Friday, March 23, 2012

What I'm Reading

Some rain is mixed in with our sunny weather during our spring break Staycation - but no worries!  Rainy times are certainly good times to read and the much needed moisture sure has turned our grass green!

I'm happy to report that I did in fact sit still one afternoon and I finished reading a book, Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton and I've been reading a bit each day.

Here's the rundown on the stack of books I'm reading right now...

First here's a picture of the books that I'm reading. I like having a visual reference and you might, too.
From the top:

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, a memoir by Gabrielle Hamilton: I started this book a week ago and finished it up on Monday afternoon. On the surface it's a book about Gabrielle and how she became the owner and chef of famous New York restaurant, Prune, but it's also a book about family and marriage. The last sentence in the book left me sitting there with my mouth hanging open. That doesn't happen often. It's a good read. I recommend it. I heard about this book through a memoir writing class I'm taking and found it at my local book store: Monkey See, Monkey Read.

The Book of Time, a young adult novel, first in a series, by Guillaume Prevost: I picked up this book at the Scholastic book fair at Greenvale Park Elementary two weeks ago in part because it was on sale for $2.50. One of Ryan's classmates wants to read this book and we are planning to read it together. So far we've only had a chance to talk about why the book looks interesting and have read the first page and a half. It's a start.

Jahanara: Princess of Princesses is a young adult, historical fiction book by Kathryn Lasky. It's part of a series of books called The Royal Diaries. Each of The Royal Diaries is written as though an actual royal girl is writing in a private journal. I've read several of The Royal Diaries and like them for the quick look at history they give. They are also a fun, quick and easy read. My daughter, Rose, owns this book and suggested I read it (again - I read it a few years ago) after we attended a Northfield Rotary fundraising event, To India and Back. Jahanara was a princess in India in the 1600s. You may not have heard of her but it's likely you at least know about her mother, Mumtaz Mahal in whose memory the famous Taj Mahal was built by Jahanara's father, Shah Janan. As for my reading progress on this book - I'm almost done!

Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down: This is a lighthearted non-fiction book about one of my favorite things - Tea! I found this book at the lovely Perennial Tea Room in Seattle, Washington two years ago. Originally published in Great Britain, (where they know how to brew a proper cuppa) the book is full of fun information about tea and biscuits (cookies) and was written by a husband and wife who refer to themselves as "Nicey and Wifey" - visit their website for some fun. I'm sad to say I haven't exactly finished the book but I don't know why. I'm so close to having this done that I am going to make a point to finish it during my staycation.

Floors is a young adult fiction book by Patrick Carman and was another $2.50 find from the Scholastic book fair. I've only read about ten pages of this book so far but it's quite fun and keeping my attention. Young Leo Fillmore is the main character and the setting is the mysterious Whippet Hotel where "...every floor has its own wacky design - and its own wacky secrets. The guests are either mad or mysterious. And ducks are everywhere."(quote taken from the back of the book)

This Is Not The Story You Think It is...A season of Unlikely Happiness is the book that I'm in the middle of reading now. Another memoir, this one was written by Laura Munson, who I mentioned in my What's the Point blog entry two weeks ago. It's another book I ordered it through Monkey See, Monkey Read and it's a good read so far. The storyline, in brief, is that Munson's husband decides to leave her and she tells him "no." And, you know this at the beginning of the book, they end up staying together. So why read it? Well, good question. Munson, I think, asks her readers to go on a wild ride of sorts with her as she tells her story. She's telling her story well enough that I'm willing to hang on and see what happens.

The next two books I'm "reading" are books that I constantly have around and read a bit at a time.

101 Things You Didn't Know About Jane Austen by Patrice Hannon PhD is written in short sections so it's easy to pick it up and read a bit at a time. I'm a Jane Austen fan so enjoy reading bits about Austen and how her life relates to her books. Okay, confession time -  I am a fan of Austen and her books but I'm REALLY a fan of Colin Firth who plays Fitzwilliam Darcy in the A&E movie version of Pride and Prejudice. So maybe that means I'm mostly a fan of Colin Firth. Which is okay because Owen likes Jennifer Ehle who plays Elizabeth Bennet in the same version of Pride and Prejudice. Which is why we've watched the six hour made for TV movie about twenty times. And now so you can also appreciate Colin Firth aka Darcy and Jennifer Ehle aka Bennet I will post a picture of the two of them from the Internet Movie Database website.
See what I mean about Colin Firth? Sigh. If you don't get it you need to watch the movie. Now. Trust me. The recent Hollywood version of Pride and Prejudice is good, great even, but the A&E version is the best!

And now for the last book in my pile of books - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Royal Britain by Charles Phillips with consultants Dr. John Haywood and Professor Richard G. Wilson. The book is "A magnificent study of Britain's royal heritage with a directory of royalty and over 120 of the most important historic buildings." I really am quite a fan of British history and this book provides wonderful, albeit condensed, information about British royalty starting back in Roman times. It's not really a read from cover to cover sort of book, more of a reference book for me. I'm going to admit to liking all of the nice colorful pictures, especially those of the late Princess Diana and her sons. The book was published in 2009 so does not have the most recent Royal Family information about Prince William and Kate Middleton - but that's okay.

So there you have it. A list of the books I'm currently reading and not-so-brief descriptions of the books including why I'm reading them and why I like them.

This was a terribly long blog entry, way longer than I expected it to be. So if you read this far you should get some kind of reward. Hmm, how about another nice picture of Colin Firth as Fitzwilliam Darcy? Which reminds me that I could mention one more book (oh, the suspense - I'm making you wait for the picture of Firth as Darcy) that I keep at the ready for reference and for the pictures (especially of Firth/Darcy)! - The Making of Pride and Prejudice by Sue Birtwistle and Sue Conklin. Love the book!

Okay - your picture reward :)
Colin Firth as Fitzwilliam Darcy in A&E's Pride and Prejudice. Picture from www.bbc.co.uk

1 comment:

shebicycles said...

Blood, Bones and Butter sounds really good; I am adding it to my list. But I had to laugh when you wrote your family has watched BBC's Pride & Prejudice about twenty times - it is the same at our house!! LOL It is even favorite of my boys (which says something); the characters/direction are exceptional - BBC's was the best film version ever made, imo. We also once had a P&P marathon followed up with Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones (the modern take/parody(?) on P&P). Collin Firth as traditional Darcy as well as Mark Darcy is, yes, ... swoon-worthy (sigh). ;) lol