Out of Africa

     One of the new categories I added to my reading basket this year is one I’m calling “classic fiction”.  I can’t really give you the criteria I’m using to determine which books might fit into this category, but the books I’ve already queued up in that category to read this year are: Out of Africa , Tolkien’s The Hobbit: or There and Back AgainThe Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.  I’m sure more will be added, but that’s what I’m starting with.  Perhaps this start will give you an idea of where I’m headed with my “classic fiction” this year.
      I recently finished Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa and thought it was spectacular!  Dinesen, the pen name of the Baroness Blixen, has given us a fictional account of the years she spent living on her coffee “farm” in Africa.  Her writing is superb, as she paints word pictures of her home and farm, the surrounding African mountains and plains and the animals she encountered there.  I was even more taken with her descriptions of the culture, beliefs and traditions of the native Massai, Somali and Kinkitu people that made her life in Africa so rich.   To the modern reader, some of her descriptions may seem a bit stereotypical; but she wrote from the depths of her own, rich experiences with these people, a people whom she loved and respected. 
     Out of Africa is written in the form of several short “books”, each with chapters of their own, thus telling her story more thematically than sequentially.  This technique might make a novel difficult to read, but it worked beautifully in Out of Africa. 
     Isak Dinesen tells her story in the first person, which makes it read more like a well-written journal than a novel.  It’s difficult to know how much of the story is fictional and how much is the author’s life story, and I thought this made the story all the more fascinating.
      I saw the movie, Out of Africa, when it hit the theaters twenty-five years ago.  I remember little about the movie, but I do know that the rather steamy love scenes from the movie have no counterpart in Isak Dinesen’s book.  I would happily put this book into the hands of an interested teen reader. 
     Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen (* * * * *)

     Please remember that I think it is vitally important that your are reading!!  The Bible first and foremost, and that daily; but do not underestimate the importance of reading other books.  Please read this post for more information and to understand why I think it is so very important that you have a good book or two to read at all times.

     The books that I am currently reading are featured in the sidebar.   It’s on the right.  Go take a look!  Just below that is the list of books I’ve completed so far this year.  I’d love to know if you’re reading the same things that I am.  Email and let me know.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27


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3 comments to Out of Africa

  • I now much read Out of Africa.  I’ve seen it recommended in a few books by people I trust and now since YOU liked it… definitely.

    I didn’t set out to mainly read classic literature this year but that is what it is adding up to.  I’m still reading the last Goudge book from my “month of Goudge”.  Except for rereading the Mitford books in March, everything I have planned for a few months are classics.

    I received two books purchased with Amazon credit (really cheap) last week and was so pleased they were in great condition.  Lanier had recommended Lark Rise to Candleford on her site and I remember it being recommended  in the old Victoria magazine.  Her sequel to this book was also available cheap (turned out at the same used book dealer). 

    Since I no longer have to read for homeschooling (not that I didn’t enjoy doing that), I’m been looking for old books to build a library of old classic English literature.  Hoping to find some more at the next library sale.

    By the warmer weather months, lighter reading material will be in order.  🙂

    Will be sending the book promised you soon.  I still haven’t read the book I must review before sending.

  • Brenda – Don’t you just love Amazon’s used books?  I can, quite often, find lovely, hardbound copies in great condition for less than a paperback.  And I love finding copies of paperbacks for just pennies.  I paid a quarter for Out of Africa in paperback, and though the pages are yellowed, the old binding is holding quite tight.  It will stand several more readings, I’m sure.  

  • I am a big Out Of Africa fan.  When I saw the movie 25yrs. ago I fell in love with Africa.  I wanted my own dreamy farm, as hers, to dance under the stars of an african night in my vintage lace trimmed dress.  I have the book, the video, the DVD, the CD soundtrack and believe it or not I have the record!  I don’t have a record player to play it on, but I have the record!  One day it will be worth lots of money.  I love everything about the story and those steamy love scenes, well there is only one, and it really is not so bad.  My children just did not watch that brief seen. 

    Now, about the Harmonics laminate flooring…how do you like the quality of it?  Are they good quality?  Are they easy to clean and maintain?  Right now they are on an amazing sale and that is the reason we are considering them over the Pergo.  My Carpenter hubby says they look like just as good a quality as Pergo.  Let me know how you like them please.