I’ve been sitting here on my porch for quite some time, while birds chatter happily about and water plashes in the fountain across the way. This week away from home has been restful and almost childishly happy, and I’m trying hard not to let sadness creep in to mar this last day of vacation.
So Sunday stretches before me with very little to do until leaving for the airport tonight. You all know how unusual it is for me to have empty days (even on Sundays!) ~ unusual enough that I’m sometimes flummoxed by them, and so fritter them away with indecisive dithering. Today I’ve been reading quite a bit, and although I was thinking of telling you about the book I finished earlier this week (The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Baumeister), it was a book I loved so much I believe I’ll let it sit a while longer in my mind, marinate a bit (if you’ll forgive the cooking pun) because it is after all a book about slow food for the body and soul.
I brought three books with me on vacation, which proved to be just the right amount for this week. One never knows how many books will be needed on a vacation, and I’m always fearful that the book cupboard will run dry, so tend to overstock the literary luggage. Alas, the books I chose to bring were all hardcovers, and were heavy~but they traveled in my checked luggage this time, so were not a burden to carry. When we left, I was midway through Laurie King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first in her series of novels about young detective Mary Russell, a fictional protege of Sherlock Holmes. What a delightful read! but very dense…lots happening on each page. Not a fluff mystery by any means! Fellow book blogger, Eva, recommended this series, and as I was reading about the supremely intelligent, quick witted, and industrious Mary Russell, I couldn’t help but think how much she reminded me of Eva herself (at least what I’ve gleaned from reading her blog). I will definitely be continuing on with this series. After finishing this one on Tuesday, I delved into School…and, well, more about that next week. Suffice it to say, it was delicious and quite satisfying on a number of levels.
Now I’ve taken up The Piano Teacher, an extremely interesting novel by Janice Y. Lee, who gives us a look at Hong Kong during the days leading up to, through, and just after WWII. The general air of wealth and plenty enjoyed by the expats who resided there in the 30’s and 40’s gives way to deprivation, fear, and intrigue when they are interned in camps following the Japanese take-over in 1941. We see all this through the eyes of one Will Truesdale, a rather stand-up British gentleman, and his lover, Trudy Liang, a quite fearless and volatile native, who, as a “Eurasian” (Portuguese mother, Chinese father) is neither here nor there in the eyes of the Japanese. The title character, our “piano teacher” appears after the war, a young Englishwoman who arrives in Hong Kong with her husband, and finds her life dangerously entwined with Will Truesdale’s. The author has created a compelling cast of characters, and set them in a place and period of history with which I’m not very familiar. I’m always interested in seeing how world events shape lives and personalities, and this novel is doing a bang-up job painting a picture of some very perilous times. One of my favorite novels in this genre is an old chestnut ~ Gone With the Wind~ but it comes to mind since Matt has gathered a group of book-bloggers for a Read-Along of this classic tale of the American old south and the changes wrought by the Civil War.
So back to reading, although I must plan the rest of today’s reading carefully so as not to finish the book on the airplane tonight, and thus be left with nothing to read for the remainder of a flight (an unspeakably horrific prospect, no?) But since this is the last day of my lovely vacation in Florida, I plan to be out and about soaking up sunshine, soft breezes and profusely blooming flower beds.
Have a lovely Sunday, my friends ~ spend it as if it were the last day of your vacation! *smiles*