Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Reading

When I was in college, I couldn't afford the time to read anything but my biology and chemistry textbooks. The rest of my classes were easy enough to do well in, but the science was just plain hard. Of course, they were also the most compelling and fascinating of my classes but, brother, were they ever demanding!

So, because I'm a lover of novels, and particularly "women's fiction," I'd buy those books as I found them and stash them up in my top closet shelf, just waiting for the last exam to be written and the last grade posted. Then, like a kid sneaking up to the cookie jar, I'd haul down my summer reading cache and wallow in the stories and people and imagination rather than the facts and figures. They weren't just easier reading, they were also more human stories, stories with warmth and humor, stories that appealed to my non-science side.

In the same way that I still love following the advances of science, I still love women's fiction and I guess I always will. But, I do like to sprinkle through my light and solid reading books that are in the middle - well-written and filled with interesting science-related ideas as well as compelling characters and stories. For this reason, I love Michael Pollan's books, especially the one on architecture, but all of his are interesting to me.

Orchard House another such book. It's a great summer read, in that it's accessible and open, but it also is filled with interesting people to whom I think everyone can relate (unless you had an Ozzie-and-Harriet family life) and scientific ideas such as agriculture and permaculture. It's about gardening, but it's also about cultivating a family. 

Tara's lyrical prose is a delight - her  descriptions remind me a little of John Muir when he rhapsodizes about his First Summer in the Sierra. Her stories about the work it takes to cultivate both garden and family are real - they don't flinch from the sometimes-tough parts of being in a family. And her openness in sharing her stories is inviting.

This summer, when you find a little time to snuggle into a window seat or lie in a shaded hammock, make sure you have a copy of Orchard House nearby. Tara won't mind if you spill a little homemade lemonade on the pages.

P.S. Sorry about the sad cellphone photo, snapped at Book Passage (wonderful independent bookstore in Marin) during Tara's warm and funny book talk.


Blogger Diane said...

Summer reading is such fun. Somehow it always feels more relaxed. Maybe it's the hammock image! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015  

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