Monday, November 26, 2007

we read

I read.

I finished Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle. It was good. I wish I could have hung on to it a little longer, but I was already overdue at the library. Did I mention that it was good? It was good. I'm really inspired to start a vegetable garden like right now. It's making me want to cook again which is also really good.

I went to the local farmer's market on Sunday to pick up some seasonal vegetables. I need to reserarch this further, because I was a little disappointed, but... There were lots of tomatoes, strawberries and god help me zuchini. Not a bundle of kale in site. I don't get it. Aren't we in winter yet? I know I live in an area with mild climate year around. And also we've experienced an unbelievable Indian Summer (as I write this, I believe that it is about 80 degrees outside. I work in the mid-city area between downtown L.A. and the beaches. Madness.). My friend stacyM says that it's been discovered that some strawberries have two seasons (this when I asked her about the early crop of strawberries I kept seeing in the markets back in March). But all that produce I saw yesterday seemed a bit much.

I did what I could. I picked up some cage-free eggs. I wanted to ask the seller if the hens were free-range and not only cage-free and also why they were only vegetable fed when hens naturally feed on grubs as well as grains. But in the end I decided to buy the eggs without harassing the guy. They were also being sold in styrofoam containers, but sigh... I can only take on one battle at a time.

Anyways, okay. Sorry this book report is a little lame. But read this book. It's really good. I said that already, right? It's like Barbara Kingsolver for cryin' out loud. How much more endorsement do you need? She's funny and charming and smart and informative. There.

Now on to more exciting news...

He reads.

As I hinted in an earlier post, yes, M is reading Kay! You know, when we were engaged I never once stopped to think: could this guy get any cooler? Cause really, he's a catch. This is not to say that he was sub-cool before last week when he asked me the most heart-stopping question to date (Can I read that Fionavar Tapestry book? The last time my heart stopped at a question he directed at me was something along the lines of: will you marry me? Just so you have an understanding of what we're dealing with here.). But, well...this just puts him at another level. I was so nervous to hand him the book not wanting to be pushy about it or pressure him or anything. I tried hard not to say things like: if you don't love this book after you're done reading it, don't worry about it, I'll send you the divorce papers in the mail and everything will be fine.

Okay, actually I did say that, but it was in total jest. Of course. Mostly.

Anyways, he brought it with us on the camping trip and he got through a good chunk of it and he's nearly done. I'm so freaking excited I can't even tell you! I had to stop myself from asking him all last week: Do you like it? Do you? Isn't it good? Don't you just love Diarmuid? Isn't he so funny and smart and, and, and how about that Loren? He's pretty cool too, huh? I can't wait for you to be done so we can hold hands and talk about it more.

Okay, actually I did sort of say that too. Can you blame a girl?

He's in the home stretch, I think. Just a few chapters left but I think his progress is going to slow a bit because we're home now and you know we have to go to our jobs and all that (damned employment!) and also distractions like tv and the internet and such-much. But I take it as a good sign that he's been reading from it every night before he goes to bed. I think he wants to Know what happens next. I tried to explain to him in a non-pressuring, non-bossy way that it's really best read in chunks because the stories are so many and the characters so complex, you're apt to forget some of the significant parts if you put it down for too long or just read 5 pages here and 5 pages there. I think he's doing just fine. I'll report more as events warrant.


"Sancho" said...

JEAN! M! Ah, excellent, someone else to chat Kay with, always good! I just reread them again myself about a month ago, and M ought not feel bad if he forgets who is who: second or third time around they will feel like old friends, and even though you know what's going to happen, it doesn't matter, because it's just fun to hang out with them. Kingsolver--embarrassed to admit it, but, um, well, stutter, I've, ah, [sotto voce] never read her... Guess I better fix that.

jean said...

Dudes! He asked me tonight if I could be sure to set aside The Wandering Fire for him so he could have it at the ready while I was out of town this weekend. He is SO going to get lucky tonight. Sorry. Too much information?

Moving on...

Sancho! (sanchito-pepito? If I may mix it up a bit) Now how many times have you read these tomes, exactly? I think I still have the email where jenn tells me: guess who's now reading the Fionavar Tapestry??

I almost called you that day. Could you have already read them and then gone back to re-read them? Shazam.

Barbara Kingsolver is wonderful. I didn't realize that you'd never read her books before. I don't know what all your tastes in literature cover but I feel pretty safe in recommending them to any lover of good stories. She can certainly turn a phrase (and that's just the least of her skills) and she creates such endearing characters. She's got a great sense of humour ~ I find myself laughing out loud while reading her stuff. I started reading her collection of essays High Tide in Tuscon oh, almost ten years ago. I'm not normally a non-fiction reader, but this one got me hooked. I think I finished it in a matter of hours (like 20 hours). Her writing is sharp. She's very smart and with "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" in particular, I felt like she was driven to make her point, almost like she was getting really revved up in a heated debate. The first chapter crackles with her energetic discussion. Did I mention that it was really good?

If you want to jump into some amazing fiction, I'd recommend starting off with "The Poisonwood Bible." Even the intro is kick-ass (I tend to read books cover-to-cover. Same with album, er cd interesting). "The Poisonwood Bible" feels epic to me, biblical almost. Not that this was her intent, so it doesn't come across as reading preachy or pretentious. But sort of the same feeling I got when I read "100 Years of Solitude" one of my all time favorites (better than "Love in the Time of Cholera" in my opinion, though true story: I never finished it. Now that it's out on film, I might have to give it another go).

Goodness but I can go on and on. Time for this kid to turn in.