Jan 4, 2008
New old books and a pottery puzzle
I got a wave of nostalgia this afternoon, and ordered "September", by Rosamunde Pilcher. I remember reading it in the '90's and loved it. That one and The Shell Seekers were wonderful books. I took advantage of a gift certificate that I received for Amazon.com (thanks to Woolyworks!). Maybe next time I'll get The Shell Seekers.
I also bought "Little Heathens" because it sounded good:
From Publishers Weekly
Kalish's memoir of her Iowa childhood, set against the backdrop of the Depression, captures a vanished way of traditional living and a specific moment in American history in a story both illuminating and memorable. Kalish lived with her siblings, mother and grandparents-seven in all-both in a town home and, in warmer weather, out on a farm. The lifestyle was frugal in the extreme: "The only things my grandparents spent money on were tea, coffee, sugar, salt, white flour, cloth and kerosene." But in spite of the austere conditions, Kalish's memories are mostly happy ones: keeping the farm and home going, caring for animals, cooking elaborate multi-course meals and washing the large family's laundry once a week, by hand. Here, too, are stories of gossiping in the kitchen, digging a hole to China with the "Big Kids" and making head cheese at butchering time. Kalish skillfully rises above bitterness and sentiment, giving her memoir a clear-eyed narrative voice that puts to fine use a lifetime of careful observation: "Observing the abundance of life around us was just so naturally a part of our days on the farm that it became a habit." Simple, detailed and honest, this is a refreshing and informative read for anyone interested in the struggles of average Americans in the thick of the Great Depression.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This unpretentious yet deeply intelligent memoir of growing up on a central Iowa farm in the throes of the Great Depression radiates the joy of a vanished way of life as Kalish recounts what appear to contemporary eyes as unendurable deprivations. Those who share Kalish's midwestern farm background will immediately identify with her recollections of winter nights spent under layers of quilts in unheated bedrooms. Others for whom agrarian life is uncharted territory will learn both the harsh rigors of days governed by unforgiving work cycles and the irreproducible sensual pleasure of savoring a just-picked, sun-drenched, ripe strawberry or tomato. In prose that never yields to mawkish sentimentality, Kalish details the roles of family, religion, thrift, and education in her upbringing. The complexities of wash-day chores will bring up short those who know only today's appliances. Kalish's disquisition on outhouse etiquette will simply amaze those accustomed to their own bathrooms. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
I ordered the paperback version, but it won't arrive until May...not released yet. Hey! What if it coud be the Purple Coo spring or summer reading selection!?
If I knew how to spell out a sigh, I'd do it. I have a new puzzle to put together - as soon as I find some good epoxy. Celeste got to playing too wild this afternoon. The coffee table flew, the flowers flew, the vase flew into several pieces...and as soon as the vase hit the floor with that "I'm Broken" sound, Celeste flew into her crate without being asked. She KNEW she'd gone too far this time. She is resting comfortably in her safe haven and I am pondering shards of pottery. The flowers are still on the floor - I'm too pissed off to pick them up right now. At least they're fake and don't wilt or mash easily.