Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reading, week of 11/9

I promise next week I'll start with those writing craft and life posts. This week I was too busy actually doing the writing!

The theme of my reading week was Nostalgia. I picked up Betsy-Tacy (Maud Hart Lovelace, 1940) from the library hoping that I could read it to my five-year-old daughter who's just starting to like chapter books for read-aloud time. She wasn't interested--I'm learning not to bother with any book for her that doesn't have an animal on the cover!

But I'd heard so many people say the Betsy-Tacy series was an all-time favorite that I decided to read it myself anyway. And I enjoyed it, in a pure nostalgia sort of way. Betsy and Tacy are two little girls growing up Minnesota circa 1900. It's a sweet book, and I liked it enough that I'll probably try the later books, where I understand the reading level gets higher and the plots more complex.

In The Food of a Younger Land (Mark Kurlansky, 2009), Kurlansky discovers a never-published WPA project from 1941 looking at local and regional American foodways and cuisine. He provides an introduction and excerpts. If you're interested in the intersection between food and culture, you'll enjoy the book just to see how much has changed in the last 70 years or so. E.g. tacos were unknown outside of the Southwest, Pacific salmon were considered inferior to the Atlantic variety, etc. It's not the kind of book you read cover to cover. I focused on what I wished I could eat (everything from the Vermont sugaring-off, game dinners) and what I'm glad I don't have to (chitlins, lutefisk, and yes, I know both of those still exist).


Rose Lerner said...

I loved the Betsy-Tacy books when I was a kid. My favorite, though, was the one where Betsy got married. Ditto for the Little House on the Prairie books. I guess I've been a romance fan since birth?

Susan Wilbanks said...

My favorite Little House books were Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years because everyone seemed to be having so much fun.

Rose Lerner said...

They definitely seemed to be the books with the least natural disasters and plagues.