It's almost midsummer...love the long days, cool mornings, and color everywhere. My garden is doing well. The peonies were splendid as were the irises, and the lilacs were robust this year. I have lots of perennials that are coming back and baskets of annuals and a deck full of containers. I am loving succulents lately and playing around with different textures. I have a bed of red onions and a bed of yellow onions, and today I am picking the first of the spinach (I planted it rather late). I am excited about the bed of sunflowers I planted, and I can't wait for the tomatoes and peppers to make my August spicy and delicious.
|A view of my terraced garden
Oh right, I was supposed to be talking about what I've been reading.
Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love, by Kim Fay - a super enjoyable epistolary novel recommended by Joann of Gulfside Dreaming. Set in the 1960s, 20-something Joan is living in Los Angeles and writes a fan letter to Imogen Fortier, a much older woman, who is a columnist living in the Pacific Northwest. They strike up a long-distance friendship and share recipes and adventures in food exploration. I particularly like Joan's discovery of Mexican food and how she shares her growing knowledge and passion with Imogen. I also loved the nostalgia of reading about the 1960's of my childhood. A perfect summer read.
Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate Dicamillo - one of my favorite essays in Ann Patchett's These Precious Days was about her discovery of Kate Dicamillo, Newbury award winning author of YA novels. Since I have never read Dicamillo myself, I got a few titles and promised myself that I would read them this summer. First up was this first published novel of Dicamillo and winner of the Newbury Honor. I absolutely loved the book. The main character, Opal, is a wonderful child, and her dog, Winn-Dixie, is everything a dog should be. Like Love & Saffron, this is a book of friendship, food, and love. At one point, I found myself with tears absolutely streaming down my cheeks. Dicamillo knows what she is doing.
Happy Solstice, everyone! And, as always, happy reading...writing, working, and playing!