Friday, April 07, 2006

Read-olutions Report

She loved books too much and it has turned her brain.
-Louisa May Alcott

In January, I told you that I had a list of "read-olutions" for the year. I have -oh, stop the presses- gotten distracted from my list. But I have been reading some good things.

The first is Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman. It's a series of essays about books and reading, not surprising for a woman who's the child of Clifton Fadiman and Annalee Jacoby. There was probably a book or two in her house, while she was growing up. I particularly liked the essay about a long-term relationship meaning that the book collections of two people must be melded. It's a difficult process. Whose copy of The Peloponnesian Wars do you keep? In our case, both -not that either of them has been looked at in 20 years. That is SO not the point! Anyway, the book is lovely.

Before that I read Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia by Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn Spiro. Just for the record, this book was on my original read-olutions list, so I do occasionally do what I say I'm going to do. It's a fairly grueling tale about exactly what it sounds like it's about, but it's important and interesting and very well written, as well. Pamela Wagner actually has a blog here(WagBlog), recounting her path to not-quite-wellness. It's not unrelated, in my little mind anyway, to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It's not for the faint of heart, but really needs to be read anyway.

And I stumbled across Julie/Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 tiny apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell. I missed the whole blog/social networking phenomenon that the Julie/Julia project became, but if you're interested you can skim it here: Julie/Julia. Aside from Julia Child herself, Julie is quite possibly the only person on the planet who's made every single recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And why would a book about that be interesting? But it is. It's funny and poignant and interesting -and she manages to make meaning from her life by grasping desperately onto this self-imposed project. In the end, it gives a girl hope!

Next up: The Hole in the Universe by K.C. Cole and How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle by Frances Willard. What are you reading?

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