Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This is an article by Laura Miller from Salon.com - what a good idea!
Anyone want to rent a beach from house in February with me?
Reading retreats: Paradise for book lovers
How to get away from everything but your books in a country house or an Italian castle
Too many books would make this something of a busman's holiday for a reviewer, but I've packed a big stack all the same. Vacations, with their seclusion, quiet and idleness, invite long bouts of reading. Or, rather, they do when they don't involve visiting a big city, staying with chatty relatives or herding kids. All too often, the books treasured up for the summer are still unread on Labor Day.
So why not plan a vacation devoted exclusively to reading? Twice annually, Bill Gates schedules a week-long "reading retreat" during which he does nothing but pore over the books and papers he's set aside during the year. He's not alone: The idea seems particularly popular in the UK, where you can sign up at London's School of Life to receive a customized book list (they have "bibliotherapists" on staff to compile one based on a telephone consultation) and lodging in one of several modern country houses. The website promises "the perfect combination of great books and great architecture."
Those who prefer a more social experience can enroll in book-club-style retreats in which an assortment of guests all read the same book during the day and discuss it over the evening meal. Deb Snow, an English teacher currently running a guest house in rural Bulgaria, hosts a reading week with a pre-set list of books and meals provided. Reading Retreats in Rural Italy has a grander setting -- the 14th-century Castello di Galeazza in Emilia-Romagna -- but the terms are more informal and spartan. Clark Lawrence, who has been running these retreats for 15 years, explains, "Staying here is very similar to staying at a friend's house. People have to share the two bathrooms. We cook meals and eat together."
The exceedingly independent -- if not downright antisocial -- might follow the example of Natalia, who writes a travel blog called No Beaten Path. A harried mom seeking a reading getaway that involved "as little interacting with other people as possible, no housework, no cooking," she recently rented a "simple" room at Glasshampton Monastery in Worcester, England, run by the Society of Saint Francis. Even the meals there are held in silence.
All these retreats have the advantage of being inexpensive once you get there -- why shell out for luxurious surroundings when you hope to spend most of your time transported to another world by a book? If money were no object, I suppose shacking up in a fancy hotel with excellent room service would also do, but I've always found hanging around a hotel room all day to be obscurely depressing, no matter how posh the establishment.
The ideal reading retreat to my mind would involve four or five friends renting a big country house for a long weekend (at least three full days). They ought to be people who know each other well enough that they won't be tempted to spend all their time either getting acquainted or catching up. Everyone agrees that the rooms with the comfiest chairs are strict quiet zones. Everyone takes turns cooking meals. And everyone reads whatever they want, because trying to get four people to agree on a single book on top of all the above conditions is asking too much of the gods.
Lastly, I wouldn't schedule my reading retreat for the summer. It's too easy to be lured away by outdoor activities. (To be honest, if I were on a reading retreat at the Castello di Galeazzo, I doubt I'd be able to resist the siren song of nearby Bologna.) Not only are rentals cheaper in the off season, but the fall -- with its drizzly afternoons, blowing leaves and crackly evening fires -- is far more congenial to the readerly impulse.
As for what I'll be reading on my summer vacation, first on the list is "The Magician King," by Lev Grossman, the sequel to his 2009 novel "The Magicians;" I can't review it because he's a friend, but I've been looking forward to it for months. I plan to listen to an audiobook of "The Eustace Diamonds" by Anthony Trollope (narrated by the great Simon Vance) on the drive up. The rest of my stack is advance readers' copies of fall titles -- specifically, new fiction by Haruki Murakami, Alan Hollinghurst, Helen DeWitt, Jeffrey Eugenides, Helen Oyeyemi, Colson Whitehead and Neal Stephenson, plus several promising-looking debuts. So if I don't succumb to the charms of sun and sea, I should have plenty of books to recommend to Salon's readers when I return.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
All the windows! The simplicity!
I just want to curl up on the chase lounge with a hot mug and a blanket and watch the storms out the windows, so beautiful!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
I love this car! Phil said he will start looking for one for me... hmm... Guess I need to start working on my manual game...
Thursday, June 30, 2011
After work on Wednesday Phil took me on a "country" date. You see, we live in a highly populated area but we both grew up in less populated areas. We think this is a contributing factor for why we just HAVE to see some land and gets some space every so often... And for me, last night was one of those times, so Phil took me to see some nearby "country."
Isn't it beautiful?
I just finished reading the book "None of Your Business" by Valerie Block.
Her writing style was a bit hard to get into, but the plot was so much fun! "A hilarious tale of a heist gone wrong" As with most books there were a couple of scenes and political points I would have prefered the author had left out, but over all the book left me happy I had read it... feeling complete in the ending itself, while still leaving the characters open to more adventures.
Have you read any good books lately? I would love any suggestions for future reads.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Guess what!?! Corporate has done it again! They have lowered the new distributor package from $199 to only $99!!!The great part? With the distributor kit you get 8 wraps! That is at the least $60 of pure profit just for becoming a distributor!
Let me know if you woud like to hear more about it works! I can fill you in on the other perks of becoming a distributor and the great compensation plan.
This price is only available through July 15th at 11:59pm est.
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