Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Wonderful Book

Day 192 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project and my friend Kim is reading The Used World, by Haven Kimmel, I think because she has liked Kimmel before--The Solace of Leaving Early, a novel, and A Girl Named Zippy, a memoir. Everything is set in small-town Indiana.

Kim says it is a wonderful book. That was the actual subject line of her email. A wonderful book.

She is reading it at the beach, or was when she sent the email, from her handy laptop: "I'm reading The Used World by Haven Kimmel this vacation. It's great. The story involves 3 women who work together at a used furniture place. The story takes place in Jordan, Indiana, and Amos Townsend, the minister from The Solace of Leaving Early, is a minor (so far) character in the book, so some little bit of overlap with that book. I'm about halfway through. You would definitely dig this book, too. If you're looking for something to read. Or blog about. I got it from the library so you could check it out after I'm done (soon) if you don't have a copy at Babbitt's for cheap."

We don't have a copy cheap, alas, at Babbitt's--I looked--and no doubt Kim only read the library copy in the motel room, not actually at the beach, with sand and sunscreen, and red-flagged or yellow-flagged huge dangerous or semi-dangerous waves and small children to run after and save. With a handy laptop.

Used furniture! Meanwhile, I am reading our next book group book, The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman, and we are back to the used and rare cookbooks! And what's got to be a dark turn in the plot. And some twists in the love stories...

Speaking of love, the Lockward chocolate of the day, from What Feeds Us, is witty, clever, fun--and a ghazal--"Love Test: A Ghazal." The ghazal is a Persian poetic form with a repeating rhyme on the second line of every two-line stanza (or couplet)--a sort of perfect form for its original theme and the meaning of the word ghazal: "the talk of boys and girls." Ghazals were about flirtation, love, and drinking!

I have heard two main pronunciations of ghazal--gah ZAHL and GUZ zle. The first is more graceful; the second, more drunken!

Hafiz and Rumi were famous for their ghazals, and Diane Lockward has a lot of fun with hers! One fun aspect of the ghazal is that the poet incorporates his/her own name in the last line. Yep, she does it!


SarahJane said...

Hi Kathleen,
Living on my solitary English island, I've never heard "ghazal" pronounced, although I understand it's supposed to be GUZ-zle. I'd prefer the other way, really, and that's how I pronounce it in my head.
I'm reading a wonderful book, too! "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell. Wow - I know it's on your list, and I think you'll love it.

Kathleen said...

Yes, and I've heard that the GUZ-zle pronunciation might also have that little throaty catch at the start, a sort of HKHGUZ-zle sound.

But gah-ZAHL (laid out in one book I have on forms) is more like "gazelle"!

Yes, I lust after Cloud Atlas!