Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Summer Plans

What are my summer plans? I get asked this question everytime I bump into a friend or acquaintance. 

Besides a four day trip to see family later this month, we've got nothing going on. And by nothing, I mean spendng 1-3 hours a day driving kids to activities. And by activities, I mean mostly Valerie's swim practice. (Swim team has been awesome for her, don't get me wrong, but still. A lot of driving for me.)

Yesterday I see that dooce.com is back in Paris this summer and I start thinking about the four weeks I spent in Spain back in the summer of 2002. I was there for a professional development class for teaching, but that was just an excuse, si?

So...here are my new summer plans:

No, I'm not going to Spain. Just looking up flights. And browsing accommodations. A mama can dream!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Book o' the Month: Doctor Zhivago

I remember renting a video cassette of Doctor Zhivago as a teen (the 1965 version, obviously).  It was long and I lost interest.  (It actually had an intermission in the middle.)  I didn't know anything about the history.  I watched it again on DVD (things change!) last May and thirty years older, I was captivated.  I also watched the 2002 miniseries, but I found the actors not as convincing as the dashing Omar Sharif (!) and mesmerizing Julie Christie.  

Then, naturally, I had to read the book by Boris Pasternak.  Wowza, I think I have mentioned somewhere on this blog that it is always a good idea to read the book before watching the film(s).  The 1965 film is quite different from the book, besides some key details.  The 2002 version is like a riff on the previous effort.  I still like the first movie, and frankly, why didn't they get it closer to the novel the second time around?  At least I had two beautiful people in mind as the main characters while I read.

And speaking of reading...I'm so glad I read this Nobel Prize winning book that the CIA helped spread around during the Cold War.  I so love classic literature.  The language!  (I bet it sounds even better in the native tongue.)  Just sink your teeth into these quotes:

Does anyone still write like this in our soundbite world?  Pasternak was also a poet and it shows, no?

I had to include that last one.  It seems oddly...contemporary.  (Looks like I cut off the last several words which are "and left nothing behind them.")

I'm thinking of reading Moby Dick next.  It doesn't have "Sea" in the title, but I think it counts for sticking to my traditional summer reading theme.  What are you reading this summer?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Books o' the Month: Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years

Andrew and I are almost finished with Laura Ingalls Wilder's series.  We read Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years.  They are both wonderful.  I find myself wishing I had read them to my Grandma.  She was born in 1913 in Minnesota.  She lived there and in Iowa before moving to California in the late 1930s.  I think she would have loved the stories of prairie life and found many things familiar, especially the descriptions of the cold weather.

Next up, The First Four Years.  This will be the beginning of Laura's life with Almanzo and the birth of their daughter, Rose.  The description on the book jacket sounds like hard times lay ahead, which will be different from the happy courtship story in the previous book.  That's life, I suppose.

I am also reading Dr. Zhivago after watching two film versions of the book first--never a good idea.  But, more about that later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Book o' Last Month: The Seven Sisters

Margaret Drabble's The Seven Sisters did not disappoint. I first read her novel The Waterfall for a class in college. She has a very accessible style and intriguing themes.

Now that summer vacation is here, I'm hoping to do more reading, but all I seem to be doing is driving my kids around to their activities. Oh well. Seems summer is for kids, just like Friday nights, weekends, holidays, and vacations.

Books are my escape. After reading just a couple of pages, I am in another city, another country, another time, another life. Where are books taking you this summer?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Book o' the Month: The Enchanted April

This book was excellent! Imagine, I didn't even know it existed until I was telling a dear friend about the movie. She didn't know there was a movie! We have both been enlightened this April.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book o' the Month: The Long Winter

Andrew and I got through The Long Winter and I really think it took us all winter to do so!  This book is quite the document of the winter of 1880-1.  Wow!  Now on to the next Laura Ingalls Wilder book. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Books o' the Month: By the Shores of Silver Lake, Beautiful Ruins, Cocoa Beach

Andrew and I continue to work our way through the Little House books and they are so great!  We usually read a chapter or two in the morning before school.  Andrew is going on ten now, so I read to him whenever he asks, because, you know.  Time flies. 

I got this book suggestion from The Skimm (which I highly recommend).  It was a really fun read, which I also highly recommend.

The most recent Williams book did not disappoint.  I love the way the there are characters in all her novels that are related in some way. This novel ended with a bit of a cliffhanger, so I can't wait to see what happens next, and to whom!

See you in 2018!  Happy New Year!