Posts Tagged ‘Reva Sherrard’

  • Myth & Mind: Restless riders

    Oct 6, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard In 1127, the chronicler of Peterborough Abbey in central England recorded an alarming event. Both monks and local townsfolk “saw and heard a great number of huntsmen hunting. The huntsmen were black, huge, and hideous, and rode on black horses and on black he-goats, and their hounds were jet black, with eyes like saucers, and horrible. … [In] the night the monks heard them sounding and winding their horns.” (From the “Peterborough Chronicle,” translator G. N. Garmonsway) Witnesses reported this frightening spectacle for weeks; it began in midwinter and only ended at Easter. This was not a mortal cavalcade. The people of Peterborough had seen the Wild Hunt. These were troubled times for England, and Peterborough Abbey was no exception. Only 10 years previously, some drunken monks had been responsible for a fire that destroyed their library; seven years later a succession crisis would plunge the country into cataclysmic civil war, and fill the chronicle’s pages with accounts of tortures inflicted on the common people. The conquest of England by William of Normandy in 1066 had violently uprooted Saxon society, traumatized the island’s patchwork of Germanic and Celtic cultures, and threatened the language with extinction. Taxes to enforce the new order came directly from those who could spare the least. Starvation was rampant. This was the age that gave rise to the legends of Robin Hood, the

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: October 2017

    Oct 6, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “The Ice Virgin” By Hans Christian Andersen This recently translated novella by the master of the modern fairy tale contains passage after passage of exquisite beauty and psychological profundity that made me understand, for the first time, Andersen’s enduring place in world literature. A Swiss alpinist most at home in the mountain wilderness courts a sophisticated village girl, in defiance of the ferocious Ice Virgin who waits to claim him as her own. ~ Reva “The Outrun” By Amy Liptrot A woman returns to her childhood home in the windswept Orkney Islands to recover from devastating alcoholism in this sensuously vivid memoir. To save herself Liptrot throws herself into astronomy and cold-water swimming with compelling determination and openness to the chilling natural beauty of the remote islands. ~ Reva “Taco Loco” By Jonas Cramby A cookbook that takes you to the streets of Mexico and introduces the very best of their street foods: Tacos. Learn to make all the essentials and enjoy the beautiful pictures. ~ Susannah   “Pachinko” By Min Jin Lee An engrossing, emotional, and richly detailed story that spans both world wars. Follows four generations of Koreans on their journey and the struggles of surviving in exile from their homeland — it all feels painfully real. ~ Susannah   “Desert Solitaire” By Edward Abbey No other author I’ve found writes more eloquently about the

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: September 2017

    Sep 1, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “Plainwater” By Anne Carson Both intimate and dazzling, my favorite essay from this collection is “Part V: The Anthropology of Water,” where Carson takes the reader on a pilgrimage in search of water. ~Lacey “Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays” By Durga Chew-Bose With intense lyricism, Chew-Bose ruminates on moments of her childhood and what it means to be a creative woman today. Both memoir and cultural criticism, “Too Much and Not the Mood” is poignant, philosophical, and deeply personal. ~Lacey “Sophie Calle: True Stories” By Sophie Calle As a writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist, Sophie Calle presents something unique, absorbing, and honest with “True Stories.” ~Lacey “My Dyslexia” By Phillip Schultz Required reading for anyone who has ever been made to feel broken or unimportant due to a learning disability. Schultz will revive your belief in the beauty and extraordinary intelligence that come thanks to, rather than in spite of, learning disabilities. ~Bekah “Catching the Big Fish” By David Lynch Yes, it’s a book by the film director David Lynch. Sparse and minimal, Lynch explores the creative process by homing in on the idea of sparking the fire from within. Surrealism and Transcendental Meditation collide! ~Joe “Summerlong” By Dean Bakopoulos A novel of surburban love both marital and extramarital. Tender, funny, and irresistible. ~Michaela “A Visit from the Goon Squad” By Jennifer

