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Literary Sara

What I've been reading on the trolley. 

Currently reading

Salt Fish Girl: A Novel
Larissa Lai
A Place of Greater Safety
Hilary Mantel
Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career
Elizabeth Hyde Stevens
Moby Dick: or, the White Whale
Herman Melville

The Historian

The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova Bought this book for $1 because it rang a bell--I thought I had heard of it before--and it sounded intriguing. Now I'm not sure why I hadn't heard MORE about it, particularly since the epilogue gives a pretty nice shout-out to Philadelphia and our museums. Even if I hadn't enjoyed the rest of the book, I would have been won over by compliments to the PMA and the Rosenbach and a little affectionate snark about our architectual oddities.But I did enjoy the rest of the book, so much so that I completely gave myself over for a few days to paranoid imaginings of movements in the shadows and eerie coincidences. Vampire lore is not really an interest of mine, but I was willing to go with it--largely due to the loving, detailed descriptions of bustling European metropoli, villages in the densely wooded Balkans, and old books bound with velvet, jewels, gilding. The prose is lush. Even aspects of the storytelling that I would consider misteps seemed forgivable in the author's attentive, affectionate hands: the whole epistlary structure is not really credible, but hey, historians are obsessed with primary sources; some of the close escapes were dubious, but hey, the author loves her characters and understandably shies away from subjecting them to the treatment that made Vlad the Impaler infamous. At times the characters--mostly academically trained historians--made me queasy with their scholarly obsessiveness. . . but hey, being an academic IS a little like being a vampire, isn't it? Actually a lot like being a vampire. Okay, I'm uncomfortable now.I'd be happy to lend this one out; it was a pleasure, albeit a dense and slowly unfolding one.