I recently had a moment when my books talked to each other. Does this happen to you? Do you have no idea what I’m talking about? Let me explain. No, it is too long. Let me sum up. Ha!
Okay, I am currently reading How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell which is fascinating and a really interesting way to present a biography of Michel de Montaigne. BUT the salient point for this post is that I learned from this book that Montaigne’s actual family name was Eyquem and that his family bottled wine under that name, including his father, Jean Marie.
Now comes the talking…
I was also recently reading A Discovery of Witches: A Novel by Deborah Harkness in which a 1500 year old vampire introduces a bottle of Eyquem wine to his witch girlfriend and says, “Jean Marie gave it to me himself.” o_O I almost dropped my bag of Bugles snacks.
If I hadn’t been reading the first book, I wouldn’t have had any idea what good ole Matthew was on about in the second book. Boy did I feel super smart right about then, let me tell you.
This ever happen to you?
I accidentally read two parenting books back to back yesterday. Now, it’s weird enough that I read one parenting book, since I generally am not interested in knowing what I am doing wrong. But here’s what happened. I picked up this book about communication between mothers and daughters thinking my daughter will be a teenager soon enough, and I should learn to communicate with her. Only, it wasn’t about teenage daughters. It’s about mothers communicating (or not) with their adult daughters.
You’re Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation (Random House Large Print) is really interesting, mostly because my own mother is not of the “You’d be so pretty if you just…” variety. We talk at least once a day, usually about nothing at all. But I could see how some daughters could be highly irritated by mothers who just want the best for them, but don’t know when to leave well enough alone.
While I was finishing that book up, another book came in for me at the library.which was also about motherhood.
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua recounts her decision to raise her daughters in the traditional Chinese way. Strict rules and super-high expectations. They practice their instruments 6 hours a day with their mother standing over them fighting with them every step. And they are brilliant musicians whether they want to be or not. They are also excellent students, except in gym or drama. The real story happens when her younger daughter decides not to follow the gameplan. She rebels and the author has no idea what to do next. It is very interesting, but I don’t think I’ll change my parenting style. I’m okay with my kids not being musical prodigies or first in every competition. I have a life.