As of Friday evening, we have put 2500 miles between us and The Twin Cities. And that doesn’t include the 110-mile ferry ride we took today from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Port aux Basque, Newfoundland.
You may be wondering how we keep ourselves occupied for so many hours in the car. We all like to read, so when we’re not enjoying the scenery, we usually have our noses in books. Here’s our “road trip reading list:”
I am reading The Iambics of Newfoundland: Notes from an Unknown Shore, by Robert Finch. From the Amazon blurb:
“In these evocative sketches, stories and essays, nature writer Robert Finch explores the people, geography and wildlife of this remote but lovely corner of Canada. Beloved nature writer Robert Finch spent the greater part of a decade travelling around Newfoundland, the remote island “at the edge of America”. Between the icy cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean, the lush valleys and barren drifts, he collected intimate stories of birds, moose and foxes – and of the people who share their space. In detailed essays, he evokes a landscape of raw beauty.”
Next up is Standing Into Danger, by Cassie Brown. From Amazon:
“In the snowy predawn of February 18, 1942, a convoy of three American ships zigzagged up the North Atlantic toward Newfoundland, heading for one of the worst disasters in naval history. The ships were under radio silence to protect their position from the threat of German U-boats. A storm was raging, visibility was zero, and the currents had turned wildly unpredictable. With only unreliable soundings to guide them across the jagged ocean floor, all three vessels ran aground on the sheer rock coast of Newfoundland.”
Then…The Colony of Unrequited Dreams: A Novel, by Wayne Johnson. From Amazon:
“A mystery and a love story spanning five decades, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is an epic portrait of passion and ambition, set against the beautiful, brutal landscape of Newfoundland. In this widely acclaimed novel, Johnston has created two of the most memorable characters in recent fiction: Joey Smallwood, who claws his way up from poverty to become New Foundland’s first premier; and Sheilagh Fielding, who renounces her father’s wealth to become a popular columnist and writer, a gifted satirist who casts a haunting shadow on Smallwood’s life and career.”
My brother-in-law is reading the novel The Shipping News, by Annie Prioux. From Amazon:
“Quoyle, a third-rate newspaper hack, with a “head shaped like a crenshaw, no neck, reddish hair…features as bunched as kissed fingertips,” is wrenched violently out of his workaday life when his two-timing wife meets her just desserts. An aunt convinces Quoyle and his two emotionally disturbed daughters to return with her to the starkly beautiful coastal landscape of their ancestral home in Newfoundland. Here, on desolate Quoyle’s Point, in a house empty except for a few mementos of the family’s unsavory past, the battered members of three generations try to cobble up new lives.”
My sister is reading Orphan #8: A Novel, by Kim van Alkemade. From Amazon:
“In this stunning new historical novel inspired by true events, Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage years before.”
And finally, my mom is working her way through The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown. From Amazon:
“For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.”
We all put our books down this afternoon as the ferry pulled into Port aux Basque so we could get our first glimpse of Newfoundland.
It was a great ferry, except for the fact the air conditioner was broken and today was one of the hottest days they’ve had in these parts all summer.