Still Life

February 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm (Reviews) (, , , )

Brian KiteleyTitle: Still Life With Insects

Author: Brian Kiteley

Publisher: Ticknor & Fields

Genre: Fiction

Length: 114 pages

“The narrator in this lovely novel may have set some kind of record for the longest, sweetest, fastest life ever lived.  There are books twice as long as this one that do not tell us half as much about life’s wonder.” – Rick Bass

The thoughts I shared on Goodreads:

1. There are more reviews of this book under a misspelling of the author’s name. I have a first edition hardback from 1989 and wanted to honor the by line with the spelling that matched my book. So no, I did not read the e-book, but I do recommend purchasing it if you have an ereader.

2. I love his style. I will re-read this book because I feel like I should think it is amazing, but at this point in time with my first reading, I just liked it a lot. I think my amazement will come with another read through.

3. Something about the story Kiteley chose to tell reminds me of John Banville’s The Sea. The Sea won a Man Booker Prize and Banville is incredible. This should tell you something about Kiteley that (though an great writer in his own right) I will be filing him away on the same side of my brain.

Things I wanted to share here:

1. I’m really pleased with my first edition hardback.  It was purchased for me as a gift by the wonderful Miss Golightly who I took shopping at Good Books in the Woods.  I thought it was shockingly appropriate that they had so many first editions of Still Life With Insects, given the woodsy vibe of the whole store.

2. I look forward to collecting more of Kiteley’s work and I’d love to take a creative writing class under his teaching.  I’ve been an aspiring novelist my whole life.  I have my own novella currently out and a publisher wanting my next pieces.  I’ve never taken a creative writing class and given the flaws in my novella, I think I would benefit from one greatly.

3.  I’d love to re-read this book, as I stated in my Goodreads notation, but I’d love to read it for a book club.  I think it would be well served in a group discussion among friends.

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Bug Days

January 30, 2014 at 8:02 pm (Education) (, , , , , , , , , )

Homeschooling and reading go hand in hand.  I don’t know how people who claim to not be readers attempt homeschooling.  I don’t know how people can attempt to live life not being readers actually.

That being said, I read maybe a little *too* much in the grand scheme of things.  And I’ll find any connections between something I can do while going over something my preschooler can do.

Like bugs and a Brian Kiteley novel.


So while I’m reading,  “These beetles secrete a chemical, cantharidin, which blisters most skin.”

Kiddo is doing this:


When I read, “The beetles I caught today had lost their way.  Several hundred Cow Dung Beetles in flight. Miles and miles of food, but not the sort they can digest.”

Kiddo has this action going:


Still Life With Insects isn’t as much about bugs as it might seem, but at least when Kiddo looks up from her bug studies, there’s an apparent theme in the house while I devour more literature.

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A Tidbit from Miss Golightly

January 27, 2014 at 1:48 am (Guest Blogger) (, , , , , )

A Thoreau quote is a good way to start a novel. Also, sometimes it’s good to choose a book based on its cover, and it’s nearly always good to have coffee and chocolate while reading. (at Cultivar Coffee & Tea Co.)

– Miss Golightly

Brian Kiteley

I will be joining Miss Golightly in reading this book this week.  You can join us too and discuss later! – Anakalian Whims

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