Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesdays are better spent doing nothing.

I have really enjoyed having L home from Korea. It's been great having someone to run around with all day long. Just like high school summers.

Today we spent all day in the River Market. We walked around, had lunch (I got bubble tea -- so good!), visited the folks at Ten Thousand Villages, and browsed my new favorite place, River Market Books and Gifts. They have 3 floors of used books and a cafe. After an hour or so of perusing, I left with two books, Peace Like a River and The Jane Austen Book Club (for a little less than $10). And I'm still a huge fan of thriftbooks and purchase from them frequently, I like having a local used book store where I can spend an entire free afternoon.

I started reading Peace Like a River a few days ago when I borrowed it from the library but since I now own it, I'm bringing it back tomorrow.

Here's the summary from the inside sleeve:

"Leif Enger's debut is an extraordinary novel -- an epic of generosity and heart that reminds us of the restorative power of great literature. The story of a father raising his three children in 1960s Minnesota, Peace Like a River is at once a heroic quest, a tragedy, a love story, and a haunting meditation on the possibility of magic in the everyday world. Raised on tales of cowboys and pirates, eleven-year-old Reuben Land has little doubt that miracles happen all around us, and that it's up to us to "make of it what we will." Reuben was born with no air in his lungs, and it was only when his father, Jeremiah, picked him up and commanded him to breathe that his lungs filled. Reuben struggles with debilitating asthma from then on, making him a boy who knows firsthand that life is a gift, and also one who suspects that his father is touched by God and can overturn the laws of nature. The quiet Midwestern life of the Lands is upended when Davy, the oldest son, kills two marauders who have come to harm the family; unlike his father, he is not content to leave all matters of justice in God's hands. The morning of his sentencing, Davy -- a hero to some, a cold-blooded murderer to others -- escapes his cell, and the Lands set out in search of him. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers -- among them a free spirit named Roxanna, who offers them a place to stay during a blizzard and winds up providing them with something far more permanent. Meanwhile, a federal agent is trailing the Lands, convinced they know of Davy's whereabouts. With Jeremiah at the helm, the family covers territory far more extraordinary than even the Badlands where they search for Davy from their Airstream trailer. Sprinkled with playful nods to biblical tales, beloved classics such as Huckleberry Finn, the adventure stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, and the westerns of Zane Grey, Peace Like a River unfolds like a revelation."

Told from the perspective of eleven-year-old Reuben, I love how funny this book is. There are times when I literally laugh out loud. And then I read them to Andrew and he laughs out loud too. But probably my most favorite thing about this book is the quote on the cover "So wondrous and wise you'll want to claw yourself with pleasure." Wtf. Claw myself? Really?

After our adventures in Little Rock, L and I returned home where I dazzled her with my ability to make an incredible iced chai tea. Twice.

And then we ate Chinese, chatted, and watched some of The Blind Side (one of the best movies ever). And she taught me some words in Korean. Maybe I'll bust them out on you sometime.

Also, my new current obsession (besides bubble tea and local used bookstores): Real Simple Magazine.