Monday, 7 October 2013

Reading Ben's Books

So, visiting the Villa on Cap Ferrat was how we spent out last day in Nice.  The next day we said good bye to the kitty cats and Ben kindly drove us to the airport.  We landed in Newcastle, grabbed the car and headed home to do laundry. The next day we spent four hours loading up the motor home and headed down to Calais.  Before we left town, though, Bill had a couple other errands to run and I took the opportunity to go to the library.


Hotels along the Promenade des Anglais.

We love art nouveau and art deco!
Looked for and found Hotel Negresco, as my
friend Shiela recommended; sadly, a sign
said we couldn't enter unless we were guests...


While I was at Ben's flat on my own, I watched some videos (the first time I've seen Pirates of the Caribbean...I'm always late to the party...).  I also read two of the books written by Barack Obama. I enjoyed both a great deal. 

Whether or not you agree with his politics, I would recommend these books. I think he write in both a very logical way but he also expresses a lot of emotion.  I came away understanding a little better how challenging it must be to be of mixed race and yet I think this experience must be one of Obama's personal strengths.  I also appreciated how he seemed to be able to appreciate the character, the skills or the outlook of people who have taken the opposite side of the political table from him.  The cynic in me suggests this could be a good 'tactic' but it read as pretty genuine to me.

In reading Dreams from My Father I got a lot of my own questions answered, about his family background and life experience.  I've always been a bit vague about Hawaii, Kenya and Kansas and now I know to add Indonesia to that mix.  I loved reading about the strong women in his family.  I think I'm having an interesting life, but of course his and his mother's lives go far beyond mine.

I actually read Audacity of Hope first, which is a bit backward of me since it was written second; I just happened upon it first and was hooked from the very beginning.  I remember the first time I saw paper dolls, my childhood toys, in a museum as historical items.  I was pretty irate about it and not a little concerned.  I must have got past this kind of thinking because I felt this book told the history of American politics during my lifetime.  I was fascinated to have things explained to me, things I remember vaguely when they happened, but I wasn't particularly interested.  I felt a bit uneasy at times, but didn't feel it had much to do with me. But of course what went before explains a lot about how things are today.  Just after I finished the book I felt as though I'd found the CliffNotes I was supposed to have studied all those years.  Of course, I've already forgotten a lot of it, but still, it was brilliant.

I recently told someone I didn't get interested in politics until about the last decade, but actually I think this is wrong.  I'm still not particularly interested in current events, only in how things work out.  I expect that's odd of me, but there it is.

Before I continue with the rest of our adventures in France, I thought I'd take a break so you don't OD - like I almost did.

2 comments:

Erica Louise said...

Hey Shelly, thanks so much for commenting on my last blog post, thought I'd let you know of a great guide to Edinburgh charity shops on Franca's blog here http://www.oranges-and-apples.com/2011/05/guide-to-edinburgh-vintage-and-charity.html

Have a great time!

Erica

Sandra said...

Well, as you well know, I am unapologetically an OBAMA fan and supporter. I was pleased to read your thoughts on his books. I think he is an excellent writer. I happened to have both of them on CD, read by him, which I found even more enlightening. I had to comment on this post especially. I am also very interested in a few of the other books you read. I have loved catching up regarding your time I France. Alas, we did not even get to go into Cannes port on our Med cruise, as the seas were two rough the day we were to dock. Your pictures have been wonderful for a flavor of that area and hope of visiting there one day again. Sounds like another wonderful excursion for you and Bill...can I stow away in your vehicle some day...I love your travels.