Tuesday, May 20, 2008

West From Home

Today I finished The Catcher in the Rye! I could then begin West from Home with a clear conscience (one book at a time). Like Holden in The Catcher in the Rye, who yearns for a more innocent world, I'm somewhat relieved to now read about a world more innocent and promising. Don't get me wrong, The Catcher in the Rye is an incredible book--it's boundless honesty is very engaging--but I'm eager for something more uplifting.

I spent nearly an hour outside with West From Home, something I can't normally do during the week but today I was very lucky. It was great to sit out in the sun. Even though I had a small basal cell skin cancer removed almost two years ago, I'm no solar-phobe. I still believe that some sun is beneficial for Vitamin D production (and who knows what else). With my hat and sunglasses on I sat out in a sunny spot with my book and it was so pleasant! By the fragrant orange tree is my favorite place to sit, but unfortunately the bees agree with me, so I had to move away a bit.

West From Home
is a compilation of the letters that author Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote to her journalist daughter, Rose, and to Laura's husband, Almanzo, affectionately called, "Manly". Rose's letters to her mom, who's called "Bessie" and "Mama Bess", are also part of this collection.

11 comments:

  1. The blog is much easier to navigate now, and is more fun with the quotes and photographs. I can just imagine myself reading a spell in a light breeze under a blossoming tree. Your quotes are very positive and I appreciate the succinct words you use in your book descriptions. Having Angela's book list is a treat. Great idea, as long as adults can read them too! Glad you put that as "8 and over" so I qualify!

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  2. Nice format! Your description of Letters to Home is so inviting...I want to read it now!

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  3. Thanks for your encouragement! I kind of miss the old format (template) though.
    Are either of you reading any books worthy of mention?

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  4. I agree with Eriko: your description of LETTERS FROM HOME intrigues me. My reading hasn't been as esoteric lately: Helen MacInnes' THE HIDDEN TARGET is a cultural spy story set, in part, in the Pauma Valley north of Escondido. Ms. MacInnes visited the John Cole Bookstore in La Jolla many times in her later years before she died (that building was one of Ellen Browning Scripps' homes at one time, I believe). All tangents aside, THE HIDDEN TARGET is a cultural spy story with great descriptions of geography and culture in primarily European settings. The language used by her characters is often in the same syntax of the host countries. It combines an interest in architecture, dance and languages (among other things) with an overriding optimism for the survival of free will and didgnity in the face of historical struggles against seemingly insurmountable tyrannies and conflicts. The romances are fun, too, if not a bit naive in some places. I like the cheap (but environmentally 'green' "travelogue" requiring no plane tickets or use of fossil fuels. However, I don't recall her describing Sweden at all ... too bad! It's beautiful, historic, full of culture and the arts, gentle people, and a quiet atmosphere.

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  5. I will look into getting a copy of The Hidden Target, Sandie. It sounds like an exciting book (and a real departure from my usual choices).
    As you can see, I've gone back to my original template, wild colors and all! I may tone it down a bit. . . .

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  6. (P.S. Don't mean to always "get the last word"; do want to let you know I read and think about your comments!)

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  7. I'll send over my copy of HIDDEN TARGET via EDO for you. I found it for $1.00 at the library used book store. Other Helen MacInnes books (I've read almost all of them) contributed to my description. One is set in Spain (hence the dancing); another in Austria, another in Italy, and some cross over several borders, and are post-WWII commentaries. Staying aware and not becoming complacent are quiet underlying messages. Some books I like better than others. Hidden Target is a bit naive in the character development, but the travelogue and suspense are fun.

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  8. Another book I've read recently: THE TRUE STORY OF RAMONA: ITS FACTS & FICTIONS, INSPIRATION & PURPOSE, Davis, 1914, 813.4JAC (Carlsbad library number). An unexpectedly charming and intriguing account, with photos, of HHJ's travels in California, the people she met, her experiences investigating and supporting property rights for native Indians, the personalities and their life stories who contributed to the characters and events in the book RAMONA, etc. Each page has a block printed edge design. It is a nostalgic view of old California with many insights about the commitment and strength of HHJ to fight bureaucracy and small-minded power-seekers in the government and military for the benefit of individual dignity and individual rights in a flawed and hypocritical democracy. It describes a connection of people of good will and good spirit. The descriptions of California in the late 1800s -- both geographically and culturally -- capture a bittersweet portrait of a land in transition, but much loved and appreciated by its inhabitants and visitors.

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  9. The format you've returned to is more modern and hip. The other was monochromatic with matched colors. This is your 'magazine' so to speak, to be presented in a way that suits you. What good is a blog if you're uncomfortable with it? Enjoy the evolution. It's so fun to be able to learn and be excited about books and ideas. Thanks for setting this up and sharing it!

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  10. Sandie, thanks for posting all these in-depth comments, because I really appreciate hearing your ideas. Thanks for lending me The Hidden Target! I was obviously surprised when you brought it to me, as I had not yet read your additional comments. You have a lot of interesting thoughts to share and I hope you will continue to do so.

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  11. The True Story of Ramona sounds intriguing!

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