Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Break Is Almost Over

Blogging has gone by the wayside again around here. It's springtime, and I've been gardening, traveling and keeping my kids entertained through two back-to-back, two-week-long spring breaks instead. So happy school starts up again Monday!

Spring comes mighty early in the southland. Strawberries are almost ripe already.

I've managed to fit some reading in. For my book group, I finished The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht. I wanted to dislike this book merely because the writer is young, good-looking and accomplished. But I'm bigger than that, really. So I allowed myself to enjoy it quite a bit.

I've never read anything set in the Balkans before, and I found the setting rich and the novel an interesting mix of modern life and folklore. I was a little disappointed that the modern tale wasn't more filled out, but enjoyed the writer's weaving together of mythic elements and modern ones, and would happily read her next book.

Blackberries are getting there, too.

I'm almost finished reading Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story, which I'm enjoying as a romp through a dystopian America in the near future. I'm entertained but not mesmerized; however, I'm a tough audience for dystopia, as it almost never grabs me emotionally.

And here are some future lemons. I have no idea when these guys will be ripe. But it's my first fruit from this young tree, so I can't wait!


litlove said...

It is so hard to keep up with blogging in the school holidays! But my goodness your fruit and flowers are well advanced - how lovely. Strawberry plants in the UK are barely a twinkle in their grower's eyes right now. And what interesting reading you've been doing - I've heard of both of those novels but haven't read either of them. I'm in love with Willa Cather at the moment - she is just deliriously good.

Ti said...

I've been wanting to read Super Sad since it came out. I heard an interview on Bookworm with the author and the premise of the book totally grabbed me.

It's weird, but I sort of like the detached quality of dystopian fiction.

Your fruit looks good! I have no fruit going but when summer hits, I like to make mint juleps. I could grow mint, that's easy. LOL.

Gentle Reader said...

litlove--I love Willa Cather, too! Fell in love with My Antonia as a teenager (love books about outsiders!), and have Death Comes for the Archbishop on my night table. Here out west we read her in school :)

Every year I post pictures of my garden in springtime because it's astonishing even to me how quickly things get blooming in southern California. It's because there's never a freeze and we don't have any downtime in the garden--a boon or a burden, depending on how you look at it!

Ti--Don't you just love Bookworm? Michael Silverblatt is a hoot. Sometimes I think even the authors don't have any idea what he's asking about their books, his questions are so "deep"! But I get great ideas there, too.

Mint is easy to grow--go for it! I could use a mint julep right now--yum :)

Rose said...

Gorgeous photos - like litlove, my garden is a LONG WAY behind yours. We're almost entirely at seedling stage - except for the supermarket mint I dumped in a tub last autumn and seems to have benefited from sitting under snow for a month - it's gone crazy and is turning into a bush even as I look at it.

Gentle Reader said...

Rose--I love mint for that reason--it's forgiving! And it's good in a mojito :)

Ilsa Setziol said...

Hey T,
Glad you are getting some garden time. Way back to our last exchange: yes, we should nosh with Julie. I'm not sure I have your current email, but will zap her to arrange.
Just finished the latest TC Boyle book. I never leave his stuff thinking he's among my favorite writers, but always enjoy the ride. Especially liked seeing how he fictionalized ecological issues that I've reported on. A good choice for folks who are interested in So Cal's Channel Islands.
Now, on to Orlando, which I've never read, despite being a Woolf devotee. xoxox

Gentle Reader said...

Ilsa--Would love to get together for lunch with you and Julie. I have the Boyle on my list. I feel similarly about his writing, but read him for his southern California sensibility. I've never read Orlando, either. Will have to get on that! Let me know how it goes :)

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