My Life in France. I just finished it. Now I sort of want to cry. Don't you love the feeling of finally finding a book that just speaks to you? You know, where you can't put it down, even though sometimes your kid gets home from school and wants strawberries with yogurt and a big drink of water, and he wants you to pull a banana chair out into the middle of the room so he can watch "Martha Speaks" on PBSkids, and he needs you to sign a field trip permission slip, and so you sort of have to put it down... But then you pick it right back up again and you are immediately drawn back in to the places and people and stories and details and imagined smells, and oh! This book did that for me.
Look, I even took it and read it while shopping and breakfasting "all by my lone" (thanks for the awesome catch phrase Sawyer Susie) at IKEA on Monday. ...Which, I guess I should also take this time to say, I think I'm turning into quite the loner these days. A happy loner. A loner by choice. That's not to say that I don't LOVE getting together with good friends and eating good food and having great conversation... it's just to say that 5 years ago, I wouldn't have been caught dead eating "by my lone" in a furniture warehouse cafeteria, and on Monday, that experience was probably my favorite part of the day. Hm. Weird. I must be getting old or something. I really liked shopping "by my lone" as well. I could get lost in patterns and and paintings and light fixtures and compare prices and go back and look at things as many times as I wanted to without worrying that I might be holding someone else up. It was sort of bliss, really.
But I digress. "My Life in France." Ahhhh. (dreamy sigh). Huge thanks go out to Stacey for gushing about it. I wouldn't have picked it up otherwise. I don't know that I ought to recommend it to anyone and everyone wholeheartedly, because the more I learn about books and people, the more I realize that we all have REALLY different tastes in books. I am realizing that I am SO not a fiction girl. I would much rather read ANYTHING that has to do with real life and applicable solutions to problems. To me, real life really IS stranger (and cooler and more interesting and more charming) than fiction.
The Twilight Series (I'm more than a little ashamed to admit) is one of the only modern fictions that has really pulled me in as of late...but many of "The Classics" are simply awesome. I also loved "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Daphne DuMaurier's "Rebecca" and Arthur Golden's "Memoirs of Geisha" and Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and a whole bunch of others. However, I find that I like and actually finish 1 out of every 10-15 fiction books I pick up and try to read. Hm.
I guess the reason that I hesitate to push my book preferences on any of you lovely people is that I once read (and now own) a 600 some odd page instructional book about the practical aspects of housekeeping called "Home Comforts" and I loved every minute of it. The author literally explains the fundamentals of housekeeping in excruciating detail. For upwards of two weeks, I devoured her every single word and meticulously studied diagrams of how to fold fitted sheets and lists of what should and should not be kept in the refrigerator. (Which, by the way, it has been scientifically proven that bread stales FASTEST when in the refrigerator. DON'T put your bread in the refrigerator. Put it in a bread box, or put it in the freezer, but don't you dare put it in the fridge. Unless you love stale bread, of course, and in that case, by all means, knock yourself out. But the temperatures in the common household refrigerator are the absolute WORST possible for bread. Can you tell that I am passionate about this? Well I am. I really like soft bread.)
But, I digress. (Yes, again.) The point I was trying to make was this: I don't think that most women want to spend their time reading a 600 page instructional manual about how to fold fitted sheets, and the best and worst places to store bread, or beans, or onions. So, when I say "I loved this book or that book!" You may or may not want to go ahead and take that recommendation with a grain of salt, remembering that I like to read 600 page textbooks about folding sheets. That's all I'm saying.
"My Life in France" was beyond charming. As I said in an earlier post: "I want to go to there." I want to live a simpler life that is rich in the details of everyday living.
While I LOVE reading about good housekeeping practices, and while I love reading about great cooks and mouth-watering recipes, I am not a good housekeeper, or an even remotely satisfactory cook. (Boo.) I want to be better. This summer, I'm going to try some new things. I'm going to set some new goals and see if I can live up to them. I am going to track my progress on this here little blog-a-log. (Hey, I thought it would help if I was accountable to someone, so I thought, why not be accountable to all three of my faithful readers?! Right? Right.) If I implement a goal that you would like to try, you should do it with me and we will let each other know how the process is going. What works, what doesn't, and why or why not this is a worthy goal. Or I will do it by myself. I don't mean to be pushy.
I loved reading "My Life in France." I am now going to spend the next three days mourning the death of that novel and wishing that I hadn't read it so fast and also searching diligently for a new, AWESOME pile of words to sink my teeth into. Wish me luck. (And, seriously, don't put your bread in the fridge. Trust me. Kay?)