Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The library booksale falls on the first Saturday of each month. I rarely miss an opportunity to shell out a few bucks for a few bagfuls of good reads. This month proved no exception.
Though I rarely spend more than a dollar for any single book, I eagerly plopped down $5 for this beautiful copy of The Black Fawn by Jim Kjelgaard. How could I resist after reading this flyleaf quote?
Soon after Bud Sloane had been sent to live at Bennett’s Farm, he came upon a black fawn in the nearby woods, and from that moment the metamorphosis began that turned a frightened city-bred orphan into a dedicated young farmer, whose whole being is wrapped up in the life and lore of the fields and woods of Dishnoe County.
But even more than by his sense of identification with the black fawn, Bud was guided into maturity by Gram and Gramps Bennett. From Gram he learned for the first time what it is to love and be loved. And at Gramps’ side he learned the ways of nature and the meaning of true sportsmanship.
Well worth every penny, I trust.
I believe this book may have a waiting list of readers around here!
Along with Kjelgaard’s gem I found two Faulkner novels (The Town and The Mansion) not already in my Faulkner collection, another Fannie Flagg funny entitled Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven (her common touch makes me laugh and cry all at the same time) , and an M.F.K Fisher collection of essays on aging, Sister Age. Though I have read some of Fisher’s cooking essays this collection has escaped my grasp, until now.
In the travel department I snagged three golden oldies from the early 1960s:
Let’s Travel in France
Let’s Travel in England
Let’s Travel in the Soviet Union (a bucolic/fictional rendering of Soviet life)
My Village in Austria (1956)
These vintage travel books catch my fancy with the threads of tradition and rural beauty that used to be standard daily life for so many around the globe, but now can only be found in a Living History museum (which enchantment me fully whenever I happen upon one; my favorite being in Oslo, Norway).
Another recently published book on Finland caught my eye. Gorgeous pictures, glossy pages, and a wealth of informative text fill the covers of Finland: Land of Music and Nature. Finland intrigues me as it sits between the three Scandinavian lands and Russia, remaining aloof from both sides, it seems to me. This book may be second on my list after The Black Fawn (unless Rachel raids my stack before I sit down to read – whereupon The Fawn will quickly find a place by her bedside).
As always, the cookbook section entices me and I emerge weighted down with several yummy reads. The Swiss Cookbook and Farm Journal Country Cookbook, dating back decades, hold a treasure trove of old-fashioned delights and copious notes to explain the purpose, tradition, and sheer delight associated with each particular recipe. Coupled with these books I found three books close to the very core of my life: Family and feasting.
The first, Festivals, Families, and Food by Diana Carey and Judy Large reminds me so much of Karey Swan’s delightful Home and Hearth. Like Karey, these two women share from their hearts and recipe files about all manner of family celebrations throughout the year. The delightfully Tasha Tudor-esque watercolored cover drew my eye, and the sweet line drawings throughout made me pop it quickly into my canvass bag before another seeker found it. In the check out line another mom noticed this book in my stack and gushed about the joy she has had using it through the years. Pick a holiday, any holiday, and you’ll find crafts, poetry, music, details of tradition, drawings, and recipes to complete the festival. Right next to this I squirreled away The Year-Round Cookbook to add another dimension to my burgeoning collection of books devoted to holidays and festivals. And surely I have room to fit in Feasts and Friends: Recipes from a Lifetime by Sylvia Thompson. The lifetime passages look as interesting as the recipes, which have come down to her through many generations of her family.
Just when my arms had begun to ache from the weight of the booksale booty, my dear husband appeared out of nowhere and hefted my lot. My eyes flashed to and fro for just-one-more look . . . but clearly this would do . . . for today. I dutifully handed over $17 (remember, one cost a whole $5) and left with easily a month's worth of reading full of ideas to last a lifetime.
I came home, put the kettle on, sorted the books, and made sure to mark the first Saturday in September with a big smiling reminder.
Let the Dog Days of Summer and Hot August Nights come on through. I’m ready for them!
Happy reading, sweet friends.
For those wondering . . . he called. We enJOYed a delicious Mexican dinner at our favorite little restaurant and then we took a leisurely drive through the mountain roads in the convertible. It was a fabulous sunset! ; D