Beach Reading: Lacuna

It’s rare that I read a novel for pleasure. I try not to be one of those people who says things like, “oh…I read mostly non-fiction…not grocery store trash.” Not only are these people pretentious and in need of a swift kick in the pants, but they are also wrong.

As someone wise once told me, there is truth to be found in the story. Just think of Jesus’ parables.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy novels, I just feel guilty reading something I enjoy when there is so much else to read. I recognize this is not healthy, so this vacation I’ve allowed myself one non-history/non-theology book…(depending on how you define non-history/non-theology).

Who didn’t love Barbara Kingsolver’s powerful critique of hegemonic missionaries in Africa? Her newest book, Lacuna, is no less a masterpiece. Reading it is like a slow stretch after a hard night’s sleep, and I can’t get enough.

The term “Lacuna” means missing part, or hole.  Written in memoir form, the main character is a regular guy (half gringo) who finds himself inadvertently affecting big moments in twentieth century Mexico and United States, and he keeps a journal throughout. That’s all I’m going to say.

Even though NPR gave it a bad review, it blends together many things I love; stylistically it has an undercurrent of Latin American literature, and there are subtle yet powerful meanings…as well as beautiful prose.  Here’s one of my favorite paragraphs.

“This household is like a pocket full of coins that jingled together for a time, but now have been slapped on the counter to pay a price. The pocket empties out, the coins venture back into infinite circulations of currency, separate, invisible, and untraceable. That particular handful of coins had no special meaning together, it seems, except to pay a particular price. It might remain real, if someone had written everything in a notebook. No such record now exists.”

The book flap says (who writes these things, and why is no author cited?)

“With deeply compelling characters, a vivid sense of place, and a clear grasp of how history and public opinion can shape a life, Kingsolver has created an unforgettable portrait of the artist—and of art itself.”

I’m not quite finished, but already I’m plotting my next read, a biography of Leon Trotsky (The socialist revolutionary Stalin beat out for control of Russia after Stalin died) or Frida perhaps? Shoot, that’s not fiction…

Girls Gone Wild Sans Gluten

Considering we have lots of self-esteem, Spring Break 2k10 is NOT really the spring break you might imagine, especially since it takes place in Naples, Florida. The Varsity baseball team as well as lots of old people are sharing our vacation destination.

 

Case In Point

 

It is my first Gluten-Free Vacation, which at first seems a little sad, especially in a place fraught with family traditions full of glutenous delights. However, I am traveling with none other than my GF inspiration, Betsy, who knows her way around vacation food!

Also, we are both passionate about reading, writing, Africa, gender issues, the color green, OD-ing on Lilly Pulitzer in college, chocolate, pedicures, tanning (outdoor of course), flexibility, traveling not-so-light, the Indigo Girls, cats named after Cats, sweet potatoes, clear carbonated beverages, Joe’s jeans, slow-and-steady running, coffee, peas, the outdoors…just to name a few.

We had an amazing day yesterday (Dear Reader, sorry if you are reading this at your desk. Love, Moxie).

Here’s my top ten list in reverse/chronological order.

1. Wake up: no alarm. Glorious.

2. Breakfast on the porch: Gluten free cinnamon english muffin (should English  be capitalized?) Betsy brought from Sally’s Bakery with cream cheese and homemade Jam. Delish

3. Coffee shop time: Finished paper on Sexuality and Identity for my gender class and turned it in (!) at Panera over hazelnut coffee. (side note: I read some great books in preparation for the paper that I will write about in a later post.)

4. We went grocery shopping at an organic market, where we bought food for the week for under $100. Amazing. Granted we both packed things like 4 eggs, 1/4 package of granola, airplane peanuts, half a half gallon of milk, 1/3 bag of farmstand spinach…so we had the basics covered, but STILL. If you don’t count booze (which we don’t) it almost meets the $7/day rule. Not bad, especially since it’s all organic.

5. Lunch: Chicken salad on greens, vegetable chips, sliced Gala apple. Perfect beach lunch.

6. PLEASURE reading at the pool:  It’s still a little chilly/windy for the beach. I just started (per Betsy’s suggestion of course) Barbara Kingsolver’s newest novel, Lacuna. More to come on that as well.

7. Run/Walk on Gulfshore Blvd. North:  Flat, sunny, breezy…it was perfect run/walk weather. And I’m allegedly running a 10K in a week, so it’s time to get started.

8. Sunset Happy Hour: We watched the sun set over the Gulf after raiding the liquor cabinet (thanks, Dad). Betsy prepared an amazing plate of apps for us. Parmesan cheese and dates on Glutino crackers (or plain), farmstand carrots and hummus. It was a perfectly clear, Green Flash night!

9. Dinner: We recreated a recipe we made last week at my house. GF pizza (dough I froze and brought from home) with goat cheese, caramelized onions, pears, and rosemary. It was awesome, and we have leftovers for lunch! Salad with watermelon beets, Crasins, red onion, and balsamic. Red wine, of course. We drank Bliss, an organic Cab. Bliss actually describes it well.

10. Reading and journal time before an early bedtime…(Betsy stayed up to watch Duke whamp UNC)

It’s going to be a good week.