Sunday, March 9, 2008

TSS Week 5

I finished the Secret Garden this week and just loved it! (I have been having a lot of luck with these children's books lately.) It is an inspirational story that highlights the beauty and power of nature, as well as, to borrow a phrase, the power of positive thinking. For example, here is a great quote that I noted down:

"Much more surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place."

While the ending was predictable and obvious long before, it still packed an emotional punch. All in all, this novel was a joy to read.

Feeling that I had lost the magic of putzing around library and bookstore shelves for random finds, I spent some time looking around my local library this past week. I wound up taking a copy of Stephen Ambrose's To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian home with me. I am really enjoying it! I have loved American history since elementary school but haven't read much of it in recent years. This book is very approachable and engaging. (As a literature person, I often find nonfiction, particularly histories, extremely dull.) Ambrose makes some arguments that are more conservative than I am used to hearing and believing, so it is interesting to hear a new view and figure out what I think about it. Can't seem to put this one down.

Skimming tons of books on Italian immigrants who came to America in the late 19th century, as my primary novel is based on a true story involving my great-great-great grandparents who came here. Research is more fun than I thought it would be, though I don't want to speak too soon because it's early yet :)

I am also still completely captivated by the Fables series, having read volumes 6 and 7 this week.

Happy Sunday Salon everyone!


Anonymous said...

'The Secret Garden' is definitely one of my all time favourite books. I used to teach it to undergrads who were always amazed at just how relevant it still was to modern readers. Mary is, I think, one of the best drawn children in literature.

stu said...

Research is really one of the most fun parts of writing next to the actual making things up bit. It's amazing the odd little things you find out.

Clare Dudman said...

Yes, I loved The SECRET GARDEN too - and TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN. In fact gardens and literature seem to go together quite well!