40 Things (37)

Bel Canto (novel)
Image via Wikipedia

Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, Day 37 –

37) A book that I still think about years after having read it

Gosh, there are a lot of books that I still think about, years later.  I’d like to re-read “Tale of Two Cities” sometime, as I remember loving it in high school and have vivid pictures in my head relating to the story.  I also was amazed by “Death of a Salesmen” when I read it in college.  Just blown away.  And “The Color Purple” was beautifully vivid, and I can also see those pictures in my head.  More recent books that I still think about include: “Those Who Save Us,” “Bel Canto,” “Peace Like a River,” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

#37 on my list was: Road trips with Kitschy Side Trips.  Unfortunately, I haven’t taken many road trips that allow for scenic stops along the way.  I’m usually purposeful in my travel, trying to get from Point A to Point B in a timely fashion.  But in October of 2007 my friend Beth and I took a mid-week road trip from our SE corner of the state of Minnesota to Pierre, SD.  Beth’s sister lives there and works in a bookstore that was hosting a Lorna Landvik book signing and discussion.

The Corn Palace

So we took off one Tuesday morning, stopping at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD – yes, a building and gymnasium decorated with corn.

We also stopped at cute restaurants for our meals.  It was a blast getting there, and the adventures continued when we met Lorna. She was promoting her book, “The View from Mount Joy,” which we read in preparation of meeting her.  We had photos taken with her, drank wine with her, and eventually took her site seeing around Pierre with Beth’s sister in the lead!  We went to the Veteran’s Memorial in Pierre and lit the flaming fountain.  We had such a good time with many well-needed laughs.  I need to do this more often!

We have met with Lorna twice since this first trip: once at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, where she has a stand up routine in January, and she joined us for dessert afterwards, and once in our hometown where we bid and won dinner with her for a library fundraiser.  Good stuff.

at Bryant Lake Bowl

Off to read!

Books: Love Letters

Not my cheaters, but almost as cute! Image via Wikipedia

I had the pleasure of a beautiful day at the end of the dock and a good book. Often when I’m at the end of the dock, I don’t get any reading done because, as I say, “basking in the sun is best done with eyes closed!”  But Saturday I was able to get a short cat-nap in and, with the help of my new cheaters sunglasses and a great breeze, I was able to read quite a bit in Katie Fforde‘s book, “Love Letters.”  I already wrote about Fforde’s books being not as good as other British chick-lit, but this one was the most enjoyable of the four.

From goodreads: When her bookshop closes its doors, Laura agrees to help organize a literary festival. Her initial excitement is followed by panic when she realizes that an innocent mistake has led the festival committee to believe that she is a personal friend of the reclusive writer Dermot Flynn. Even though Laura has been infatuated with Dermot since her college days, traveling to Ireland to persuade him to come out of hiding is not what she had in mind. Nevertheless, she sets off to charm her literary hero into headlining the festival. Unfortunately, Dermot is maddening, temperamental, and up to his ears in a nasty case of writer’s block. But he’s also infuriatingly attractive….With all the warmth and wit that have made Katie Fforde’s novels huge bestsellers in the U.K., Love Letters is an irresistible tale of love and literature and the quest for a happy ending.

Maybe I loved this one so much because Laura was so knowledgeable and passionate about books?  Or maybe because I hope to attend a literary festival someday? Or maybe because I love the name Dermot? Or maybe all of the above, and then some?  Anyway, it was a quick and pleasurable read and I can recommend it to anyone who loves light and breezy and fun books set in England/Ireland.

And it made me think… what author would I love to meet? Dermot wrote two novels in his early 20s and then became reclusive to his small Irish village, refusing all publicity and speaking engagements.  Laura studied Dermot’s books in college and was star-struck by the opportunity to meet him.  Anyone that you would feel the same about?

I’ve been lucky to have some great meet-ups with authors.  I’ve spent time with Lorna Landvik and Jenna Blum.  I’ve traveled to meet Satellite Sister, Lian.  Memorable experiences and wonderful women. I’m gonna ponder this question a little more… I hope you do, too!  Let’s discuss!

Off to read!