I continue to join in the The Year in Books hosted by Circle of Pine Trees and my book of the month for April was Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott. Ghostwalk tells the story of Elizabeth Vogelsang,who is found drowned, clutching a glass prism in her hand. She had been writing a book about Isaac Newton's involvement with alchemy but the final chapters are missing. Her son Cameron asks his former lover, Lydia Brooke, to ghostwrite the missing final chapters of his mother's book and Lydia agrees and moves into Elizabeth's Cambridge home. As the story evolves, Lydia discovers a dangerous conspiracy involving ghosts of the 17th century that become ensnared with twenty first century Cambridge..
When I started the book I was really enjoying it but half way through I got lost in all the conspiracy theories and tales of ghosts lurking in the shadows. By the end I wasn't sure if I'd enjoyed it or not... but I think I did. And I did enjoy the Cambridge links and found about new places... such as The Leper Chapel. which I'd not even heard of before.
Still in April, I read another novel The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty... one of those picked up on a whim at half price, when browsing through Waterstones. It tells the story of Cecilia Fitzpatrick who discovers a letter in the attic, written by her husband, with the intsructions that it is only to be opened in the event of his death. What follows is a carefully woven tale of various lives and it was a real page turner. It was also very witty with that wonderful punchy brand of Australian humour. I really enjoyed it.
I've also been dipping into some non-fiction during April. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp was given to me by my friend Marian and contains plenty of good advice that Marian has written about here. It was after conversations with Marian that I realised that my interest in fashion and dress had largely been ignored recently and so I'm re-reading The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant which is a fascinating study into our relationship with what we wear.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell has also grabbed my interest. Malcolm analyses that point or moment when an idea or trend crosses a threshold and suddenly goes viral. I've often wondered how one person's blog or Facebook page can go from a few hundred followers to thousands and although I acknowledge it cannot do this without good content, there does seem something random about how it happens. Much as I love making art I'm also fascinated with the process of marketing it and making contacts and spreading the word. So speaking of which... if you would like to "like" my Facebook page... there's a button on the sidebar!
So in a rather long winded way I've come to my book for May which is The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. It tells the fictional story of Harrison Shepherd, a writer who spent time working in the household of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. This one is a re-read. When I first read it a few years ago it made such an impression on me that it inspired a piece of work. My book of lace, Lacuna, filled with hidden stories. You can read about it here.
As I read The Lacuna again, I'm loving it just as much and it is inspiring me all over again.
But this time, I want to get back to my work on Frida Kahlo.
What are you reading and what is inspiring you this month?