Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Reading challenge update

A Summer Reading Challenge Update:

Completed

Andy Catlett - beautiful, plenty of quotes listed here.

A World Lost - this is a much sadder book, focusing on Andy Catlett's perspective on the death of his Uncle Andrew. I loved this book, but the intensity made me read it in smaller doses than normal.

It closes with:

Remembering, I suppose, the best days of my childhood, I used to think I wanted most of all to be happy - by which I meant to be here and to be undistracted. If I were here and undistracted, I thought, I would be at home.

But now I have been here a fair amount of time, and slowly I have learned that my true home is not just this place but is also that company of immortals with whom I have lived here day by day. I live in their love, and I know something of the cost. Sometimes in the darkness of my own shadow I know that I could not see at all were it not for this old injury of love and grief, this little flickering lamp that I have watched beside for all these years.


A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table Mollie Wizenberg - I love this woman's writing. Her blog, Orangette, is on what I hope is a temporary hiatus, but there are years of archives to read. Great recipes, engaging writing. I especially love the writing about her father. Yes, I sobbed, but her ability to love and care about people is part of what makes her a pleasure to read.

Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine and Love in Italy Michael Tucker - since I am not flying off to live in Italy, I appreciate Michael Tucker doing such an enjoyable job of telling me all about his adventures. This book makes me hungry. And thirsty for wine and the long hours in which to drink it.

The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs Alexander McCall Smith - ridiculous and funny. A perfect break from A World Lost.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir Bill Bryson - Bryson, too, is ridiculous, but this book was too much for me. Didn't enjoy it at all past page 100. So I skipped to the last chapter, read it and called it done.

The Summer of the Great-Grandmother - One of my favorite books, especially as it was the first L'Engle book I ever read. It was assigned in a gerontology class and did more to get me thinking about aging and caring for family members than any of the more technical volumes in my course of study. This is a poignant time for a re-read. One of the messages in L'Engle's Crosswicks Journal, of which this is book two of four, is that life is lived in community. Caring for aging parents, and grieving their loss, is no exception. A good word for me, and I am grateful to be surrounded by a supportive community this summer.

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