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  • I’m a big reader, or at least I used to be. My nose used to be in a book constantly until I went to college and life took a turn for studying and friends and I remember going to the Galveston Public Library for the first time and feeling so out of place but also like I was coming home. Growing up I was always the kid who checked out as many books on her card as she could. I would also generally read every book I checked out.

    Anyway, I always come back to reading when I need a recharge and it will usually last awhile and then I move on to other things because reading will hold you back from doing other things creatively. Julia Cameron mentions this in The Artists way, if you are always reading you won’t be creating. I have a lot of down time at work and on my first training day the guy who trained me said he’d gone through three books already. I thought he was insane, but here it is two weeks later and I’m done with Mansfield Park.

    Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes: This book I actually read on the last leg of the AT. If you’ve seen the movie, the book is completely different for the most part. Sure the basic story of renovating the house and cooking is there, but there is no Italian lover and her pregnant friend (Yang from Grey’s Anatomy) is not coming to live there. The Polish workers are in the story, though. This book made me want to eat and if you are a hungry hiker this is not a good thing. She talked about things as simple as salads with olives to beautiful pastas…oh, this is very dangerous for a hiker eating granola bars for breakfast and tuna packets for lunch. I highly recommend this book; she packs it full with little historical tidbits about her region in Italy, the trials of working with contractors to remodel the land and house, and food….mmm, food!

    Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: A few years ago I decided that watching Jane Austen movies wasn’t going to cut it and set off to read her books. I will admit that I barely read any of the classics in high school and most of the time skimmed or read Cliffs Notes or talked to friends to get by. Classics tend to bore me and only a few caught my attention like Lord of the Flies and Fahrenheit 451. Pride & Prejudice is hard to get through when you have it memorized from the movie, but it is so worth reading; Sense and Sensibility makes you really dislike Lucy Steele (she has a sister in the book that is not in the movie) even more; Emma I listened to on mp3 while on the trail and I would like to read it in print eventually, but Emma was a very naive and immature character and I was not very fond of her; and now Mansfield Park.

    After reading the book I Googled more about the book and found out I was not alone in despising this book. Fanny is so undeveloped, or maybe she is developed but she doesn’t seem fit for the story at all. When she returns to Portsmouth and realizes all that she misses about Mansfield Park, because it offers up a world of niceties versus the roughness of poverty, she talks like everyone was her very best friend at Mansfield Park and that her aunts are the best in the world. Her aunts are little beyotches. Maybe Lady Bertram might like her a bit, but there is no way Aunt Norris is attached to her. And she talks of her friends being Miss Crawford and her sister, I can’t help but want to scream. It’s like saying her friends are Caroline and Louisa Bingley. It’s all false pretenses to me. And to be in love with someone who really loves another….ah the ending with her and Edmund is so forced. I watched a few clips of some movies of Mansfield Park and I’ve found that the romance between them is so contrived, and changing Fanny’s attitude. The Fanny of the book would not be running through the halls or running across the meadow like she is shown in the movies.

    Can you tell that I thought this book was weak?

    The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket: I had wanted this book when it originally came out a few years ago but never bought it. We walked past the bargain bin at Brookshires the other night and I saw it there marked down to $7 from $35. Then I saw a sign that it was reduced even further to $1.75 and it was a done deal, the book went home with me. This is such a pretty little book, something to flip through and think about. It made me miss my quiet weekends back in Florida when I would stay home while Chris went hiking or fishing and I’d stay home to work on a project and rest up. Here are a few photos of what this book makes me feel and miss:

    schimmieg1

    okra

    Cookies before they are cooked.

    octagon 3

    The Pink Banana

    Ahhh….I miss having a space of my own!

    Up next on the reading is Persuasion by Jane Austen and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. While we’re talking animals, there is an interesting TED talk on how many products come from a pig. How very difficult it must be to be a vegan…Eliana are you able to avoid some of these products? I mean, like sand paper? Seriously? Who would think of that! On the other hand, I suppose it is good that it seems to be they are using the whole of the animal.

    We’re on break for four days so yesterday was relaxing with a nap, a trip to the bookstore, watching chick flicks. Today we’re meeting Chris’ dad for lunch and doing some photography at an Audubon sanctuary and then heading over to my parents house for a few nights before we head back to work.

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    One Comment

    1. mom says:

      I wish I had some of those maters.

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