July 31, 2014
We’ve had a few monsoons during our stay here in the Nevada desert when we have gathering clouds then sudden rainfall accompanied by thunder, lightening, and warm breezes. It’s wonderful since it breaks up the hot days and brings moisture from the skies, and so different for this lifelong California resident, I love them!
I brought with me in a box a stack of books for my month long stay here. One of my favorite things to do when it rains is read a great book with a subject or plotline that intrigues me, turning the pages while I listen to the water droplets fall to the ground, that combination is so comforting. Warm rain, a cup of tea, a great read, simple pleasures are the best. This summer I’ve completed these lovely books in between projects or while drifting off to sleep at night.
The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith. The Nester is famous for her mellow approach to decorating your home as you please, not rushing the process or being focused on perfection, and never apologizing for your home when it looks lived in.
The book endorses risk taking in decorating and is especially encouraging for renters who don’t feel permanently attached to their houses but still want it to feel like home. Find money saving strategies and tips on contentment true to Nester’s style, loved it!
The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. This book was a gift from a friend and I understand its appeal. Most people have memories that include cloud formations from moments spent looking up and reflecting on their shapes. Clouds are expressions of the atmosphere’s moods and they’re classified by height and appearance.
They form into white puffy mounds and tufts in fair weather or thick and menacing when torrential storms are on the horizon. The book analyzes many more types and their historical associations with myths and legends, and also includes a healthy dose of physics (don’t worry, it’s explained very basic terms!). Read the book and you too will become a Cloudspotter.
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova. The book spotlights Holmes’ powers of observation and reliance on intuition. The literary sleuth had extraordinary powers of deduction and the premise is that his methodical thinking and sharp perception are not out of reach for the rest of us.
It begins with an analysis of the "brain attic" (where we store our knowledge and experience) and how to avoid jumping to illogical conclusions. It offers ways through self knowledge and an engaged and motivated mind to think like the literary sleuth. I’m not a Holmes aficionado but I was intrigued by the content and did enjoy the book.
Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood. This novel tells the story of Earnest Hemingway’s four wives and from each one’s perspective. It begins in the sunny Mediterranean in the mid 1920s when Hemingway was on the verge of literary greatness and married to his first wife Hadley. It moves to Key West with his second wife Fife then on to war torn Paris with his third wife Martha. Mary was his fourth wife and was with him until his suicide in 1961.
The author acknowledges the book is not a true biography but rather a "work of imagination" however she does a wonderful job of giving an equal spotlight to the four strong yet sympathetic wives who all shared a weakness for the self centered and hot tempered author and alcoholic.
These three are sitting on the nightstand and up next on my list of summer reads! Have you read them ?
August always leaves me clinging to those few short weeks of summer that remain before it’s time for the kids to go back to school. What books are you enjoying this summer, I’d love to know! .