Thursday, February 23, 2012

Be It Ever So Humble. . .

Fingers crossed!!

I know I have been absent from my blog this month.  But, you guys, we are buying a house!!!  I don't want to jinx it, we haven't had the home inspection or anything yet and it could still fall through.  But, it's looking really promising.  It's four doors down from my grandma's house so we can help keep her in her home as long as possible.  It has 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms, a "Florida Room," and an avocado tree (which means I will be the one who brings guacamole to all the parties--so you better invite me!).

So, things may be a bit quiet here, but I will return.

Meanwhile, here's what I've been reading:

High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never
by Barbara Kingsolver
This was part of my TBR Challenge.  It's been sitting on my shelf for at least ten years.  I liked it, didn't love it.  I'm a big fan of her fiction, but sometimes her non-fiction gets a bit too preachy for my taste.  Although there was a very freeing essay on housework.  I never thought about it, but that whole June Cleaver homemaker thing was propagated by the women's magazines of the day as part of the ploy to get women back out of the work force, post-World War II.  That whole way of life, with men as the sole breadwinner and protector was only really sustainable for about twenty years.  She explains it way better than I do, so if you're feeling guilty about those dust bison lurking under your bed, go read this book.
<I owned this book and am donating it to the Friends of the Library.>

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier by Thad Carhart
Here's a case of me judging the book by the cover.  A dear friend gave it to me, but I was so put off by the pretentious title that it took me nearly a month to get around to reading it. But, I loved it!  An American ex-pat tells of relationship with the proprietor of a local piano shop.  He recounts his journey toward purchasing the right piano as well as the stories behind all the pianos that passed through the little store.  It made me want to get my piano tuned and start practicing again.  (As soon as we move. . .)
<I borrowed this book from a friend and then bought a used copy.>

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
While I felt sorry for her loss, this book left me cold.  She just seemed enormously privileged and unrelatable.  Steffie on Goodreads echoes my opinion completely.
<I checked this out of my library.>

West with the Night by Beryl Markham
Because I absolutely loved Anne Morrow Lindbergh's North the Orient, a friend recommended West with the Night.  It was interesting and I enjoyed reading about Markham's childhood in Africa and her exploits.  However, her voice didn't sound authentic to me, there wasn't the same honesty and lyricism you get from Lindbergh.  Still enjoyable, though.
<I checked this out of my library.>

The Gates by John Connolly
I enjoyed Connolly's The Book of Lost Things, and so another friend gave me this to read.  It was cute.  Kind of reminded me of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  A little boy and his dog narrowly avert the apocalypse.  Lots of silly, disgusting goodness.
<I borrowed this book from a friend.>


  1. Good luck and I hope everything works out with the house!!!

    Having just bought a place myself, I'll tell you that buying a house and all the paperwork and everything with it was the most stressful, anger-inducing thing BUT totally worth it in the end.

    1. Thanks, Red! I couldn't believe the stacks of paperwork we had to sign! Glad to hear it's worth all the stress, because my blood pressure feels like its through the roof at this point. Come April, though, things will hopefully be better. Congratulations on your new home!!!

  2. Good luck with the new home purchase! Hope it all goes through okay.

    I read John Connolly for the first time two years ago -- The Lovers-- it was a very engrossing, though very dark read.

    1. Thanks! I hope so, too! Yeah, Connolly is pretty dark, though I'm thinking that The Gates is probably classified as YA because it's not nearly as heavy as some of his other stuff.