Summer Reads

I am a book whore. Let’s just get that out of the way. Sometimes I’ve had to up to 7 books in my repertoire at once.  I have my mother to thank for that.  Being the avid reader she has always been, she instilled a love of reading and all things books in me.  From the time I could hold my head up as a little girl and focus my eyes on a page, she had me in her lap reading book and after book and making me want to learn to read, which I did proudly before I started kindergarten.  It was ‘All By Myself’, by Mercer Meyer, a Little Critter book. And how appropriate, it was all about Little Critter learning to do everything from dressing himself to making his own breakfast.

I remember going to the North Asheville Library every 3 weeks to the due day and checking out upwards of 15 books each time and reading all of them before our next trip.  Books on tape, ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’, ‘In the Stone Circle’ Louis Sacchar books, anything by Ann Rinaldi; I even volunteered at the library for a while in the summers helping with kids activities.

Once, my little entrepreneurial self even decided that I was going to do my own book-a-thon and had no problem asking my parents’ friends if they would donate a dollar to me for each book I read one summer that I would then in turn give to ABCCM, one of the homeless shelters in Asheville.  I think I raised $25.  I was 8.

Over the years I’ve read series, singles, self-help books, books on Biblical interpretation and thought, books on beauty and natural skin care, fiction, non-fiction, and I’m known to read cookbooks from cover to cover.  Most recently my literary leanings have been to the area of gardens, farming and cultivation, with some nutrition and holistic health books (thanks to school) seeping through.  But when my eyes start to glaze over due to repetitious sentences and ideologies, I know it’s time to break it up with some pleasure reading.  And, what better time than summer for a quiet break in the race to find my ultimate urban-homesteading-land-theological-food-and-farming philosophy?

First, I began with My Life in France’, by Julia Child.  A fun and fast-paced memoir of her newly married life to her first cooking expedition to the testing and publishing of her first and second cookbooks with lots of blunt and straightforward commentary and observation along the way.

Next, from the co-op in Mount Vernon, this title caught my eye: Radical Homemakers’.  I was enthralled with the idea of “Reclaiming domesticity from a consumer culture.”  The themes of interdependence, shared household tasks, society as starting in the home and a respectful regard to finite resources and honoring relationships above materials is what this book features, and so much more!

“At this point in history, the work to heal our ecological wounds, bring a balance of power into our economy and ensure social equity starts with our choices about what to eat, what to buy (or more importantly, what not to buy), what to create, and how to use our time and money. Indeed the major work of society needs to happen inside our homes, putting the homemaker at the vanguard of social change.”

And lastly, and most recently: ‘A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table’, by Molly Wizenburg.   A wonderful array of essays that subsequently build on each other to relate to the reader an idea of her home life from childhood with her foodie father, to college and travelling phases centered around food and France (and a boy or two), to the improbable meeting of her husband-to-be and their relationship as told through the fusion of food habits, to their nuptial bliss and wedding-cakery.  Her blog, Orangette, will fill you in on all the other goings on in a foodie’s life in Seattle.  When coming to stay at my friend’s house in Port Townsend, WA and watch her dogs for a week, she left a copy of it the book on my nightstand thinking I would be interested in reading it.  Was I ever!  This is how I want to write about food and life.  This is inspiration that leaves me energized to write, sad that I don’t have time or funds to try my hand at all the recipes she records, and more than a little rumbly-in-the-tumbly during the late-night reading sessions in bed over a cup of tea.


2 responses to “Summer Reads

  1. I love this one – don’t you know it? I think we should write something together – some kind of mother/daughter memoir or something generational. Let’s start thinking of what it could be.

  2. I always love seeing what’s on people’s bookcases – I can find out so much about them that way. And I’ve always been enthralled by your personal library, so thanks for posting the updates! I noted “Radical Homemakers” for my Christmas list! Can’t wait to read that one!!!
    I also loved your sentence about defining your ever-expanding, organic, sustainable, loving philosophies! You go, girl!!! So proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!

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