Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It's March -- Time to Catch Up

Yes, please READ BOOKS! Really, it is our only hope. Enough said.

Sitting here at the computer, thinking about how to begin blogging again, I decided to just do it and to mark the beginning of March with a new post. The first day of March has been sweet as a lamb around here. How about where you are?

Where I Left You:

In August I had read some of Thoreau's The Concord and the Merrimack and shared a bit of that with you. I will get back to this one and we will catch up on it soon. It was about this time that I had a health setback and decided to take a break from blogging. I am still dealing with some things and will have surgery in late April. Nothing life threatening, just a nuisance. After a winter of laying low, I am back. Am still not sure how the blog will develop, perhaps it will find its own way. I feel the need to write so we will see how it goes.

BBC Radio 4:

A sweet little thing happened yesterday. I was cooking and listening to "A Good Read" on BBC Radio 4. Each 30 minute program has two guests and the interviewer. They discuss three books, one chosen by each person. It is kind of like belonging to a book club in a very passive way. This is one of my favorite programs on BBC Radio 4. My very favorite is "The Archers", but I will save that for another post. Most of the time the books discussed are ones I have heard about before, sometimes have read, most of the time not. Well, I listened to two programs while making dinner and it turns out I own three of the featured books! Here they are along with links to the programs. If you have not listened to "A Good Read" before, you are in for a treat.

Memoirs of Hadrian, Good-Bye to All That, Song of Solomon 

All three are now in my To Be Read (TBR) stack. I have started the Morrison before, but cannot remember why I did not finish it. As I read these, I will let you know how they go.

BBC Radio 4 "A Good Read" Links:

Graves and Morrison, Goodbye to All That, Song of Solomon

Yourcenar, Memoirs of Hadrian

My Italian Year:

2017 is my "Italy" year. This is why:

Frances Mayes Bramasole Olive Oil

We gave our family and friends cans of this oil for Christmas gifts this year. It is really quite good. Actually, it is pure nectar! One of our friends said she has to keep it hidden from her husband because he will drink it. It is surprising the difference between the "real deal" and oils available here; even the "good" ones do not come close. Here is what we did when our shipment arrived:

Oh My...

We have had it on practically everything except Sunday morning waffles.

To pay homage to Frances Mayes and her excellent oil, I decided to read about Italy in 2017 and to learn to cook the real Italian way.  I will share some of my reading and cooking with you as time goes by. The Vegetable Lasagne recipe in Frances Mayes' "Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life" is superb.

2017 Reading So Far...

Sweetwater Creek, Anne Rivers Siddon
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
The Patience of the Spider, Andrea Camilleri
Divisadero, Michael Ondaatje
The Girl of My Dreams, Donna Leon
Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope
The Fall of Troy, Peter Acroyd
Rumpole and the Primrose Path, John Mortimer
The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller (5 stars, the best so far!)
The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
The Birth of Venus, Sarah Dunant
Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life, Frances Mayes

Most of these have been audio books. I have needed to zone out a bit this winter. Quiet days, resting, knitting, and listening.

That's it for now, see you soon.

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