To: Ash
From: Crecente
Re: Are You Canadian? Are You Familiar with "Moe"?

As I know you know, I spend a healthy chunk of my annual vacation reading, reading voraciously. I love books, but always find myself unable to read during the rest of the year due to time constraints. So I spend the three weeks or so consuming books at a startling pace.

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I whipped through two Dan Brown books and started a Gregory Maguire book in my first partial week on vacation, but then I picked up Garden, Ashes. The book is lyrical, poetic. It's the sort of novel that fully consumes my attention and envelopes me. When I come upon writing like this I slam on the brakes, trying to slow down my speed reading to better appreciate the work. But I often find myself half way through a book before I am able to come to a full stop - as it were. It always annoys me when that happens, and it almost always does.

Books like Garden, Ashes are meant to be nibbled, swirled around the brain like an aged cheese or vintage wine, not gulped. But as with good food an good drink, I find it hard to stop and savor good writing at a more lasting pace.

You should give it a try, but slowly. It's funny. After reading it, loving, I discovered that the book's Yugoslavian writer, Danilo Kis, was a devotee of one of my all-time favorite writers: Jorge Louis Borges.

Oh well, on to The New Life.

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