Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Things I Like Part One: Books

The first book I ever learned to read was called “Cat and Dog”. It isn’t terribly pc anymore, the dog threatened to do all sorts of things to the cat, including making a “catcoat”. But I loved that book and read – I mean memorized it and would “read” it to my parents over and over. My love for reading, like many people I know, has thrived over the decades.

I know I have blogged many times about books and reading. I thought I would start a post series on things I like. Here is post number one – books.

The last few months my need to read has accelerated. I believe it to be pure escapism. When I am laying in bed in the evening, it is easier to escape into a book than lie there thinking about “stuff”. I think about work, which isn’t a bad thing. But it isn’t like I need to think about work at that time of night. I think about my kids. Are they sleeping well? What are they dreaming about? Will Skadi wake up tonight? How many times will I have to put her back to bed? Are the kids breathing? Did they get wrapped up in their blankets too tightly? I better go check on them.

Then my main reason for escapism lately, I miss my mom. Please God be taking care of her. Is she watching over us? Were there things left unsaid? How is Rick doing? What is the life celebration going to be like? Am I going to be able to hold it together in church this week? Why? Why her?

And then the inevitable… Will I get the same cancer? What can I do to make sure I don’t? Do I need to go to the doctor? What if it is genetic? Can they do genetic testing? What if my kids get cancer? What is up with that funny two toned mole on Leif’s finger?

The thought process above? That is why I have been inhaling books lately. Check out my GoodReads.com list if you don’t believe me.

In September 2009 I finished “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck after 3 months of reading. Loved it. I moved on easily to “Shanghai Girls”, similar genre and era, but told from the opposite perspective of Buck’s book. Loved it as well.

After I finished “Shanghai Girls” in January, I hit a stride that is still going strong.

“Look Me in the Eye: My Life With Asperger’s” (blogged about previously.)
“Embroideries” by Satrapi
“New Moon”
“Stones into Schools”
“Breaking Dawn”
“The Help”
“Garlic and Sapphires”

I read them all between February and now. This is a lot for me. I know people who are fast readers. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a slow reader. Very slow.

I have three books started right now:

“American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads” – I picked it up off my mom’s bookshelf while I was in Colorado shortly after her passing.

“The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters” – a book recommended to me by an online friend and it fit straight in with my favorite genre, historical fiction, particularly of the North American west.

Then my sister sent me my mom’s Kindle. Before I register it in my own name (and lose her downloads) I decided to read the books on there that I am interested in. My mom raved repeatedly about “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” shortly after she read it. It was on my Amazon wish list. I am 14% complete with that (Kindle fulfills my analytical analytical nature for quantitation) and certain that it must be spectacular for my mom to rave about it since it opens up talking about a widower who lost his wife to cancer at a young age. Bitter, not seeing the sweet yet, though I know if my mom did, I will too.

I am loving the Kindle so far. I have the Kindle ap on my iPhone, but I rarely use it. Only when I am stuck somewhere, by myself (i.e., no kids in tow begging for games on the phone), and bored of Fruit Ninja or Skeeball or Cribbage. Kindle for the iPhone is fine, but I am not wow’d.

I am wow’d by the real Kindle.

AB and I have opposite bedtime rituals. He showers and crawls into bed in complete darkness, with no distractions (yes, I like to talk, but I curb this) and falls asleep (hopefully). He struggles with falling asleep. I get into bed and read. I grew up reading myself to sleep. We have gone around about this a few times, I don’t like to get up and sit downstairs and read. I like to read in bed. And the reading lights are all too bright for him to sleep.

So like my preteen self, I hide under the blankets with my book and reading light until AB starts to snore. Kindle is a serious enabler here. At 8 ounces and with no pages to flip against the sheets I can read and read and read. Once AB is snoring I can carefully come out of hiding and resume being 38 and not 10.

I have a stack of books in waiting – my next book club book: “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” which I am really looking forward to. I am envisioning a book something like Leslie Marmon Silko’s “Ceremony”, which I read in college and loved. I also have “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” sitting on my bedside table.

On the floor, waiting to move on deck is “My Life in France” by Julia Child followed by a good 10 other books I have picked up in the last few years, but not yet cracked.

Things I like? Books are up around number one.

1 comment:

Jo said...

We've read a lot of the same books lately so I'm going to read the few on your list that I havent yet. I devour books and for pretty much the same reason as you...if I dont read when I get in bed, I think...usually about stuff that will keep me awake all night worrying. I also have a husband who grumbles at my excessively loud page turning but I cant give up my paper books for a kindle..yet.