Books are a source of inspiration, a place to escape, and sometimes a world away. I am never without a book to read, they travel in my purse, my car, a suitcase, whatever I am in that day. It often happens that when I read something that has captivated my full attention I want to get to the end, but at the same time savor every moment. I get so close to the characters that they begin to feel like friends in another place and time. Tonight I finished "Middlesex" by Jeffery Eugenides, it follows a family from Greece through immigration to Michigan and goes as far as three generations. The narrator is Cal, a hermaphrodite that tells the story of how he came to be. It is a great read, a Pulitzer winner, that I recommend to all. Many of the recent books that I have read have such visual paragraphs that I walk away from them thinking of one item in the book that stood out, solely from its description. In this book it was Desdemonda's silk worm box that she brought with her from Greece, she fills it with mementos all through the book and in the last chapter there is a wonderful part where Cal comes to it and notices all his Grandmothers sacred mementos that she has collected. Being a collector of mementos myself, particularly one that sticks everything in boxes, I related to this and could see it when he said the box was so full that it no longer shut. Last summer I raced through "Five Quarters of an Orange" by Joanne Harris ( the author of "Chocolate"), and in that book the narrator talks about a recipe book that contains all of her mothers recipes. Mixed in with those recipes are journal entries, flower pressings, drawings, and only fragments of certain recipes so that the narrator can not actually make some of them. This was so vividly described that it brought memories of my mothers recipe book that has so many odds and ends sticking out of it and blobs of grease and chocolate and such in it. Again it was something that I could relate to, it is a feeling of comfort almost reading these descriptions and at the same time, a visual feast in writing.
Below is a list of books that I have read in the past couple months, I recommend each one.
"The Birth of Venus" -Sarah Dunant
"Five Quarters of an Orange" -Joanne Harris
"Jigs and Reels" - Joanne Harris (Short Stories)
"The Bell Jar" -Sylvia Plath
"Running with Scissors" -Augusten Bouroughs
"Magical Thinking" - Augusten Bouroughs (Short Story Memoirs)
"Middelsex" -Jeffery Eugenides
On another note I am very excited about a series on the discovery channel called "Planet Earth" the filming is amazing and the places that they take you in nature are almost unreal. It is on, on Sunday night at 8p.m. If you can't watch it then the DVD series releases on April 24th, you can reserve it early on netflix. There will also be a movie out this summer, and a book in the fall... In case it is not apparent yet I am so excited about this!!!!