Tuesday, September 07, 2010

When in Doubt... Read.

Life has just been firing too rapidly at us to make blogging about it feasible. And due to Life I have not made anything except canned goods and dinners, have not breathed deeply for a few weeks, have yet to establish an equilibrium in this day to day of mine. Tim and I were joking that I am going through my mid 30 crisis ... only half joking.

In response, all I want to do is read. Granted, reading happens late night after the boys are down and eats away at the time I usually spend making things with my hands, but right now I feel better making images with my brain .... or rather, letting others stream those images to me via their words, their stories, their making. I thought I might share some of the better ones that I have devoured of late.

I was a voracious reader growing up, early to the library, especially in Summer time when the leisurely hours stretched out with stacks and stacks of books to read. I love the library with a passion that cannot be properly stated. The first thing I did when I moved to New York was get my library card. Tim and I even got temporary library cards in foreign lands, most of which had to be surrendered when we left the small towns/places. I will be linking all these titles to my Los Angeles public library catalog, not Amazon. Because with the rediscovery of reading in my life, I have also rediscovered the joy of the Library. So, with that said, the first book is, uh, not in our public library, so that will just get linked to, ah, Canada's.

The book that broke the odd seal I had erected around my reading appetite was, of all things, a book not technically written for me. It is aimed at those of the age of pirating and possibility and is called The Dread Crew :: Pirates of the Backwoods. It is a slim novel, only 189 pages, but oh what those pages hold. I am almost ashamed to admit that I had to read the first chapter three times to grasp the depth and cadence of the language but once I found the flow, once I latched ahold of the story I did not stop until the last page.

You just have to meet them, these pirates created by Kate. They are wonderful in a warty, land dwelling, stenchy kind of way. And I wait for the day when I can read chapter books to the boys, wait eager for the day they will meet these delightfully dreadful folks. As I also wait for the day that Kate gives us Book II of what I hope will be a long and successful series. Do not hesitate to find this book no matter your age, and especially if you are one of those that always roots for the fringe/edge-living/misfit/moderately freakish folk. The books bursts with those characters and you end up loving every single one.

After that book, well, I discovered that despite a brain made mushy by years of twin raising and blog reading, I could still read. Books. And then there was no stopping. Oddly enough the next three books came to me via friends, were read pre-NYC trip and have a lot to do with Brooklyn.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
was first and I think it is just magic. That is all to say about that. Pure magic. Read it.

Then I read The Law of Dreams, a book set in Ireland during the Blight. Told through the eyes of a boy/man and haunting, so vivid and stark and raw and terrible. And still despite the terrible, it was beautiful in many ways. I loved the quality of the words despite the roughness of the reality that Fergus, the main character, lives. I highly recommend it but be prepared for measures of sadness and strife.

The last book in this vein was a book titled Brooklyn that I happened upon on the library shelf. A lovely tale of a young Irish girl who immigrates to Brooklyn after WWII to work and live and love and grow. The story is done well, the story of the girl told in almost a delicate fashion and I enjoyed it. I am always highly impressed when an author delivers emotion so thoroughly via their words. A great read.

Then I plunged head first in to the Sookie Stackhouse series. What can I say? I am a sucker for smut sometimes. And vampires (I once read the Ann Rice books repeatedly on a weekly basis). Soooo...it is like my favorite candy Abba Zabba; too chewy, sometimes too sweet and it sticks to your teeth and makes them ache, but the peanut butter in the center (read: the sex(iness) is so good. I have read Book 1 through 8 and need to order the last one. They are consistent and entertaining and really, if a book takes one sitting to read, I figure what is the harm in that?

Right now I am approaching the end of The Foutainhead. By end, I mean the last 200 hundred pages. I read this book about 10 years ago but in the last month I kept finding the thick paperback being tossed about in our closet. So I finally grabbed it, opened it up again and begin to read. I am not sure why this book is gripping me so tightly right now... and I also realize how different my interpretation of the story is nearly a decade later. It means almost too much, the story of Howard Roarke and his unyielding integrity and will and vision. It is odd to me that a story published in 1943 can be so vividly relevant to what I see reflected in our world today and though the book does not really give an answer to the question I have been asking lately, it brings comfort through the really teeny tiny printed words on those 700 pages. Oh my god, the print is so small. I don't think I strained to read it 10 years ago. And I wonder what it will mean to me when I read it again 10 years from now.

Anyways. There they are. I collected a few books from the garage that were floating around that I might try next. Or I might make a quilt. Or fold some laundry. Or not.

Until then, my friends. Read on.


Magpie said...

Reading keeps me sane. And, yeah, Kate's book - loved that yarn.

LauraC said...

I first read Fountainhead during my summer reading for my senior AP english class. That was the first book that ever spoke to me, my entire life. I'd put it in the top 3 books that changed my life. Let me know there were people out there like me.

I heart libraries.

K8 said...

I've been meaning to hit up the library the next time I'm in Boulder - I've read and reread most of my books at home and need something new! Thanks for the list!

Molly said...

Tree grows in brooklyn is my favorite!!

Also read Brooklyn and the Sookie Stackhouse books. Love 'em!

My favorite is The Help. Everyone loves it, but I can honestly say it is one of "those" books that you love forever and read in a day.

Sarah said...

Reading was one of my passions, that unfortunately was pushed aside after my twins were born. Just recently I've been able to read after all the kids are in bed, and I love it! The Sookie series was great - I am going to read the last one this month as part of my september reading list.

Erika said...

I'm so with you! I can't get enough of reading lately. Doesn't matter if it's written well. It only matters that it was written & on my table. I'm going to pick of the pirate book. I'm guessing my boys would love it. I just got Tinkers for myself & I can't wait to sink into the couch with it.

sweetsalty kate said...

You just about made me cry with this. God, I'm a wreck. Thank you. xoxoxo

Gen said...

Missed you! I recommend whipped smart and one day.

Samantha said...

Sweet, I love book recommendations. I just fired off a few samples to my Kindle. Before I switched to ebooks, I was a huge fan of the New York Public Library! If you enjoy trashy vampire novels, Twilight is worth a shot. In fact, those are the last novels I've purchased in two years.