June 26, 2008

Reading Lists

Living room bookcase. 2007.

G: I love it when he comes home and says he had a good day. He did a board meeting last night and it closed early without a lot accomplished. Darn it.

G’ette: Class then home to bed. The simple life with handfuls of pills to make me well semi me. Very fuzzy. Dizzy. Mz. Dingy be me.

What kind of reader are you, this quiz asks. Voracious? Never without a book? The quiz doesn’t tell me that, it tells me that I’m just a lowly “dedicated reader.”

Gee, they didn’t look in this house did they?

I was looking for a book quiz I had seen earlier here on the Open Diary pages. I skimmed all sorts of friends entries but couldn’t find it. I’ll paraphrase what I can remember in my fuzziness this morning. It asked things like, what are you reading right now?

The 2007 Doc Ford mystery, Hunter’s Moon. All these are awfully good. Can’t put down good good. Even when I have a cold, I can read these and am able to enjoy the intricacies of Doc Ford’s frightening world through the fuzziness in my head.

What are you going to read next?

I have a pile right here next to my chair, instead I am going to read the last two of Philip R. Craig’s Martha’s Vineyard mysteries. The books are quiet charmers with beautifully drawn characters and consistent environments mixed with dash, verve, humor and not a little fishing. Craig died in May 2007 after a brief battle with cancer. I’ll certainly miss his voice in my life, but I can reread all his books.

What’s in your “To Read Pile?”

I confess, I am shallow of mind. Very. I’ve had trouble getting into The Somnambulist, by Barnes. I can’t seem to like the people I find between these boards. It’s probably my fault, as the reviews were glowing. Then there’s Cokie Roberts Ladies of Liberty. I started this and got sidetracked. I’ve finished a giant stack since I bought this. Now I see, there’s at least five more books in my pile next to the big old white chair. No, I’m not staggering downstairs to discover the titles. If I stagger anywhere it’s back to bed for a nap.

What do you read? Where folks like SoCalFrank have these deep, rich reading lists to stir the mind and get those little grey cells moving, my reading lists are filled with light beach reading. Year round lite. Mysteries. The bedroom shelves are filled with mysteries, biographies, Elizabeth Cadell….light but sharp romances 1960’s style, D.E.Stevenson….light, character studies, 1950’s, and earlier styles. White House books. Yup, I even have one about the dogs who lived in the white house.

Computer and photography books up in the computer room next to dictionaries and language volumes. Work stuff.

In the entrance hall, the tall bookcase shelves have philosophy intermingled with ships, ocean liners, old journals, and poetry. That a schizophrenic bookcase.

Downstairs in the living room are the cookbooks. American cookbooks are really good reads and are truly fascinating historical documents of the last two centuries. From the 1800's high salt, high fats, preserved foods, and high carb focus, we can watch our eating habits change to low salt, low fat, fresh foods as the transportation system and technology alter the way we eat.

Architectural history books…which tie into history books, are on the shelves below the Sci Fi and the Sci Fi and the Sci Fi. There’s one shelf of art books down there on the bottom. I look at those so rarely now. Where once they were my world, now they grow dust mites. The remaining art volumes I have kept just as reference materials. And I still don’t use them preferring to go online.

How do you get the books you read?
Imagine the blessing of it. I live one block from a library. I have friends who bring me books. I go to Costco….oh the guilt of it. I go to thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales. At the latter I get most of my cookbooks.

Do you keep all the books you read?
No, I’d be driven out of house and home if I did. Will I reread it is the question? I always ask that. Even if it is a favorite author, if the series is weak and I won’t reread it, out it goes. For instance, I love Boujold’s “Vorkosegian” books. She has grown away from this series, and I don’t find myself absolutely addicted to her new volumes at all. Or Bill Baldwin, is he real or Memorex…an invention of an imprint to sell books, they do that you know. Baldwin wrote one bit of space opera that was the best of the best I’ve ever read. Based loosely on Forster’s Hornblower series, that first volume is a forever keeper. Nothing else he has written equaled it. If a book bores me or I can’t finish it, out it go to the library sale room.

Why books?
They saved my life as a child. They gave me a grounding and somewhere to retreat when the world around me grew too ugly. I became addicted to “happily ever after” because my world wasn’t a happy place at all. As an adult, books helped me hold it all together by keeping me all together. Today, they offer moments of peace and interest away from the busy world I create around me, they take me back to favorite characters, and they move me into the future with their thinking. Books are my cure all.

1 comment:

  1. This was fun. I took the test myself and it said I was a literate good citizen and a book snob. I can see books are important to you no matter. I heartily agree that American cookbooks make good reads! Have you heard of White Trash Cooking?


What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...