Porch Reads No. 2

Summer Reading 2

The Remains of the Day has been recommended to me over and over again. Finally, when I saw it at my favorite used book store, I picked it up and shelved it. Somehow, the book never made it to the top of my reading list, though. Despite my affinity for Downton Abbey and all manner of British period pieces, it seemed too blatantly Anglophilic for me. I don’t enjoy reading just anything written about British people, but I do appreciate that uniquely British pairing of scathing humor with unnatural, almost illogical, stoicism. That’s why I enjoy Evelyn Waugh’s books, for example, or the lovely gem that is William Boyd’s Any Human Heart—one of my favorite reads of the year. In more ways than I had expected, Kazuo Ishiguro’s book was different from my usual fare.

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Embracing the Morning

A thought-provoking ocean view
Morning on Moraca Playa, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening…

excerpt from “Morning” by Billy Collins

Morning is my favorite time of day. I like to be up bright and early, but, if I can help it, I don’t like to leave the house first thing in the morning. That way, I can start my day in the most unhurried way possible. If I have the luxury of waking up slowly, I feel calm and focused, and then I’m ready to start my work. Like the speaker in Billy Collins’ poem, I feel potent and alive in the morning. A little caffeine coursing through my veins doesn’t hurt, either. Read more

The Imbibing Habits of Phryne Fisher

Book Pile

Grab a drink. We’re about to get a little bit rambly. Might I suggest that you skip ahead, make a White Lady, and then relax while you (hopefully) enjoy this post?

It was only a matter of time until I could no longer resist writing a post on Phryne Fisher, lady detective, of the book and TV series. First among the many reasons that I love her is that charming, larger-than-life personality. Add a considerable dash of intelligence to the mix, and you’ve got a sort of James Bond meets Sherlock Holmes character. But you can’t forget that she’s a very feminine kind of feminist, a flapper through and through. Regardless of what is deemed acceptable for a lady in 1928, Phryne Fisher does whatever she damn well pleases. She has the skills of James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, but uses them in a way that only a clever woman could. All the while, she proves that women are valuable and capable because of what distinguishes them from men. Read more