So about 3 three weeks ago after about 3 weeks of not bothering to decide. Ms. Kasey and I decided on our next two-person book club selection.
A few months ago I picked up Worlds to Explore: Classic Tales of Travel and Adventure from National Geographic on a whim while browsing at The Book Cellar on Lincoln Ave. When it comes down to finding a specific book, I often find that independent bookstores don't always carry what I need and Amazon is often best.
But when I want to find something I didn't know that I wanted (some of which have become my favorite books - like Outta My Way: An Odd Life Lived Loudly and The Essays of E.B. White, both picked up at Books Etc. in Portland, ME), I love the independent bookstore, especially when the staff post their handwritten reviews on the shelves.
But back to topic: I was reading the National Geographic book and somewhere at the head of one of the chapters they quoted a poem by Kipling, and then I read the section of India stories (oddly enough, not the section that quoted Kipling), and then a friend of mine sent Mr. Cleaver and I a beautiful yellow bedspread from her recent travels in India, and then I rented the Darling Limited. All told -I had India on the brain, so of course, our next book had to be The Jungle Books by Kipling.
And as I was going through the stacks in the children's library I spotted The Wind in the Willows, which neither Kasey or I had read, so we made it a double read book club.
Both books, but particularly The Jungle Book(s), are those books, like Peter Pan, that are such a part of our cultural consciousness (largely thanks to Disney) that I sometimes forget whether I actually had ever read the book. (For the record: I've never read the orginal Peter Pan, either.) I finished The Jungle Books on the train this morning, one stop before mine (whew!), and as much as I love "I wanna be like you" and the "Bear/Bare Necessities" Disney doesn't touch the original with a ten-foot pole.
I'm not going to say anything more, because we haven't met about the books yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to The Wind in the Willows and the Indian food we're going to eat when we do meet.
Did I mention that Kasey? We totally need to eat Indian food to discuss The Jungle Book. Does it go with The Wind in the Willows? Not so much. But I live so close to Devon Ave. and have never gone, so we need to get some Indian food.
PS - If you're thinking about picking up some Kipling a note: The Jungle Book is the Mowgli story only, The Jungle Books (with an 's', and the original printed form) is the Mowgli story interpersed with other Human/Animal interaction tales, like Rikki Tikki Tavi (not to be confused with Riki Tiki Timbo- a wonderfully fun, if terribly inaccurate folktale). Mowgli alone is good, but if you can find the other version, I would recommend it.
And speaking of folktales, since i don't have enough going on in my life right now, I picked up Just So Stories too.