Book 333: The Bitterweed Path – Thomas Hal Phillips

Phillips, Thomas Hal - The Bitterweed PathThis response is a bit scattered. It’s as close to stream-of-consciousness as I will ever get so enjoy it.

I jumped this book up my list because someone was getting antsy. For some reason, he didn’t think I wanted to read anything he suggested, or that I didn’t like his last recommendation, Last Summer, so I’ve made a deal with him that I’ll read a book at least every other month from him (talk about dictating!). Thankfully I’ve really enjoyed both books he’s recommended so far. His next recommendation is Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour and these recommendations don’t even include the ones of his that I WANT to read!

I was a little torn on John Howard’s introduction as it felt a bit misleading, but it did provide an excellent history of Phillips life and the setting of the novel. Howard wrote about his own experience as an LGBT academic and activist, and the self-serving nature of getting this book re-published for its early LGBT themes. He mentioned Phillips lack of acknowledgement about his own sexuality, which was interesting, and noted that none of his other books did as well as The Bitterweed Path and didn’t contain LGBT themes.

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30x30, Personal Project

30 x 30: #11 – Grow something from a bulb or seed

2014 05-08 Lemon Basil SeedsI’m calling this one a success, even though I didn’t get to make pesto! I figured if I was growing something it should be something useful, even though the original plan was for something just for aesthetic value.

I picked up the Lemon Mrs. Burns basil from what used to be a farm stand and is now a grocery store and greenhouse near my house back in May and planted them that day!

This item came from Caroline’s suggestions to my list and I really liked the idea for a couple of reasons. I don’t really have a green thumb, so that would make it a challenge, it would either be beautiful or useful (or both) AND, most importantly, one of my coworkers from my old job gave me a set of beautiful handmade clay pots she made with me in mind!

2014 09-06 Best Gift Ever

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Books, The Classics Club

Book 299: The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of WrathI did it. I completed a John Steinbeck novel!

Honestly, I think even in high school I only partially read The Red Pony and The Pearl (or maybe I did actually read them, because they’re both novellas and pretty short), but the point is I finished a BIG one! In addition to it being a “full” Steinbeck novel, it counts toward both my Classic Club list (32/100) and as part of my 30 x 30 list!

I’ve always felt a little guilty at the lack of American authors on my read list and not having Steinbeck seems like a big omission. I’ve read many American authors, mostly before I started this blog, but Steinbeck is one of those which really is synonymous with America. He is America, a very specific swath and very specific time period of America, but he is America none-the-less.

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Books, Quotes

Book 115: Farm City – Novella Carpenter

Any book that can make me want to do something I have no desire to do is clearly a good book. And that makes Novella Carpenter’s Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer an AWESOME book. I found myself giggling constantly at her way with words and reactions to events, and I found myself desperately wanting to become an urban farmer and try growing something in my backyard (not quite bringing up an animal, but baby steps). This book doesn’t count for any challenges – other than a fun read that I randomly grabbed off a shelf at the library.

Farm City was the Somerville Reads book for 2012 and I read it after the event and it’s made me want to get involved next year. Somerville Reads “is a project that promotes literacy and community by encouraging people all over the City to read and discuss books on the same theme.” I truly feel libraries help build community and provide resources for many people who don’t have access to other opportunities and this is just one example. But on to the review!

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