[Edited to add: don’t forget to contribute a new or recent post to the Carnival of Homeschooling by Monday! I will be soo happy and grateful!]
Way back when, I made a 2008 reading list, inspired by Angela’s cool reading list. Not much has come of it, except a little more sympathy for my husband. You see, whenever I recommend something to my husband, I have insured that he will never read it.
(By contrast, if I just start reading it and abandon it around the house, he’ll steal it, start reading it himself and keep it from me until he’s finished. Unless he really likes it, in which case he’ll give it to a visiting friend who will take it back to New York and I’ll never see it again. Hey honey, how ’bout getting my copy of Master and Margarita back next week?)
Likewise, I have read few things I commended to myself earlier this year. They are on a to-do list now, and nothing is so tedious when you have time to lie on your belly under the ceiling fan and just read than to work on a to-do list.
I am a sucker for a good memoir, however, so I picked up Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone when I saw it at the library. Reichl tells the story of her childhood and young adulthood mainly through the lens of food and eating, but also with a recurring motif of her mother’s mental illness, which is both comic and sad. There are recipes intermixed — a surefire way to get me to love a book — but honestly I didn’t need them at all. I loved reading about her sudden transportation to a French school and the food discoveries she made as a result, and I loved reading about her arrival in Berkeley just in time for the food revolution about to happen there. (She doesn’t write about it so much as set the stage.) She wins love and earns respect by tasting and cooking with great curiosity and a burning desire to please. She’s very easy to relate to, even though the book is set firmly before my time, with lots of 60s and early 70s history, from riots in Detroit to a commune in Berkeley.
I have just picked up Comfort Me with Apples, which I am less sure about. She writes a lot more about her love life, including multiple affairs. The affairs are hard to take after the first book, when she gets you to fall in love with her first husband. I don’t find myself so closely tied to her as I did in the first book, and I get kind of grossed out after a while. Was it really that central to her development as a food writer?
I wonder if I just prefer memoirs about coming-of-age more than adulthood? Looking at Amazon I see that some readers agree with me, but professional reviewers seem to prefer it to the first.
I am slowly re-reading Tristram Shandy. It’s a really funny and really fun-to-read book, but I seem to have developed some kind of Pavlovian response that whenever I start reading it I immediately get very tired. Given that I have some ongoing fatigue issues, I have taken to reading the novel mostly when I need to get to sleep but I’m not feeling really tired yet. Which means that I have not read it at all in the last 10 days!