Monday, July 19, 2010

Some Summer Reading

What's everyone reading this summer? As usual, I've committed to reading a classic during these warm months, namely In Search of Lost Time. Unfortunately, I brought it to the lake over the 4th of July weekend, and even though I know it returned safely to our home, I can't find it anywhere. So I am, in fact, in search of In Search of Lost Time. Maybe it's just as well because the more pages I consumed, the more it sounded like Proust was completely insane. But in a good way.

I secretly love Sarah Dunant's historical novels, and I've read two of them in as many months: In the Company of the Courtesan and Sacred Hearts. This is the intro to the latter, and I have to ask...wait, I'll ask after you read it:
By the second half of the sixteenth century, the price of wedding dowries had risen so sharply within Catholic Europe that most noble families could not afford to marry off more than one daughter. The remaining young women were dispatched—for a much lesser price—to convents. Historians estimate that in the great towns and city-states of Italy, up to half of all noblewomen became nuns. Not all of them went willingly...This story take place in the northern Italian city of Ferrara in 1570, in the convent of Santa Caterina.
Come on! How could you not want to read that?! I couldn't resist. Read the whole thing in like 48 hours.

As an aside...I'm kind of disturbed by the fact that I've pieced together bits of European history based on shows like Rome and The Tudors, films like Elizabeth and...A Knight's Tale (I'm kidding! Kind of!), and historical novels. Alas, what's to be done? Nothing. I shall live with the guilt.

Speaking of books, Vida is at a publishing camp for the next two weeks (hat tip to my pal J.). It's run by the formidable Klise sisters, a powerhouse author/illustrator team. So she gets to spend half the day writing, and the other half illustrating with a bunch of different materials. I'm as ecstatic for her as she is for herself, and I'm also super jealous. You've read that New York Times article, have you not, about French insurance companies footing the bill for spa visits? Well, we should have that in this country, but they should pay for grown-up camp. Yeah.

I have a copy of Ilustrado, but have so far been unable to crack the spine. Why is that? What am I waiting for? Well, if I can't find In Search of Lost Time in the next 24 hours, Ilustrado it is...

Oh, wait! I forgot that while at Kepler's the other day with the girls, I picked up this gorgeous edition of Keri Hulme's The Bone People, with cover art by tattoo artist Pepa Heller:

It's one of those books that I always meant to read, so I think it will come first. Then Ilustrado.


Gladys said...

i have ilustrado at home too, and have also not started reading it. my primary reading list sadly is full of academic stuff, and my other reading list is full of...not even remotely academic stuff that does not sound as interesting as your list.

ver said...

So perhaps I will be the more entertained of the two of us, but you will continue to be the more brilliant and amazing...

How goes Project Daycare?!!

Gladys said...

*looks over one shoulder, then the other*

you sure you talking to me?? lol. thanks for the kind words, but i'm hardly either, and certainly not more brilliant and amazing than YOU.

i was going to put up a post on daycare news sometime soon. but briefly, we just finished the second week and things seem to be settling down. today was the first day he actually took a nap there, though of course the bad news was he made himself throw up during lunch. (?!?!) if it's not one thing, it's another. <-- this seems to be my motto as a parent.

Jill said...

Here, here for govt paying for adult camp!

kikihollywood said...

Well, I've been reading The Twilight series. Made it through first two, need a break before approach the third novel, "Eclipse". Although, I was a bit reluctant, I must admit, I was quite captivated! The upside, my daughter and I "bonded" during the discussions:).