  • Myth & Mind: Óðinn’s ecstatic fury

    Jul 25, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard I know that I hung the windswept tree upon, nights full nine, spear-wounded and given to Óðinn, self to myself on that tree that no one knows whence its roots run. With loaf they heartened me not nor with horn, I peered down, I took up the runes, screaming took them, I fell back from there. -Rúnatal On the brink of a terrible battle that would pit him against cherished friends and relatives, the Indian Prince Arjuna quailed in painful moral turmoil and threw down his bow, refusing to fight. His charioteer Krishna — the god Vishnu in flesh — counseled him to embrace his destiny as a warrior and to recognize the path fate had laid before him as something far greater than his own limited understanding. Transfigured by Krishna’s teaching, which comprises the “Bhagavad Gita” segment of the epic poem “Mahabharata,” Arjuna led his army to victory. When Harald Wartooth, a great eighth-century Scandinavian king, felt the shadow of death from old age fall over him he challenged his friend Sigurd Ring to an almighty battle. Harald in his youth had vowed to dedicate all those he slew in war to Óðinn (Odin), and in return the god granted him untold military success and dominion over lands from Northumbria, to western Norway, to Estonia. In the blinding heat of his last battle the king forgot

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: August 2017

    Jul 25, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “Annihilation” By Jeff Vandermeer This short novel has such a thick, ominous sense of atmosphere that it almost creeps off the pages in a musky fog. A little bit of Bradbury, a little more of Lovecraft, and a lot of something new that evades comparison. ~Sean “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” By Carlo Rovelli Direct and elegant. Gain a better understanding of the fundamental laws that govern our universe. Maybe if you memorize them you’ll get special powers or something. ~Sean “Legacy of Ashes” By Tim Weiner This book is a comprehensive chronicle of the achievements and foibles of the CIA since its origin as the OSS in the early 21st century. ~Joe “Complete Stories” By Clarice Lispector Lispector writes in a way that allows you to feel as if you know her characters intimately, to comfortably exist in the space she has created for them, and to feel every emotion and thought they have, in just a few short lines. Feelings that only intensify as you continue to read. ~Lacey “Speedboat” By Renata Adler Adler forces you to look at your surroundings with new eyes, question those seemingly insignificant meetings with strangers, and explore your curiosity as she grants glimpses into the special oddities of her life. Adler disregards the rules of the novel with unexpected ease as she takes you on a journey through

  • Myth & Mind: In the halls of the mountain kings

    Jun 30, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard Winter or summer, it’s cold in the mountain. The last time the sun touched this place was in the age when oxygen first accumulated in the atmosphere, hundreds to thousands of millions of years ago. It has been very quiet until now. I am on a bus, one of the modern heated fleet that punctually connects the villages of Western Norway to the towns and rail centers without fail, except in cases of natural disaster. The drivers are curt, competent, and speak no English. I am counting the minutes we have been inside the mountains and watching the kilometers tick by, four at a time, till we are out in the daylight world again. This is the Lærdal-Aurland tunnel in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway, at 24.51 kilometers (15.23 miles) the world’s longest — but I didn’t know that when after a series of lesser entombments we entered this timeless hole. At three places along its length the tunnel widens and glows with eerily intense blue light, fading pale towards the ground, and you think you have begun to hallucinate. But it’s part of the design, meant to imitate sunrise according to the government. It does not. If anything it says you have left the living world behind and entered a place where flame burns blue yet gives no heat; you have been taken into the mountain

  • Peregrine Book Co.: July 2017

    Jun 30, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “The Wrenchies” By Farel Dalrymple Mr. Dalrymple does it all. Penciled, inked, watercolored, written, and lettered by the man himself. It is truly awesome. ~David “The Quiet American” By Graham Greene This melancholy classic, redolent with the damp heat and grenade-jarred grace of French-governed Saigon, raises more questions of responsibility, involvement, & guilt than seem possible in such a compact narrative. A disillusioned British journalist covering the progression of the Indochinese War befriends an intense, naive young American aid worker, and in spite of a studied determination not to “get involved” finds himself forced to do just that. ~Reva “Heart of Europe” By Peter H. Wilson Ever heard of a complete history of the Holy Roman Empire? No, you haven’t — luckily, here it is. Grab it for yourself or any history buff you have to entertain for a while. This book is dense and demanding but it includes absolutely everything. ~Veri “Beneath the Wheel” By Herman Hesse Being one of Hesse’s earliest works it differs vastly from favorites like “Steppenwolf.” However, it doesn’t in the least lack his brilliance and is an absolute must read for “Siddartha“ fans. ~Veri “Ancestor” By Matt Sheean and Malachi Ward Ancestor is an incredible sci-fi comic about a tech guru who sets out to put an end to problems that have long plagued humanity. The team of Sheean and

