Yes, today I decided that it was time to uncover my non-secret. I have been having a love affair with books since I was young. My family is well aware of this love affair as it has, from time to time, impacted their lives.
I am a reader. I love to read. It is a love affair that was handed down to me by my Mother. She was a more constant in her devotion – I will take time out for knitting or watching television. She read all the time and kept up with authors. She would provide her cast off loves to me and I would swoon.
Okay, enough of this Valentine’s Day referencing. It is tiring and sounds a bit melodramatic.
My Mom did love reading. Later in her life, one of my challenges was being able to supply her with enough books. After she broke her hip and was not as mobile, her reading increased even more and I was searching for ways to keep up with it. I did find a way and she had enough books.
My Mom made sure that each of her children took speed reading in high school. She was first in line to sign us up for the summer school class. (Does SRA still exist?) So I not only read often but I read fast. One of the big questions when we get home from vacation is not “How was your vacation?” but “How many books did you read?”
I have been saved by my nook (Barnes and Noble’s e-reader) . I can load many many books on it and still meet the weight restrictions imposed by the airlines. The vacation gauge is usually about a book a day. Now, sometimes I don’t make it but it is always close. Yes, some books are shorter than others and I am not generally reading War and Peace.
What do I read? I am generally drawn to fiction. I like mysteries. No, I don’t usually sit and try and solve the mystery. I let the author lead me and then decide if it makes sense. I love a great story about crazy Southern women. Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood is a good example but there are many stories of truly incredible (as in crazy) Southern women. Anne George has a series of mysteries with two sisters that is referred to as the Southern Sisters Mysteries.
I read the Narnia series as an adult and loved them. That did lead me to some non-fiction as C.S. Lewis was a pretty interesting fellow. A Grief Observed is a moving account of his grief and reflections after the death of his wife.
All time favorites? I used to say that my favorite books were Jane Eyre and Valley of the Dolls. Don’t judge, that Jacqueline Suzann wrote a pretty good – okay a bit trashy – story.
I now will list favorite authors rather than books. I think that Madeline L’Engle’s works are brilliant. She wrote in different genres – youth lit, poetry, Christianity, and fiction and biography. I have read them all. I also like Anne Lamott. While I don’t agree with her all the time, I do like her fearlessness. She just writes it as she sees it and I respect her honesty. The mystery authors that often catch my attention are Donna Leon, Deborah Crombie, Elizabeth George, and Jacquline Winspear.
Just a word about Alexander McCall Smith. I like the 44 Scotland Street series and the Isabel Dalhousie series but I am not a fan of the No. 1 Ladies Detective series. They just never caught me but he is very prolific with many series going at the same time. I think that I started the 44 Scotland street series because they were originally serialized in the Edinburgh newspapers. I knewMcCall Smith had written it that way and wanted to see how they worked as a book. I have enjoyed the series overall. I thought that the first ones were the best – partly because I thought that some of the characters got a bit old and obnoxious.
There are many more and I am sure I have slighted some of my favorites but there will be another day.
I hope you have a wonderful day with your Valentine – whether it be a person or a book.