Tuesday, June 19, 2012


:the number of books I've read in the last month

I don't know about you, but I can tell a lot about my life by the number and kind of books I'm reading.  Because I'm always reading something - as are most people in my family.  Here's a conversation from my van this morning:

A: "Is it weird to have a comb in my purse?"
Me: "Why do you care if it's weird? Some people might have a toothbrush in their purse.  Some people might think it's weird to take a book with you wherever you go."
At which point K exclaimed: "What?! Why?"

So a conversation that started out being about the contents of A's purse (and why she can keep whatever she wants in there) ended up being about books.  We devote a fair amount of time and energy to selecting, reading and discussing books around here.

I've learned over the course of the last few years that I can use books to escape instead of using them to entertain, educate or encourage.  So does the fact that I've read a dozen books in the last month mean I'm on the verge of a breakdown?  Things are never quite as simple as they seem.  Because the last month has also held the start of summer break, a family vacation and more free time than I have during the school year.

Yet I would be misleading you - and myself - if I didn't admit that I have moved swiftly from one book to the next.  Part of this certainly has been a summer indulgence.  Part of it has been a physical tiredness that has left me wanting more time curled up with a book.  And part of it has been trying to find a way to cope with some disappointments in the way our summer is shaping up.

I do not mean to indicate that I'm going to stop reading.  I'm not.  But perhaps, even during the summer, I'll take a breath between books and make sure I'm not checking out on life when I check out at the library.

For interested parties, here's a quick review of the twelve books:

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore - the author's anti-marriage agenda overshadowed the cumbersome, twisting plot for me.  (But you might want to read Graceling, if you haven't already.)

Wherever I Wind Up by RA Dickey - a book that made me long to shed my shame about my story and that made me admire RA's perseverance and Anne's support of his throughout

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - a book that is beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful all at once

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - the best book I've read this year - searingly honest, touching and unexpectedly lovely

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - not as magical as I wanted it to be (perhaps because I read it during the heat of summer - save it for November or December)

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach - two baseball books in one month is definitely a record for me - this one's setting of a small liberal arts college and what success means made it worth my time

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card - a fairy tale princess and a modern decathlete experience time travel and find the truth behind our myths

No One You Know by Michelle Richmond - a mystery that is also a story of living life as the survivor

Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver - a sweet, magical look at grief's place in our life

Once was Lost by Sara Zarr - the daughter of a pastor asks honest questions when tragedy occurs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - the cover is better than the book

The Fiddler's Gun by AS Peterson - featuring a great heroine and set during the Revolutionary War

Anything you've been reading that I should add to my to-read list?  Please let me know.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you've already read it, but The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of the best books I've read in years! Just finished it :) Being a writer, I know you'll love it!

EJN said...

I'm reading through - "How to read a Poem" Burton Raffel. I really like it. I thought of this quote when I read your blog this morning, “It is a good plan to have a book with you in all places and at all times.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
Another really great book on relationships is Bold Love by Allender.
Your list of fiction reminds me that I want to read a fiction book at least - one a month this summer, but, alas, I've yet to open one.
There are 10 more days in June, hope springs eternal.
Happy reading, Word Girl. And as always, I so enjoy reading your blog. You are an amazing lady.