Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Things I Like

Yesterday my mom gave me e-Pub files of the BBC's top 100 books.  My first impulse was to pledge to read them all this summer, even though that is a ridiculous and impossible goal.  I've already read a lot on the list, so my wise mother suggested a more modest goal of reading the ones I haven't read.  

I plan to take the kids to the library tomorrow to sign up for their summer reading program, and Ella and I will make our pledges.  :)  Summer reading makes me excited.  Here's something I read this afternoon that made me smile from Ernest Hemingway's, A Moveable Feast, of his first encounter with F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I bought the book in Paris at the oldest English bookstore on the continent.  It gave me a sense of connection with another time.

"Until then I had felt that what a great writer I
was had been carefully kept secret between
myself and my wife and only those people
we knew well enough to speak to.  I was glad
Scott had come to the same happy conclusion 
as to this possible greatness, but I was also
glad he was beginning to run out of speech."


The only other Hemingway book I'd read was The Old Man and the Sea when I was 14 or 15 for 9th grade English.  I don't think I was old enough to appreciate anything much about it then.  But I really like his writing in this book.  He writes very truthfully about his experiences.  Sometimes his experiences make me feel sad, and sometimes they make me laugh, but they all resonate as true, which was the kind of writing he said at the beginning he aimed to do.

Oh, and How to be a Good Wife?  It's so great...and funny.  Imagine 1930s advice about marriage (which is really quite traditional and sound) written about with good British phraseology.  Stuff like this:

  • Don't get slovenly.  The necessity for keeping smart doesn't conclude with the signing of the marriage register.
  • Do learn to cultivate a spirit of humor.
  • Do let it be your constant endeavour to keep yourself in every way toned up.  Try at all times to maintain the freshness and sprightliness of the engagement days.
  • Don't forget that very true remark that, while face powder may catch a man, baking powder is the stuff to hold him.  
Yes, that book was worth every Euro.

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