Starring out the window at the striped clouds in very cold blue-grays and white, I wonder how Mr. Tiffany would have ordered glass for that sky made. Would he have used multiple layers, or had the brawny, shirtless workers in the glass factory comb through blue glass with a second color of glass at a different temperature. The process described in Clara and Mr. Tiffany reminded me of those fudge factories. Ummmm. Fudge. There must be some chocolate somewhere in this condo! I would have enjoyed Vreeland's more if it had been nonfiction with lots of old photos and color plate illustrations.
My escapist reading for the ice storm is The Death Instinct, by Jed Rubenfeld, set in the same time period as Vreeland's novel about Louis Comfort Tiffany. Rubenfeld's book is just right for conserving electricity wrapped in a quilt for hours at a time. I'm going to see New York City eventually when I visit Danger Baby and his lovely bride, and then I will go find Wall Street, the JP Morgan Bank, the Treasury Building, the Flatiron, and many other places in these two books.
My book buddy is reading The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Rubenfeld's wife. Just reading the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reviews of Tiger Mother elevated my blood pressure. I feel very sorry for Rubenfeld, being married to such a shrew. But then, maybe he is no prince either. Sometimes writers are not nice people.
This ramble was meant to be about the coincidence of my recent readings. Two gifts from my eldest, Last Call and Dennis Lehane's The Given Day, have entwined with the unionizing and suffragettes of Clara, and the Vienna of Death Instinct and The Hare With Amber Eyes. Very strange to read two descriptions of the items on Sigmund Freud's desk in just one month.
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder