Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This weekend my family is doing what everyone in their right mind has been avoiding lately, considering the price of gas--getting in the car and driving to our vacation destination. We're going to Yosemite to celebrate my dad's birthday.
Yosemite has been one of my favorite places since I was a child. I remember stopping at a store on the way to Yosemite when I was a kid, and buying two books from a bargain table--Silas Marner, by George Eliot, and The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--both of which I devoured on that trip. I remember loving Silas Marner, but I don't remember much about The Hound of the Baskervilles. Maybe I'll read it again some day.
In Silas Marner, I remember reading about Silas trying to punish baby Eppie by putting her in the coal hole, and having the punishment backfire on him when she took to going into the coal-hole for fun. When Silas finds her in the coal-hole, dirty with coal dust, she smiles and says, "Eppie in de toal-hole!" I remember finding that bit very funny, and sharing it with my family, and having Eppie's phrase stick with us and become a family joke. Now, with a three-year-old who loves nothing more than making a mess, I relate to the anecdote even more.
For this trip I'm not relying on finding a bargain book table; I'm bringing Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth, which I've been saving for the trip, but which I need to finish before my book group meets next week. I loved The Namesake and The Interpreter of Maladies, so I'm really looking forward to this book. Can't wait to discuss it with my book group.
Do you ever associate books with the places you read them?
And anyone who has read Unaccustomed Earth, what do you think?