Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday's Book

Welcome Sandy Cowan, a new follower of my blog! And to all of you who commented on my little Santa treasure yesterday, thank you so much. I love reading your comments and I usually have the time to reply, but my root canal did not go well. My dentist had to drill through a crown that has been there since the 1970s and he was not able to get to where he needed to go. So he packed something in there to hopefully dissolve the obstruction and save the crown. I go back tomorrow. And last night I was so tired, I didn't even open my computer. Yes, Kim, I knew you worked in a dentist's office. I admire the patience of people who do. And Jim, that was a "funny" story! I guess we must feel pretty much the same, expecting our root canals to be over and done with and they are not. Good luck with yours. Later today, I go back to the chiropractor. So I have to be out and about a lot more than I am used to. I feel better, but I need some work on my back that was also injured in the car accident. Thanks for checking with me.

The Good Earth
By Pearl S. Buck 

Before I moved up here in 2006, I bought a lot of books and just put them in my bookcases. Some of these books I had read, others not. Looking back I believe I wanted to make sure I had something good to read should I be stuck here at the ranch.  This year, with two accidents following one another, I'm so glad I had all these books to read while I recovered. My good friends Jane and Rachael also gave me books that added to my reading pleasure during this time. Thank you both; I don't know what I would have done without you.

I read The Good Earth when I was young and, as far as I can remember, I liked it back then. When I read the biography, Pearl Buck in China, by Hilary Spurling, earlier this fall, I couldn't wait to read The Good Earth again.

You can find my thoughts on this wonderful biography here.

I'm sure most people have read The Good Earth at one time or another, so I will not go into the details of the book here. Just a very short overview:

The Good Earth gives us insight into the life of an ordinary man, Wang Lung, and his selfless wife O-lan during the reign of China's last emperor. Wang Lung proves to be an intelligent man, who, understanding the value of land and property ownership, manages to give his family a better life. In the process he sets aside O-lan for a younger, more attractive, woman.

The first copyright on this book is 1931. At that time, people in the West, didn't know much about China. There were many Chinese immigrants to the U. S., of course, but China itself must have been a mystery. Pearl Buck, who grew up in China and felt she was no different from the Chinese, understood the people -- what they suffered through and triumphed over -- and wrote their stories and the story of China in this book and many others.

I would now find it a bit difficult to digest a lot of the classic literature I studied in school or just read when I was young. Not so with this book. Reading it again, I thought it read like a modern best seller. It presents a graphic picture of life in China at that time, it is interesting, fast paced, and well-written. It is also one of those books where you freeze when the author describes the worthless shoes and thin clothing worn by the peasants in winter. I like it when an author can do that.

I enjoyed The Good Earth and I think most of you would as well. And let me add that The Good Earth is my absolute favorite title of the many books in my bookcases.  It has such a ring to it, doesn't it?


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