Summer Reading

Once upon a time summer reading meant a dreaded list of undesirable books you were required to read for school. Titles of which would never have crossed your mind to select otherwise. Today summer reading to me means lovely English novels, travel memoirs, mysteries and a historical non-fiction diary about living in China. These reads will be accompanied by tall glasses of lemonade on the deck, picnic lunches at the beach, and late night snacks in my favorite chair.

Summer reading, is there any time as conducive to enjoying a new book as in the summer? I had the good fortune to discover Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes author of Under the Tuscan Sun. Not only do I adore her first book, but also I keep the movie by the same name, nearby and watch it often. Her Bella Tuscany reads with the same wit and fine description of the sweet life in Italy. As I read it I can hear Diane Lane’s voice in my head narrating lines as she did in her role in Under The Tuscan Sun. I must warn you though do not read this book on an empty stomach. Her description of meals, wine and food preparation make your mouth water.

I just poured a bowl of Italian vegetable soup that I made from scratch today. I tore a huge slice off the loaf of homemade bread and poured a glass of red wine. I was inspired to bake bread earlier in the day when I read,

“stepping inside the Forno, I’m suddenly surrounded by the warm aromas of just-baked-bread.”

I immediately went into the kitchen, whipped out my bread-maker and started the process of baking bread, so that the sweet aroma could serenade me as I sat comfy reading Bella Tuscany. Allbeit I am sure that the Cortona bakers do not use convenient bread machines. I am almost sure that the aroma is identical.

A few more chapters’ hungry I went back into the kitchen and made a huge pot of Italian soup. So now with dinner already prepared thanks to Frances Mayes inspiration, I can steal away eat this early dinner and pretend I am in Tuscany. The name of the song playing is called "Once Upon A Time"...we are never to old to hear those delightful words, or create our own storybook life by being inspired by other muses in this wonderful world.

Soon the “Hi Mom” crowd will return from school, work and summer waitressing and I will have to leave my glorious summer read that takes me all the way to Tuscany. Ahhhh but tonight I will sneak away when all sleeps and have my dessert with my travel memoir. Does anyone have a recipe for tiramisu?
suzie q said...

I'm on the case, Karen! My sister-in-law makes the best Tiramisu I've ever tasted! Just need to get the recipe now - from New Zealand! :)
I love the way you've described the smells & flavours - your post has made me hungry! :D

KarenHarveyCox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KarenHarveyCox said...

I have added a link to Frances Mayes web site, and her links to Tuscany. My list of favorite blogs, and web sites is at the bottom of this page.

molly jean said...

You've made me hungry and as I was already thinking homemade bread I too may get out my bread machine!

I am also writing down book titles and authors.

I just read "84 Charing Cross Road" that you recomended and loved it. I finished it quickly and now need to look for the movie!

KarenHarveyCox said...

This book does make you hungry, but I am so enjoying the way it reads. I love to read travel memoirs, they satisfy the wanderlust I have. It must be heaven to have a home in Tuscany and one in San Francisco like Frances Mayes has...I can't even imagine!