Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Fumblings

Whew. If there was an award for Mom of the day, I'd be in the running today. I have baked a butterfly cake (from scratch) complete with three colors of frosting, tied many tiny butterflies to lengths of curling ribbon and attached them to my chandelier, soon I'll go sell books at the aforementioned book sale, followed by dinner and more preparations for tomorrow's party.


Bookclub was held at my house last night when we discussed Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. I was somewhat surprised by the reaction: 3 people liked it, 2 "did not like it and would not recommend it", and 1 thought it was 'okay'. Hmmm. We had a good discussion nonetheless and voted on what we'll read in 2008. I'm fairly pleased with the list. I didn't feel the suggestions this year were the greatest...and other people must have felt the same because we added three titles spontaneously that no one had suggested. One was my husband's idea. Here is the list - the titles I've already read are bolded.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
There are No Children Here by Alex Kottowitz
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I was a little disappointed but not surprised that no one voted for Half of a Yellow Sun.


I was very envious recently when so many UK blog writers wrote their thoughts on the new version of Room With a View shown on television. My clever friend from work who is also a fan of all things 'period' found it online, I won't spell it out for fear of it being removed but the initials of the place are Y** T***. You can watch it in 10 segments. I liked it.....but I have loved the original 1985 film for years and have watched it many times - though not recently. The new film didn't live up to the old version for me, so I'm going to re watch it- the old version - and see if it lives up to its place in my memory.


Nutmeg asked me in a comment to list Nigella's books from favorite to least favorite. Here goes:

1. How to Eat - for reading pleasure and recipes
2. How to Be a Domestic Goddess - about baking - same thoughts as number one
3. Nigella Bites - I love the TV show this book was based on and have some favorite recipes from it- chocolate cake anyone?
4. Feast - I haven't cooked much from this but it's a terrific read.
5. Forever Summer - Similar in style to Nigella Bites (that is to say, less wordy - which is my favorite thing about Nigella - her writing). There are a couple recipes I make regularly.
6. Nigella Express - I don't see myself using this much. This is also less wordy that her previous books.

I would suggest How to Eat or HTBADG to start with. I think those really represent how Nigella cooks and much of the rest is a bit diluted - in my opinion.

Have a lovely weekend - after the party I'll be making my shopping list for Thanksgiving.


BooksPlease said...

How busy are you?!!

I really liked Case Histories. I was disappointed by The Bell Jar and a bit bored! I love anything by Margaret Atwood and have started to read Love in the Time of Cholera - good so far. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I thought was OK.

I must have missed a Room with a View! I've only started to read Half of a Yellow Sun - but it looks good. I wish there was more time to read all these books!

As for Nigella I agree that How To Eat is the best one of her books - but I do like all of them and regularly use them.

lazy cow said...

I loved Case Histories (Jackson, sigh), and One good turn.
I don't think I'll be able to bear watching the new version of Room with a view, as is one of my favourite movies, dare I say, better than the book, for all visual feast it is. My best friend and I were so obsessed, that she bought me a Florence Baedecker's when I went to Italy (years ago) and I had myself photographed with it in the same piazza Lucy visited.

nutmeg said...

You are one busy lady so thanks very much for putting up the Nigella list - it is much appreciated. I will put at least one of your top choices on my next TBD order.

Your books for next year look varied - which is good! It also reminds me that I have still yet to read Love in the Time of Cholera.

Anonymous said...

You have been busy, Tara. The butterfly cake and party sounds delightful. Very creative.

Your book club list looks interesting. I have read the Hosseini book and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I have a couple of the others in the gigantic To-Be-Read pile. I do need to read Case Histories and will at some point.

Have a great weekend and remember to put your feet up a couple of times. You deserve it (nice little cup of tea, current book, 15 minutes of reading).

Nan said...

Ever since I began reading your blog, I've thought you could receive that award! I'd like to hear more about Case Histories when you are sitting around with nothing to do. :<)

Tara said...

Booksplease - I also remember being bored by The Bell Jar - glad it wasn't just me - but perhaps I will find it more interesting this time around. I've also enjoyed M. Atwood and look forward to discussing this one with the group. I too wish I had more time - lately, by the time I have time, I'm too tired to read!

Lazy Cow, I think I agree with you the the original RWAV is better than the book. I love your story about Florence - I would do the same if given the chance.

Nutmeg, You are welcome. I see that the film version of Love in the time... has recently been released here - but now that I know I'll be reading the book soon I don't want to see the film first. Nuts.

Kay, thank you for your kind words. I took your suggestion!

Nan, Thank You. What a nice thing to say. I will let you know more about Case Histories. Just not able to right now.

Becca said...

That's an incredibly interesting and widely varied list of books for next year. I really enjoy the Nigella cookbooks and avidly watch her half hour show each week.

LisaMM said...

I can see why you'd be less than excited about next year's book club picks. You've read more than half of them!

Our book club doesn't plan that far out, which I think is good for us. We plan 3 months in advance each quarter. It puts us always on the lookout for something good to suggest for future picks.

Jodie Robson said...

We (my other half and I) watched Room with a View last night, with some trepidation. We agreed that it was a good effort but lacked subtlety, but that it was up against the toughest competition, since we each think the original is our favourite film. Now I want to read it again, because it's also one of my favourite books.

Afraid I loved The Bell Jar, but I was only 15 and wrote bad Plath-influenced poetry. Then I met Ted Hughes (I lived in Devon, he was a friend of a friend) and found a bit of perspective.

Tara said...

Hi Becca, I also love Nigella's show. I only wish it were on more often.

Lisamm - exactly my point! That seems to be the norm with my bookclub, unfortunately. I can see how choosing only 3 books at a time could be advantageous.

Geraniumcat, I agree completely with your assessment of RWAV. How fascinating it must have been to meet Ted Hughes- thanks for sharing that.

Danielle said...

I saw the ads for the remake of A Room with a View, but I have to say I love the original, too. I might see it when it comes here, but I think in the interim I will have to borrow the other one!