The time seems near, if it has not actually arrived, when the chastened sublimity of a moor, a sea, or a mountain will be all of nature that is absolutely in keeping with the moods of the more thinking among mankind. And ultimately, to the commonest tourist, spots like Iceland may become what the vineyards and myrtle-gardens of south Europe are to him now; and Heidelberg and Baden be passed unheeded as he hastens from the Alps to the sand-dunes of Scheveningen.Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native, pg. 3.
When you long for Iceland, it is ever-present.
So, what have I been reading? At the gym, on my mp3 player, I've just listened to Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, hence my current foray into more Hardy (thank you, Librivox). In the car, I've been listening to Julia Alvarez' In the Time of the Butterflies (thanks, Chesterfield Public Library). Can't say that I think much of Alvarez; I didn't like How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents much either. But, Julia Alvarez is the All Henrico Reads selection for this year, she is coming for an author visit, and many of our students are reading her various books. I tried.
I'm enjoying the process of becoming an organic, locally grown, CSA supporting, composting foodie. I loved Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food and currently am enjoying Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (local Virginia connection there). Next up will be Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemna (yes, I'm reading them out of order). We have a burgeoning foodie network at work.
Speaking of work, the student book club has selected Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (go figure!), any book by Alvarez (enough said), and Blood and Chocolate (I'm going to cheat and watch the movie instead. Hey--I don't have time to read everything). I do think that's part of the point of a book club, though: to read things you might not discover on your own.
And, I'm re-reading Thich Nhat Hanh's True Love over and over. I just can't get enough of it. Don't take my word for it...try it yourself!
Next time...back to Iceland...