Whew! Today we got back from my hubby’s family’s family reunion–his parents and their children and grandchildren–and we are TIRED. My oldest melted down before her (EARLY) bedtime, my middle was contrary and grumpy and disobedient, and the boy–who turned two while we were there, by the way–was hyper and into EVERYTHING. The kiddos are now slumbering peacefully, and my hubby and I are enjoying the quiet…and looking forward to NOT sharing a room with a two-year-old tonight!
I didn’t try any new recipes at Fish Lake, of course; for our assigned meal, we stuck a really, really large pork roast into two crockpots (initially and unsuccessfully) and then three crockpots, poured in some BBQ sauce, and called it pulled pork. (I realize any Southern BBQ experts are shuddering, but we were feeding 38 people (only one family didn’t make it) and we were EXHAUSTED (the 2-year-old did not sleep well). With thin slices of medium cheddar that pork made very decent sandwiches, although once again I was reminded that the family in which I grew up and the family into which I married eat very differently. (My siblings and I once swept a pudding eating contest, each of us being in a different age group. My hubby’s family, well…let’s just say that we will be eating the rest of the pulled pork until the END OF TIME.)
Hmm. Maybe I should go easier with the caps lock from here on out?
Anyway, I did manage to finish two books there, although only because I had 15 pages left in the first one when we got there and the second was incredibly short. The first was A Wizard of Earthsea, which I remember hearing about as a teenager; at the time it was part of a trilogy (to which the author has now added), and the middle book is a Newbery Honor book. My hubby bought me the trilogy years ago, and I decided that now was the time and committed myself to the first one.
It did take me longer to get into than I wanted it to, but that’s because I just don’t read much high fantasy anymore. Historical fiction and/or coming of age novels are my passions, and I find it harder and harder to let myself sink into an imaginary world. That said, it’s a tribute to Ursula Le Guin that I finally did manage to lose myself in it, and overall all it was a good book. Le Guin’s writing style was certainly strongly influenced by Tolkien, but her plot was not at all a lesser copy of The Lord of the Rings, for which we can all be grateful. (I LOVE Tolkien–there go the caps again!–but I don’t want to read someone else’s watered-down attempt at a similar story. I made it 50 pages into one of the Shannara books before throwing it down in disgust.) There is a lot of sailing in A Wizard of Earthsea, which surprised me more than it should have (I didn’t pick up on the EarthSEA?). Ultimately, however, you could also call it a coming of age novel, which probably (partly) explains why I enjoyed it at the last. We’ll see how I like the next one in the series.
The incredibly short book I finished was called The Year of Goodbyes, by Debbie Levy, and it’s a kind of cross between a verse novel and a documentary novel (if you don’t know what I mean by that, take a look at Deborah Wiles’ Countdown, which is a fabulous book). The author’s (Jewish) mother escaped Hamburg the year before WWII started, and the book combines her friends’ entries in her poesiealbum (a kind of autograph book) and her journal entries with her daughter’s blank verse descriptions of what she was feeling at the time. It sounds like the two worked together fairly closely, and the result is a poignant little book that tells a slightly different sort of Holocaust survival story. If the topic interests you, it’s worth your time.
And that is that. I am SO DREADFULLY TIRED–I refuse to feel guilty about those caps–and I am desperately looking forward to bed. I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July!