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Robin M

Book a Week 2016 - W2: Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters

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I think One Morning In Maine s my favorite. I really covet the mom's kitchen.

Me, too.

 

I love Time of Wonder the best, but Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine are close seconds. Such familiar territory. Such familiar Maine-y faces. Such familiar activities.

 

Nan

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I was brought up to give tea as a remedy for shock, especially emotional shock. It is what I want myself, as well. A bit of caffeine and sugar probably helps, but mostly I think it is having a tummy full of warm liquid that helps, somehow.

 

Nan

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My son has a friend who grew up in a hunting fishing family. He has an amazing knowledge base, one I envy greatly. You are lucky to have gotten some of that! Your dad sounds like a very cool person. I bet he could tell some interesting sea stories, too. My father-in-law did mushrooms. My family just does berries. And eats the occasional leaf, like wintergreen. I know what you mean about it being strange not to know what is around you. I drive my mother-in-law crazy by asking about all the Florida flora and fauna. She knows quite a lot, for someone who grew up in a city in NY, but Florida is so strange to New England eyes. I think Dr. Seuss must have been traumatized by a trip to Florida lol.

 

Nan

My dad did have great sea stories but after he died we realized how many untold but horrifying ones he must of had. Dh, one of his hobbies is military history, sorted my dad's paperwork after his death and ended up applying for several medals etc. Dh couldn't believe the conflicts my dad had been in and never mentioned to him.

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I finished listening to Paper Towns by John Green.  This was my "Picked by a Friend" category - Shannon has been trying to get me to read this ever since she read it last summer.  For the first section, I was kind of meh, fine YA book.  The second section I didn't like at all - I wanted to smack Quentin upside the head and tell him to get his head out of his a%% and pay attention to his real friends.  But the third section of the book was great - classic road trip story. And the ending was just, exactly right.  So I'm glad I read this book after all, and I see why my teen liked it.  Great, great characters - you can tell John Green remembers what high school was like. Not all adult writers of YA fiction do, IMO.

 

This is on my to-read list only because I want to see if I can recognize the Orlando area locations. I was in a book club that started reading pretty much nothing but YA, and as a result I developed an aversion to the genre. A number of us left and formed a new book club because of the constant YA choices.That's a shame though, because before that I read some decent YA, and I'm sure there's more out there. I just can't bring myself to do it though. The wound is still fresh.

 

I feel compelled to say, in this nice safe place, that I absolutely adore everything about Blueberries for Sal. I read the book hundreds of times for my children. It's a very peaceful bedtime story. I've been wild blueberry picking in Maine, and many other places. My father taught us to recognize many kinds of wild fruits. Granted, my own kids are sometimes afraid to eat anything I pick until they see I don't die. But really, they'll be better prepared for the zombie apocalypse if they know what wild raspberries and grapes look like, and that the best persimmons are the ones on the ground. It makes me sad that they don't understand my love for My Side of the Mountain. They are the ones horrified at a child living alone in the woods, lol.

 

We have fond memories of Blueberries for Sal from our read-aloud days. We go blueberry picking here every year. Ds would love to take a survival course where he learns what you can eat. There are a lot of bad (poisonous) choices here in Florida. He devoured books like My Side of the Mountain and at one point couldn't get enough of books about young people in survival situations.

 

He loves being outdoors, and has been trying to get a group of his friends to go on a camping trip. We talked about it recently and I realized how sad it was when he lamented that, "Nobody wants to be outside". 

 

 I know what you mean about it being strange not to know what is around you. I drive my mother-in-law crazy by asking about all the Florida flora and fauna. She knows quite a lot, for someone who grew up in a city in NY, but Florida is so strange to New England eyes. I think Dr. Seuss must have been traumatized by a trip to Florida lol.

 

Nan

 

Come take a walk with me. I might not be able to tell you what's good to eat, but I can at least tell you what to avoid. And I can tell you the names of most of our flora and fauna. I can even tell you what's native and what's invasive. We have been gradually switching to all native or well-adapted and non-invasive plants in our yard. I'd love to show someone my Florida, the real Florida. The Florida that doesn't include a big mouse or Harry Potter or beaches so built up you can't seen the ocean. My Florida does exist and it's absolutely beautiful.

