Jubilee South

"Did you do anything special on your vacation?"

I was asked this upon returning home by a woman in our church whose family also vacations at our favourite beach.  Somewhat taken aback by this notion, I said, "No!" in a laughing kind of way, and was quickly saved by my brother who was one row of chairs behind me and had overheard the question.  "No!" he said. "We just sat around and ate!"

Between high school, college, managing households, and running a business, my family works like a dog year round.  That brief week in October that is "fall break" for most people is our seven-day Sabbath.  Throughout the year we work six days and pitch down on the seventh, but for a week in October we are at liberty to do absolutely nothing but rest on the seaside, kicked back in beach chairs with books on our laps, developing odd tans with sharp outlines because of how our books lie on our knees...  With the ten people in my family, plus the welcome addition of Anna, within a very short time of arriving at the beach our house was covered in A. boxes of food and B. piles of books.  With the few anomalies of poking into a few tourist stores, hitting golf balls off a driving range, and shrieking in the cold ocean water, we sat around eating and reading.  And oh, it was glorious.

I took a number of books with me, only one of which I managed to finish (unless you count Amos, Obadiah, and Jonah).  I was well into A Girl of the Limberlost, and completed that a few days into our vacation.  I had also taken C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain (which I am not enjoying as much as I had hoped I would) and I am still in the midst of that.  I began Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind (pretty good stuff for a debut novel!), and now I have bookmarks in Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter and Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (Kidnapped is a hoot - you should definitely read it).  I checked an odd contemporary biography out of the library on a strange twist of fancy (Traveling With Pomegranates), Daddy gave me my very own copy of Lesslie Newbign's Signs Amid the Rubble: the Purposes of God in Human History, I'm still in the middle of The Golden Warrior and reconciling myself to the dismal ending that I know is coming, I'll probably read Kidnapped's sequel David Balfour, and The Darkness and the Dawn by Thomas B. Costain has been waiting some time for me to get to it.

All this upon the eve of November, which promises to be chock full of Not Reading.  But as I become loathfully depressed when short of reading material  I cannot say I am sorry I have so much weighing on me; this should carry me well into December and most likely into the new year.  By the twelve houses, the new year is so close...

So much for a reading update!  I know I like to hear what other people are reading; here's hoping you like to get a peek at what I'm planning (so much for good intentions) to read.  I am continuing to work on topical posts for the November blog party for The Shadow Things and answering questions that the readership is sending in.  Keep them coming, folks!  To tide you over, check out Anne-girl's blog Scribblings of My Pen and Tappings of My Keyboard: she is hosting a blog conference as I type and had asked me to write up several posts and engage in a question-and-answer session of her own.  I chose the topics World Building and Verbal Sparring, and found the questions very intriguing.  I get the feeling that none of my answers were strictly orthodox; be sure to check them out! 

5 ripostes:

  1. I'm going to try Kiddnapped someday it's on my list but it'll probably be several years before I get to it. So many book, so little time. Thanks so much for all your help with the conference! Your posts are lovely!

  2. I love hearing what you're reading...you've already influenced my own readable-choices this year-- a massive foray into Rosemary Sutcliff! I now have three of her titles under my belt and will be keeping a weather-eye out for more!

  3. Wow, that's quite a collection you got going there! Of course, you can never read too many books. I'm only reading four books right now. ;P
    I would tell you all about those four books, but methinks you are going to have to wait. I'm posting about it soon, and hate to ruin the fun. ;D

    Glad to have you back in the blogging world!

  4. Hurrah, glad you are back, Jenny! Dear me... how we've missed you and Abigail, but I sure know how good a week long break by the beach can be good to a body. We had a wonderful time last autumn on a beautiful island by the ocean, it was soooo relaxing, I got to read, take photos, splash at the water's edge, watch movies together and to boot it all, I edited my short story then and had my family read it aloud late at night before a night of slumber in a new room dreaming about my character :). Beach-breaks are splendid.

    Your book list is fascinating, Jenny. I am currently reading many books all at once, but probably the most I am giving attention to is 'The Silmallerion'... intense, detailed and sometimes complicated but really inspiring and beautiful. Tolkien was a genius!

    And as Rachel said, through your influence, I am looking out to more readings from Sutcliff's book... c'mon 'Shield Ring', when will I find you wrapped in a package in the mail?!!!

  5. Joy - I would like to say it is good to be back, but oh my word there is such a pile waiting for me to dig myself out of. I said in I Hid My Heart In Fire that piles do build up if you don't attend to them, and I meant to keep on top of them while I was away, but the wifi was weak to nonexistent in our beach house and was usually hogged by one of the larger laptops so that, even if I could get on the internet, it was such a bother that I didn't have the mood to go about making a blog post or tackling some of the questions readers have been sending in. But by now I have got round to some of that, now that I'm back home and things are beginning to settle down. I have quite a number of posts written for the party and at least two people's lists of questions answered.

    Anne-girl - If you are at all worried that Kidnapped will be dull or hard to understand, let me allay those fears at once. It is a fast-paced, well-written, funny story, and the characters are very vividly drawn. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!

    Bree - It is a lot of books, isn't it...? I'm scurrying through Kidnapped so I can get on to Freckles and Traveling with Pomegranates, both of which are library books and will have to go back in a few weeks. The Name of the Wind is a fat, little paperback, which makes it hard to wrestle with while reading it - I imagine I'll be in that for the long-haul. Except for perhaps Newbigin (I seem to have missed the second i in his name in the body of the post), I don't expect the others to take me long once I buckle down sensibly to them.

    Rachel - Hurrah for Sutcliff! Joy is getting The Shield Ring; if you haven't read that yourself, I highly recommend it.