Monday, June 9, 2014

Reading nonfiction....

and finding it at times informative, enchanting, disappointing and/or boring, as the case may be. Having finished Laura Esquivel's Between Two Fires, I will rate this book as enchanting. Anecdotes, essays, introductions to her other works or those of others, this delightful little book is a must-have for anyone that loves what I call 'food books': not cookbooks, but books like Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate, Luisa Weiss' My Berlin Kitchen, Julie Powell's Julie and Julia; books that center around food as a main theme in the living of daily life. I love this kind of stuff.


     "Life cannot be substituted for literature, nor can literature be substituted for life...No one who loves life can ignore literature, and no one who loves literature can ignore life." ~Laura Esquivel


     I have also just finished Swimming with Giants by Anne Collett, and while well-written by a leading scientist in the studies of these beautiful giants of the sea, I found it disappointing, though I think that is my own fault. I suppose I expected essays waxing lyrical about whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions, maybe some manatees, otters and the like. And while Collett describes many of these creatures in great detail, and her interactions with many of them, this book is overall far more clinical and distant than I expected it to be. (Though I would now love to visit the Center for Research on Marine Mammals in La Rochelle, France.) If you are a sea-lover like myself, it is definitely worth reading, just not quite as lyrical or enchanting as I'd hoped it to be.


     I've re-piled the tumbled-down books, and today will be embarking on an adventure to South America with an old friend of mine, Vesper Holly. I'd post photos, but Vesper and I get into so much trouble together that I never have a chance to take pictures. I have the four Vesper Holly books I never got to read as a teenager (thank you, Carnegie Library) and as each is only about 150 pages long I should be through them in fairly short order. No worries though: I already ordered the seven remaining books on then Summer Reading List, and I own a volume of Shakespeare and I'm borrowing my daughter's copy of Sophie's World. I seem to have made it through all the shorter books on the list already (though Endymion was 60 pages long, it was in miniscule print, and didn't seem all that short when I was reading it!). Chris Evans' Elf Trilogy looks to be like quite an adventure...we'll see how well I hold up after racing around the world with Vesper!

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