  • Myth & Mind: Bring out your dead

    Jun 2, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard They say not to tip the man who tends the pyres on the burning ghats of the Ganges, keeping the oxygen roaring through the wooden towers and prodding the hands and shins back into the flames when they fall: give him whiskey instead. It’s the only thing that keeps the smell at bay. I was brought to Nimtala Burning Ghat as part of a Kolkata-by-motorcycle tour, which involved holding tight to a city native as we chugged through the streets’ sooty pandemonium on a green vintage Royal Enfield. I was almost as anxious over my intrusion as tourist at a funeral as compelled by the pyres and taste of woodsmoke in the oily, Dickensian smog. But the male relatives chatting around their shrouded corpse as they awaited its turn paid me no mind, and as the day’s dead were transmuted to ash I watched and thought of our English word bonfire, which means a blaze hot enough to consume bone. Nimtala is the most famous, and reportedly the most haunted burning ghat on the Hooghly River, a distributary of the sprawling Ganges and the heart of the city of Kolkata (Calcutta). A ghat is one of innumerable crumbling flights of stairs lining the river to make it accessible for the bathing, washing, and prayer that never for a moment cease along its banks from its origins in

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: June 2017

    Jun 2, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “The Black Prism” By Brent Weeks I can’t remember ever reading a fantasy novel where I had such a difficult time determining who the good guys and bad guys really were. Brent Weeks completely rejects fantasy tropes like the flawless, handsome, inhumanly talented main hero; instead, we are given Kip, whose total incompetence shines like a fat, stupid beacon in a darkly unforgiving world. ~Sean “The Way of Natural History” By Thom Fleischner A window into one of the most important and least talked-about scientific fields, this book is an antidote for environmental despair. It reminds us that the natural world is wondrous and ever-present. ~Ty “Cry, Heart, But Never Break” By Glenn Ringtved & Charlotte Pardi “Some people say Death’s heart is as dead and black as a piece of coal, but that is not true. Beneath his inky cloak, Death’s heart is as red as the most beautiful sunset and beats with a great love of life.” This children’s book by a Danish author and illustrator team is a marvelously wise parable about death’s place in life. ~Reva “The Shining” By Stephen King Constantly teetering between reality and dreamland, this book will shake how you see the world around you — even with the lights on. ~Bekah “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” By Emil Ferris This debut graphic novel about dark secrets and the

  • Myth & Mind: Loki’s tricky tongue saves his neck

    Apr 28, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard There was a time when words had power. Oaths and contracts bound their makers as securely as iron, curses flew truer than arrows, and on the slippery outer edges of words was a subtle magic. In the North, the god Loki wanted gifts for the Æsir, so he sought out the dwarves in their caverns, master smiths who made wondrous things from the Earth’s ores. From the four sons of Ivaldi he commissioned a spear for Odin that would strike whatever the thrower aimed at and always return to his hand; a mighty warship for Freyr that could be folded away so small and light it would fit in your pocket; and living golden hair to replace that which he’d cut from the head of the goddess Sif — another story entirely. When Loki had these treasures he showed them to the dwarf brothers Sindri and Brokkr. They were rivals of Ivaldi’s sons, and their works and hearts were darker. “Toys,” the brothers sneered. “We make things of real power.” “Care for a bet?” asked Loki. “Make your own gifts and let the recipients decide whose work is best. If Ivaldi’s sons win, we keep your gifts for free. If you win, how much gold do you want?” Loki was good at getting gold. “No gold. When we win, we take your head for our price.” It

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