I've always been a little bit more of a busybody, and I have to divide my time between lots of things. I'm like this with cooking. I can't just pick a ginger cooky (am I the only one who thinks we should bring this spelling of "cookie" back?) recipe that I like, and I've made a good many amazing ginger cooky recipes. I'm always looking for the NEXT ginger cooky recipe. I bookmark the ones that are good and then compare, and then...I still look for others.
With hobbies, the idea is the same. I'm antsy. I need lots of room to move around, lots of hobbies to choose from. But recently I've been absolutely buried in a good book, and it feels really nice to have no greater ambition at the moment than to finish this really great book. I wish most books weren't disappointing, but they are, so when a good one arrives on your doorstep in its demure brown box, it's a special treat. Sort of like a second slice of flourless chocolate cake for the brain.
So, this may come as a shock to you, but Julia Child is one of my heroes. I love the woman, and I feel pretty confident that we would have gotten along famously if only I hadn't been born eighty years too late. I like her style--in cooking, in talking, in writing. No fiddle faddle, no pussyfooting, no flim flam. She was utterly herself, which is more than can be said of the vast majority of people. John met her once, so I guess I sort of met her by extension. But regardless, As Always, Julia is probably the best book I've read in a long time. It's just a collection of letters between her and her friend Avis DeVoto, but how marvelously written! As an avid letter writer, it's a truly inspiring book. It really makes you think about how friendships are cultivated and how letters are just so powerful. I mean, I don't have too much against emails. It's how we are able to communicate most efficiently. But there's no charm to an email in my romantic brain. I find that as soon as I type in someone's email address, I want to speak in monosyllables and abbreviations, and I become scarily less concerned with tone and diction. Not healthy. I try to temper all the emails I have to send (since it is the currency of words these days) by writing letters. And if you think writing letters is a simple thing, try writing a really charming, thoughtful one that spans more than a couple paragraphs. It's yoga for the brain.
Rabbit trail. But, great book. It's a lovely thing, too. Great dust jacket with a photo of the gigantic Julia stirring something in a tiny pot on a tiny stove in a tiny kitchen. High-quality paper, gilt writing on the spine, silvery end papers. And aesthetics matter to book whores. This is a book for book whores. Or those of us just looking for a really good read to go with our good eats.