Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Salon: The Post HoLITday party

The holidays are over and yet I didn't manage to participate in two things that I wanted to do during those days. So I went ahead and just moved the time-frame to suit myself. Book End Babes suggested a hoLITday party for my book club. I just couldn't pull it off. Not that I didn't want to. But the holidays always threaten to swamp me without hosting a party.

Then Lisa of Online Publicist came up with the idea of The Dewey Tree project for book bloggers to donate books to a worthy charity. I didn't officially participate because you had to take a picture of your donation and well, my camera may have finally dried out, but it certainly doesn't function (I did get a new one for Christmas but my sweet D. and my parents didn't realize that it didn't come with a lens so I'm still camera-less for the moment).

But having already donated two boxes of books before Christmas, I decided to combine the two ideas and host my very own post-hoLITday party now. I made sure all food was diet and/or healthy so people wouldn't break their New Year's Resolutions because of me (amazing, really, how no one took any of the cottage cheese even though I supplied plenty of fruits to put on top of it). And then I collected up the closet load of books I had been squirreling away to pass along. Everyone invited brought their own books to swap and in the end I think I have more books on my dining room table than I started out with, which is no mean feat given how full it was to start. All of these remaining books will be duly boxed up and delivered to Julia's Coffee and Tea which is the Charlotte Habitat for Humanity's coffee shop and used bookstore. They can even use the books that sank on the boat this summer because they will pulp them and use them for insulation. How cool is that?!

I may have been too late to call it an official Book End Babe event or to have it be a part of The Dewey Tree project, but better late than never (and really, donating books to a good cause is always a good idea). It was great fun. I only acquired five more books myself (a minor miracle) and watched many of my friends take stacks and stacks home to read. The remaining books will also go off to find or become part of new homes. And I think that I'll wait until I have built up another stash of books to pass along and then host this again. Next time I'll probably have tastier food though (provided I'm back to fitting in my pants by then).

This past week I've had a sick kid so I logged a lot of reading time. I've been to aristocratic Japan in the years just prior to WWII with four sisters whose way of life, so traditional and rooted in the past, is becoming obsolete. I watched as four disparate writer friends rallied together to help one of their own, inadvertantly exposing deep, potentially damaging secrets. I enjoyed two Americans sponging off their wealthy friends' bounty together, causing their own marriage to shift fundamentally. I hopped through a classic, glad I wasn't one of twelve children. I learned a lot about the history, mostly fairly recent, of the Winter Olympic Games and thoroughly enjoyed the pictures accompanying the history. I traveled to Baja California with a man and his dog, investigated the ecology of the area, and met park rangers, hikers, and other campers during a 4 month sojourn in one of Mexico's remote and unspoiled National Parks. I delighted in a Tanzanian cake maker in Rwanda who not only bakes beuatiful cakes but cares deeply for her neighbors in this wounded and still recovering African nation. And finally, I sat and absorbed the genius that led Pierre-Auguste Renoir to paint a masterpiece, enjoying the imagined story behind the pictures. I hope your travels through books took you to many enjoyable places this past week and that your adventures continue this coming week as well.

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