Golden Lotus by Colette Fu

April 2024 Journal

posted in: Personal Essay | 0

April started with a rare earthquake and a rare eclipse.

On the first Friday of April, there was a 4.8 magnitude earthquake near Lebanon, NJ, which is about 60 miles north of us. Holly and I were working from home and felt our apartment shake for a couple seconds. It was mild, and we didn’t experience any damage, but it was certainly a strange sensation since earthquakes are quite infrequent around here. Holly’s from Southern California so she has felt a variety of earthquakes before.

That was followed by an eclipse on Monday. We knew that we would be in the path of the eclipse but didn’t think much about it ahead of time. At the last minute, we tried getting some eclipse glasses but were unable to do so. It ended up being partly cloudy around here so it seems like we didn’t miss much. It got a little dark in the afternoon, but not as dark as I expected.

The weather for most of the month was pretty nice, and we got out for some walks, although I didn’t take a lot of photos. Our big walk was to The Woodlands, which I already posted about.

April was a busy month with work which contributed to it feeling like April went by quickly. Near the middle of the month, I attended The Art of the Book Symposium which was held in the library where we work. It was part of the opening festivities for an exhibit by the same name.

Here is the description from the event:

The Art of the Book Symposium features innovative new research related to the books, manuscripts, artist books, and zines in the Special Collections Research Center of Temple University Libraries, especially revealed by the student curators during the process of researching the accompanying exhibition.

Some of the books from the exhibit were on display for the symposium. It was a good opportunity to take more photos with my new iPhone 15 Pro (I plan on writing more about my new iPhone sometime soon).

Books

In April, I read another Kindle book from their Amazon Prime First Reads program, When the World Goes Quiet by Gian Sardar. As a Prime member, I have the option to get 1 (and sometimes 2) free Kindle books. I don’t always take advantage of this offer since the free books don’t always appeal. Sardar’s book is about an aspiring artist living in Belgium during the final days of World War I which sounded promising.

I usually wait until later in the month to decide about a book after there are some reviews. When the World Goes Quiet had plenty of positive reviews so I selected it and generally liked it. The plot, which involved the aforementioned artist falling for a German soldier, was effective enough. The main reasons I didn’t like the book more were that it lacked a lot of telling details to convince the reader when and where it was set and that Sardar’s language and dialog sounded very modern which also undermined my getting immersed in the tale.

A friend sent me a copy of Julius Shulman’s Architecture and Its Photography. I wasn’t familiar with Shulman and was intrigued since a lot of his architectural photos were taken in and around Los Angeles. As an occasional visitor to Southern California, I was particularly interested in those parts of the book. Shulman provides great historical background, and if you aren’t sure if he’s an important architectural photographer, don’t worry, he’ll tell you.

The other book I read in April was Sherwood Anderson’s Certain Things Last which I bought at our local used book store. I had read this collection of short stories before a long time ago as well as the more famous Winesburg, Ohio and was briefly quite into Anderson. This collection includes a mix of previously published stores and unpublished ones.

As always with a collection, some stories were better than others. Among my favorites were Certain Things Last, I Want to Know Why, The Egg, I’m a Fool, An Ohio Pagan, Death in the Woods, The Return, There She Is–She Is Taking Her Bath, Brother Death, Mrs. Wife, For What?, and The Masterpiece.

Books Read in 2024

So far, I have read 11 books in 2024:


Being and Formulating Posts in 2024

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