila has gone missing but Elena is not about to let her disappear without a trace.  Instead she embarks on this memoir which takes the relationship between the two women from the time they were small girls until they are about sixteen.  Lila isn't a particularly nice friend. She isn't particularly lucky in life but she is smart.  Elena constantly feels inferior and tries to live up to Lila.  It's a story that kept my interest and I enjoyed it.  But I don't really see why the critics find her writing so compelling.

A Dead Man in Trieste by Michael Pearce.   I'm not sure where I heard of Michael Pearce or why I decided to try this book.  Maybe because I didn't really know where Trieste is and wanted to.  The style is very old fashioned and the story is not particularly complicated.  But he did paint a vivid picture of Trieste and the Balkins in the early 1900's. 

Citizen: an American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.  The winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry, this isn't your typical book of poetry.  Most of it, in fact, isn't poetry in the traditional sense.  Her theme is the lived life of a black woman, of feeling invisible, or not belonging even in relationships with white friends.  I appreciated the perspective but as a work of literature it didn't speak to me.

The reason I didn't finish many books in June is that I was spending a lot of time at the theatre:

Antony and Cleopatra at St. Louis Shakespeare in the Park

The Barber of Seville at Opera Theatre of St. Louis

La Rondine at Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Richard the Lionheart at Opera Theatre of St. Louis

 Emmeline at Opera Theatre of St. Louis

My Fair Lady at the Muny