The Golden Calf

83  “The sun was shining through sparse clouds, and the tops of waves glittered.  Seagulls hovered near the boat’s hull, perhaps in the hopes that it was a fishing boat…a light breeze drifted through the crown of birch trees, giving off the scent of summer despite the fact that one or two golden leaves had already appeared.”

Early August is a time to remind myself that it is still summer.  Yes, there is the “scent,” of autumn and “despite a few golden leaves” from the black walnut trees surrounding our house, a few weeks remain. Morning mugs of café au lait, are shared with the screeches of bluejays, wrens, American robins. All the while the household cats carelessly strut to and fro.  The sky is “Fra Angelico blue” as Sarton coined it in her journal entries; the breeze, slight.  This is a singular summer –  few insects, cool temperatures, and lush vegetation.  One of calm.

Having made a ridiculous “all or nothing” rule to pursue more intellectual reading for this summer, I was to have “given up” my usual fare of detective stories in August in lieu of only classics. I fail, even as I write. A dear friend loaded me down with her favorite titles after our tête-à-tête on the value of mystery novels, and so I am now thoroughly delighting in Helene Tursten’s The Golden Calf. Translated from Swedish, she & Wideburg bring the Nordic landscape, culture, and character alive for this homebody.

Would this not be a wonderful summer assignment for my students?

  • Choose one friend.
  • Discuss a shared love of genre in books.
  • Each of you recommends at least six titles for your summer reading.
  • Read and enjoy!

A serious consideration for this one librarian.

___________________________________________________________

Sarton, May. Journal Of a Solitude. New York: Norton, 1973. Print.

Tursten, Helene, and Laura A. Wideburg. The Golden Calf. New York: SoHo Press, 2013. Print.

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