Still no chicks... we are all beginning to wonder if they will hatch. We aren't completely despairing yet, because everything I've read says that Bobwhite quails can take several days past the official date to make an appearance.
What I really wanted to share with you today was the new (to me) author that I've found.
Am I the only one who has to look at the name of every book if the shelf the books happen to be on is labelled 'free'? A month or so ago, I was in the city building and there happened to be a free book shelf there in the hallway. So I stopped. One book, called The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig, looked interesting, though this was based solely on the cover and an extremely cursory examination of the back. But heck, it was free, so worth a chance.
I was so happy that I took that chance. The Whistling Season is about a one room schoolhouse in western Montana around 1909. It turned out to be incredibly engaging and extremely well-written. It was one of those books you plow through to find out how it ends, while at the same time wanting to read slower to put off it ending. Now I want to go to Montana.
It turns out that most of Ivan Doig's books are set there. Not content to stop at just one, I am now reading English Creek. Also set in Montana, though I think further west, closer to the Rockies. It also takes place at the beginning of the 1940's, so set a little later than The Whistling Season.
I'm enjoying it so far. How can one not enjoy a book where you frequently come across writing such as this:
"No matter what time of day you approached it, the Hebner place looked as if demolition was being done and the demolishers were just now taking a smoke break. An armada of abandoned wagons and car chassis and decrepit farm equipment - even though Good Help Hebner farmed not so much as a vegetable garden - lay around and between the brown old buildings. A root cellar was caved in, a tool shop had only half a roof left, the barn looked distinctly teetery. In short, not much ever functioned on the Hebner place except gravity."
There is solid dry humor through everything I've read so far. I appreciate a good sense of humor and a writer who doesn't take himself too seriously.
So, if you're in need of something different to read, I highly recommend The Whistling Season. It's a perfect summer book, even if you aren't in Montana. Good story, likable characters, humor, good writing, oh, and an unexpected twist at the end.