My reading hiatus ended! It seems I’ve had a book in my hand every free minute since my last post, usually in the evening or early in the morning before the day really swings into action. Living with only an antenna for television means no 24 hours news or reruns of movies on the weekends. It takes about 2 minutes to surf through the channels, several of which are repeats. And “new” porch furniture (see the picture) that was a birthday gift from my parents has been enticing me to take afternoon breaks as well.
It’s all been fiction and somewhat fluffy fiction at that: I finished up the Camel Club series with Hell’s Corner, the best of the series in my opinion. And I found several of the Elm Creek Quilters books in my cupboard: The Aloha Quilt, A Quilter’s Holiday and The Lost Quilter. The first two came from my mother so I read through them in order to return them when she visited. They were good stories with easy to like characters. But, I was surprised at the intensity of The Lost Quilter. It was a companion to The Union Quilters that I read earlier this year, set during the Civil War and featuring ancestors of the contemporary Elm Creek characters. The book presented a powerful portrait of slavery told from the slave’s point of view. Chiaverini does not hold back with her descriptions of the violence visited on the slaves. But even more compelling was the way she described the capriciousness of the owners in their treatment of these human beings.
Today, I finished The Owl & Moon Cafe by Jo-Ann Mapson. It is a family story: four generations of women working together at a small restaurant near Monterey. It was somewhat typical but the character of the youngest Moon woman, twelve-year-old Lindsay, gave it a fresh voice. I’ll look for more Mapson at the library.
My mother even commented on the “fluffiness” of my reading of late. I guess I do have a reputation for reading pretty serious stuff. And, I suppose I will get back to it: all that Ivan Doig and Wendell Berry I wrote about is still there. But for now, I’m happy to sink into a good story. I was considering Carl Sagan’s The Dragons of Eden. Lindsay from The Owl & Moon Cafe has something of a crush on Carl Sagan and is always reading this book. I have a copy and considered it as potential reading material earlier this year. Perhaps it is a sign that now is the time.
I also need to dig into Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal since I’ll be leading a book study this summer. It’s on the Kindle. Everything in the above list has been analog and I know there’s lots of interesting stuff on the Kindle and the Nook. I get the Kindle and Nook Daily Deals as well as several emails with free Kindle books. It’s so easy to buy them that I have really lost track of what’s there. I also had the opportunity to hear Diane Ravitch speak at a conference at the end of April and several of her books are sitting on the shelf as well.
But, I just pulled Any Human Heart by William Boyd off the shelf as the next candidate. And I bought several of Bernard Cornwell’s Arthur books at the book exchange when I turned in my Diane Gabaldon books and they are calling to me. I really didn’t like The Outlanders so decided to turn in the whole series for credit to get some books that I knew I would like.
Aah…the life of a reader…always seemingly infinite possibilities!