 

 

Pretty early in our social home ed lives in the UK we were at an art class with a good friend of Ds and his mother when she got a phone call because her dh was being taken to hospital by ambulance because he couldn't breathe ( punctured lung from broken rib). Anyway everyone was scurrying around trying to get her to the hospital to meet him. Then I asked what she wanted me to do? She wanted a fresh cup of tea??? Yes, she calmly set down and drank her tea before telling us what she wanted to do with her dc's. Since then I tend to just offer tea in the face of huge distress to all. Seems to work. :lol: I am more of an action girl myself, notice I offer to make the tea. ;)

 

A friend of mine's husband was in the U.S. Air Force and stationed at a (now closed) joint UK/US air base. My friend is an occupational therapist and she went to apply for a job at a local hospital (I have no idea how she got a work permit but it was the 80s so maybe things were different). I remember in one of her letters (80s remember? Actual letters in the mail) she said that she was there at tea time and everyone was having tea. Even patients on gurneys were sitting up having tea. She said it was like something straight out of Benny Hill (who was very popular in the US at that time).  :lol:

 

I was brought up to give tea as a remedy for shock, especially emotional shock. It is what I want myself, as well. A bit of caffeine and sugar probably helps, but mostly I think it is having a tummy full of warm liquid that helps, somehow.

 

Nan

 

My grandmother held tea up as a cure for what ails you. Don't feel well? Have a cup of tea. Boyfriend troubles? Have a cup of tea. A cup of tea could reach all the way into your soul and make everything okay. 

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Not having seen any discussion of the topic outside of this thread, I will go so far as to say that thinking that Blueberries for Sal is a bad book to read to children is *exactly* what is wrong with parenting these days.  Because I'm assuming that the objection is that the mother let Sal out of her sight?  I feel strongly that kids should have as much opportunity to explore without the constant monitoring of parents as possible.  The times we've taken the kids camping with a group of friends and turned them loose in the woods to return at mealtimes are the best memories of their entire lives. We can't always replicate that at home, but I try to as much as we can.

 

OTOH, The Story About Ping is another book I read over and over as a kid, and I have to say that I now find it kind of creepy and disturbing.

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One of my favorite bed time books is In the Night Kitchen. I should buy it. In fact I should buy two copies and give one to my library because the library copy was vandalized by some person who thinks it is okay to impose their standards on everyone else.  :thumbdown:

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My dad did have great sea stories but after he died we realized how many untold but horrifying ones he must of had. Dh, one of his hobbies is military history, sorted my dad's paperwork after his death and ended up applying for several medals etc. Dh couldn't believe the conflicts my dad had been in and never mentioned to him.

How frustrating for your poor husband! I can see why your father let the stories die with him, though. You relive a story as you tell it, and he might have thought he went through all that so you wouldn,t have to share such horrors, making him reluctant to tell you about them. The poor merchant mariners were butchered in that war and weren,t eligable for any military benefits. That might make him just want to forget the whole thing, too.

 

Nan

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Another fan of Blueberries for Sal here.  My kiddo chose his occupation (archaeology) in part because of a desire not to work in a cubicle!

 

But back to Anne Elliot and those who questioned why she broke off the engagement to Captain Wentworth as a younger woman.  As has been noted by others, Wentworth's position was far from secure at the time of the initial engagement.  Austen had two brothers who served in the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.  She knew of the challenges faced by those in the profession.

 

More importantly I think we also have to remember primogeniture dictated society, hence the number of second or third sons who enter the British Navy or the church.  Even then, it took financial backing to secure a good living.  (Commissions within the Navy were purchased in Austen's time.)

 

One of the reasons I love Persuasion is because of the strong female characters within the book.  Anne may be my favorite but I am also enamoured with Sophia Croft (who strikes me as unconventional) as well as dear Mrs. Smith.  I think the latter is a good reminder of what could easily happen to a woman of the time despite what seemed to be a good marriage prospect.

 

Another thing related to primogeniture:  One of Austen's brothers was adopted by a family member in order to inherit that relative's estate.  The brother changed his name as part of the deal.  The way families maintained their wealth was often through arrangements of this sort as well as marriage.  Love did not necessarily enter into the equation.

 

 

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Another thing related to primogeniture:  One of Austen's brothers was adopted by a family member in order to inherit that relative's estate.  The brother changed his name as part of the deal.  The way families maintained their wealth was often through arrangements of this sort as well as marriage.  Love did not necessarily enter into the equation.

 

Oh, interesting! Sounds like he might have been the inspiration for Frank Churchill/Weston. Though if it was common at the time, the character wouldn't need to be based on anyone in particular. Her contemporary readers would have recognized it as a normal thing.

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