Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sense and Sensibility

The weather has finally turned in Arizona. You know Fall is coming when you start hanging out on your back porch at night because its only 90 degrees out. Really though, it is just gorgeous at night here lately. My neighbor has been out of town for the summer (he's a snowbird) and begged us to drive his convertible occasionally while he's gone to keep it running. Um..... OK! So tonight we just drove around with the top down, watching the lightning all around the Valley and enjoying the warm night air.

I'm a reader. I'm the kind of person who when I'm in the middle of a book I can't focus on anything else in my life. I just finished a mystery/adventure in the same vein as The Da Vinci Code, and today I started reading Sense and Sensibility. Many times I've attempted classics and I often get bored and eventually just stop reading and never finish. I get really bogged down in the descriptions of every little thing. Books that are published today aren't like that at all. The books I usually read, even those in the 'Literature' section at Bookmans, are easy in that if you are a speed reader like me you still get the whole picture. Classics force me to be slow, and I get antsy reading them.

But when I was checking out at Barnes and Noble with 3 shiny new books in hand on Sunday (using a gift cert from my in-laws! Thanks guys!) I really felt the weight of that Jane Austen book relative to The Amber Room and The Perfect Manhattan. I mentioned my fear of Classics to the cashier lady, and she said something that made me want to really read every single word in that heavy book. She pointed out to me that when Jane Austen wrote this book in 1811, travel was difficult and acurate pictures of places just didn't really exist. So the details? Necessary because the readers wouldn't already have a picture in their heads of what say, Manhattan, looked like. Interesting! I guess I never really thought that one out, but it makes a lot of sense. So I'm diving into this book pretending I've never been to England and walked through the countryside myself.

I've been collecting donations for this run we're doing, and I am absolutely amazed at people's generosity. Ryan and I had already paid our race fees out of our own pocket, so the fundraising was simply to benefit a great set of firefighter charities. I figured anything I could get would be put to good use for kids around the country, and if I got $5 extra besides what's we'd already collected, it would be a success. So I sent out an email to everyone I knew, and the money came pouring in! People thanked me for collecting for such a great cause! I tell you, its really made me consider how much more I could be contributing to people who could use the money more then me.

That's all I've got. (OK, so I am blogging to hide from Sense and Sensibility! Sue me!)


Blogger Mia said...

What book did you just finish?? I am always on the look out for a new book.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

I'm in the middle of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers. It's fantastic so far! You should pick it up when you're done with Sense and Sensibility... I didn't like that one as much as Austen's other stuff... Still a good book though.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty said...

I just finished reading CrossBones by Kathy Reichs (it was also along the same lines as Da Vinci, but a little harder to follow, i thought)
S&S is very good once you get into it. My fav classic though would have to be Wuthering Heights.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous KC said...

You couldn't have said it better about the classics. So hard to get into to, and so hard to slow myself down to actually understand it. I'm working on Uncle Tom's Cabin right now, which is not nearly as difficult as the British authors (I have a Dickens book still unfinished on my shelf), but old language with southern accents. Blech. It's alright so far though. Keep at it!

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Erin Kate said...

I took a whole class in college on the Complete Works of Jane Austen...if you can really get into is fantastic. Sarcastic...witty....heart-wrenching. If you like it, check out Persuasion or Mansfield Park. They are terrific. I learned to really appreciate her...and her hatred of the Brontes.

12:55 PM  

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    I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.

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