My Summer 2011 reading list

The longest day of the year has just passed (Midsummer – June 21) and, for me, summer is here at last, which means finding time to read lots of good books.

I compiled a list of four books which I want to read this summer, so here goes:

1: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – a biography of Christopher McCandless, which was also made into a movie (released in 2007).

A website about McCandless’s poignant story is at

2: The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld — I know it sounds like a trashy chick-lit book but I am a huge admirer of Sittenfeld’s writing. I read her book, American Wife, (an excellent fictionalized portrait of the life of Laura Bush) in a week, despite its length, as she has a great style and technique of writing.

3: On the Road by Jack Kerouac – an American classic. Enough said.

4: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – I read a magazine interview with Franzen and it piqued my curiosity about his writing….

Baby, “Never Grow Up”

I want to start by saying that this blog isn’t going to be a ‘personal blog’ about my life, family etc because I have no doubt that reading about some stranger’s probably quite boring life will not interest you at all (I’m cheating a little and saying that this post comes under the Music category).

I had the inspiration for this post when I had my mp3 player on shuffle and Taylor Swift’s song, “Never Grow Up”, started to play.  For some reason, every time I hear this song it reminds me of my niece, M**.

M is 9 months old and very beautiful, and the lyrics of “Never Grow Up” always make me think of her: her pretty smile, her intelligent eyes, her determined nature. The way she laughs and her cute little frown when she isn’t quite sure about something…

“To you, everything’s funny

You’ve got nothing to regret

I’d give all I have, honey

If you could stay like that” (lyrics copyright Taylor Swift)

So, M, although you won’t be able to read this for a few years, I just wanted to say how glad and proud I am to be your aunt.

** for privacy reasons, I do not disclose names of family members so I have chosen to use initials only.

Public domain image sourced from: Mother And Baby by Anna Cervova

Welcome to Cultural Life!

This is my first ‘culture blog’ and I will be updating about once a week  (more frequently when I am not busy).

I was inspired to start a blog about culture because it is one of the most important intrinsic elements in my life — we are all involved in a cultural universe. Culture brings people together and unites the world in many different ways….through food, music, dance, movies, geography, literature, education, language, art, philosophy, science.

I hope you enjoy this blog!