Friday, September 25, 2009

Two Lauries

I was all set to participate in the blogishness yesterday but I went to the eye doctor yesterday and spent the afternoon blind. How did I forget that they were going to dilate my eyes and why does it seem it affected me more than ever? I went to the grocery store afterwards and almost had to ask someone to read the labels on the food for me. Thank goodness for tv.

This has been a busy week and I have only a short time now as I'm due at school for the 'picnic' when parents join their children for lunch and awful food is served. Ugh.

I'd just like to mention a few books I've read lately - it's been awhile since I've read them so I don't have a lot to say.

Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen is an absolutely delightful food memoir. She's funny, she's sarcastic, she knows what she likes and she's not afraid to eat it. I don't even know that I so much plan to cook any of her recipes - the writing here is what appealed to me. Happily, there is a follow-up to Home Cooking,More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen; unhappily this is all we will ever have as Colwin passed away at a young age.

I also read Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak in a flash last weekend. Utterly compelling, this young adult novel is one I've heard of everywhere and for good reason. Anderson certainly has some insight into the minds of teenagers. For those unacquainted, Speak is the story of a young woman who has entered high school as an outcast, thanks to a phone call to the police she made at a party. No one knows why she really made that phone call, no one knows why she rarely speaks. I can completely see why this book has become assigned reading for teens. This book is rather bigger than itself, in that so many teens can relate to feelings of isolation and of being misunderstood that Anderson writes of so vividly. This is the sort of book I hope my daughter is reading when the age is right.

17 comments:

Nan said...

As you know, I love LC. I love these books and the fiction I've so far read. It makes me ache that she is no longer in this world.

Ti said...

They have a new 3D imaging process that does not require your eyes to be dilated now. Not all insurance companies pay for it but I usually spring for the extra $40 because it takes HOURS and sometimes half a day for my eyes to go back to normal. It's neat too because they show you a computer image of your eye and you can see everything they look at.

As far as reading, I have not read Speak. I just finished Goldengrove (liked it) and I am working on Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.

jennysbooks said...

Blech, I hate having my eyes dilated. I would rather have the test where they blow air into your eyes, than have my eyes dilated - and I really do not enjoy having a puff of air blown into my eye. (My eyes are watering just thinking about this.)

Glad you enjoyed Speak! Have you read Chains? It's about a slave during the Revolutionary War, and it is quite quite good.

Jenny said...

I just read Home Cooking, too! I've been carefully spreading out my Colwin books, trying to make them last as long as possible, and this was my next to last one. I loved it and will probably write the review today or tomorrow!

JoAnn said...

You've just reminded me that I wanted to write about my book group meeting. We discussed Speak...what a book!

Bybee said...

I'm so pleased that attention is still being paid to Laurie Colwin. I never read her food writing, but I really liked her fiction.

Rebecca Reid said...

I've only just begun to read food memoirs, but I think for those I've read and loved, it is mostly the writing and stories that I'm reading for, not the recipes. Thanks for the heads of another great one!

Iliana said...

Wasn't Speak great? It's probably up there as one of my favorite reads this year. I know she has another book that takes place in the same setting although I don't think it's quite a sequel. Must read it anyway!

Staci said...

Speak is a fantastic book. Not really knowing the age of your daughter Anderson has wrote Chains, Fever 1793, and a lot of Wild at Heart books which center around a veterinarian's office and children who volunteer there and work with different animals. These are geared more for 4-6th grade.

bermudaonion said...

You must be far sighted - us near sighted people can still read when our eyes are dilated. I loved Speak too!

Bookfool said...

I must have had what Ti mentioned because they showed me an image of my eyeball on the computer screen and there was no dilating.

Speak is a great book.

Tara said...

Nan, yes I do know - in fact I think it is because of you that I know about Laurie Colwin at all. So thank you!

Ti, Cool! I am pretty sure that A.that would not be covered under my plan, and B. that it is not even a choice at the place I go to. $40 doesn't seem like a bad deal to avoid the hassle though!

jennysbooks, I had the puff test too, I thought that replaced the dilation but she said no, she wanted to dilate my eyes to look at the retinas. I can totally deal with the puff. I have not read Chains, though I have had it from the library and never got to it. Someday!

Jenny, I'll look for your review! I bet it will be more thorough than mine!

JoAnn, I'll have to check out your post.

Bybee, she's an absolutely charming writer. We lost her too soon.

Rebecca, I've read lots of them, and I go both ways- sometimes I cook from them, other times not.

Iliana, absolutely. I can't think of the name, but she mentions in the interview in the back a book that takes place at the same high school. The character from Speak makes a guest appearance.

Staci, she's only 7 so it'll be a few years. When the time is right, I'll be leaving this author's books around the house. You know, if I push too much, then she doesn't take my reading suggestions.

Kathy, Nope! Crazy near sighted, in fact practially no-sighted. Couldn't see anything after the dilation.

Bookfool, nice! Lucky you.

Les said...

I've had Home Cooking in my stacks for a year or so now. I think I picked it up upon Nan's recommendation. Or maybe yours! I've also heard very good things about Speak. I may pick that for my book club when we read a teen book. Thanks, Tara! My list keeps growing. :)

Tara said...

Les, I picked it up on Nan's recommendation as well! Speak would be an excellent book club choice. I have to suggest books in about a month, and there are too many to choose from!

melanie said...

Oh how I love the Lauries. I am wanting to read LHA's book Chains. My son liked Fever 1793 too.

Tara said...

Melanie, I want to read Chains, too, and also loved Fever 1793.

michard said...

Absolutely love Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. I go back to them time and time again. So sad that she died so young and this is all we have of her non-fiction. I followed her in Gourmet magazine where the columns began that became those two books.