Like I said, it sure is good to be home! I got home late last night after seven long, LONG days of sleeping in the cold, cold (did I mention cold? I was shocked that the desert could get that cold!) desert. Coming home meant, among other things, getting to have my morning cup of coffee/read-aloud of the headlines of the New York Times with my dad, cooking dinner with my mom, and sleeping in my own bed! To say nothing, of course, of my own bed, hot showers, and a fantastic amount of free time! However, even with all these welcome staples in my life, it was an amazing, AMAZING trip! Each morning consisted of waking up with the sun, hiking two or three hours in the desert to drop water and look for migrants in need of help (who we never did run in to but, according to the regular No More Death volunteers, this isn’t a busy crossing time for most migrants) before returning to camp for some lunch and then back out in the afternoon for more hiking and water drops. Dinner was made over the fire, and we hit the hay by nine each night. Talk about some exhausting days! But, like I said, it was an experience unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and I can’t wait to go back and volunteer during the summer!
One of the few downsides to the entire trip was waking up Thursday having lost all muscle control in the right side of my face. This is due to a random and not-all-that-rare disease known as Bell’s Palsy. Basically, Bell’s is an unexplainable condition that causes sudden facial paralysis. Luckily, its not a permanent condition, but it may take a few months before I’m able to smile without looking like I got slapped with an ugly stick. It’s not painful, but the most difficult thing about it is that, because of the Bell’s, my right eye doesn’t ever quite close completely, making it really dry and it gets tired easy. This means, unfortunately, that my reading needs to slow down quite a bit. I’m going to do what I can, but it’s saddening, to say the least!
Anyway, on to the bookish things! I didn’t finish Gone With the Wind, but I did get abou 500 pages in to it, which isn’t bad considering that a bulk of that was done over about two days in the car. I have to say that I’m having some trouble with the book, mainly because this far its been about 500 pages of constant complaining. Just when Mitchell really gets going in some beautifully epic narration of scenery, she’d go and spoil it with some more moaning and groaning by Scarlett! Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but I really don’t know if I can take much more if it! The only light at the end of the tunnel is that the book is finally getting ready to delve in to the relationship between Scarlett and Rhett and, if Rhett Butler is fantastic on screen, he’s even more wonderful in print!
The other two books I started over the course of the trip were an old favorite and one that is quickly becoming a new favorite! Heaven, as I mentioned, just so happens to be my favorite V.C. Andrews book when I first started going through my V.C. Andrews phase in late junior high. I still love the book more than ever, but I find myself acknowledging more and more of the flaws. The writing is, admitedly, a little sophomoric, and the plot itself is just too smutty to deal with (which, can be nice; however, I was more than a little concerned about some wayward glances in a packed minivan during the drive home) but it still manages to bring a smile to my face! Logan Stonewall is mighty dreamy, and Heaven herself is intelligent enough to be worth admiring. The second book I started, which was also quite the comfort to me today in the excruciatingly long wait at the hospital, was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, which, as I mentioned, was a book long reccommended to me by a wonderfully bookish friend and, to be honest, I’m surprised I let it go this long without reading! Amory Blaine is, quite possibly, my new literary crush to end all crushes. He’s handsome, intelligent, snobby (there is something undeniably attractive about a snob, at least in literature), and wonderfully quick-witted. The plot, thus far, isn’t much to speak of, but, then again, I’m not entire sure I care too much about that, as long as Amory Blaine remains at the center. Plus, Fitzgerald is an author that I’ve always held a fascination with (no one writes about the upper crust of the twenties with quite the same flair) so its good to jump into another wonderful component of his body of work.
Last, but not least, how about the mention of some library wonders! I came home to find….wait for it… Tales of Beedle the Bard! Now, I’ve been waiting for this book ever since I heard whisperings of it oh so long ago. I’m a self-professed Harry Potter FANATIC (and yes, I do mean fantatic. Ask me anything. I dare you…) so when I heard that the story behind the story was coming out, written by the same woman who brought years of love and my favorite story into my life, I had to have it. Plus, it’s a great book to add to the local library challenge I’m participating in! I was also able to jump online and put all of the books I need for Eva’s challenge on hold, so I should have those waiting for me as soon as I get back to school.
Sorry about the long post, but I just had so much to catch up on! Next Sunday, I promise a Sunday Salon post and hopefully I’ll be able to actually write about books I’ve finished, not just books I’ve almost finished! Happy reading!