Monday, July 31, 2006

"It's not that I don't like people. It's just that when I'm in the company of others -- even my nearest and dearest -- there always comes a moment when I'd rather be reading a book."xiii
This is the most excellent opening line of my latest read. The title ranks right up there too. It's called Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan, the book critic for NPR's Fresh Air. Part memoir and part literary criticism, Corrigan takes her reader on a bookish journey through a bookish life. Not that being bookish is a bad thing. I myself relish the adjective. In fact, when I read Doug the opening line, he laughed in the way one does when reminded of something familiar. A very good book. Not a quick read, but one filled with lots of "oh, I remember that book!" Especially if you majored in English.
Coming up next: Two of my favorite books this summer.
Corrigan, Maureen. Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading. Random House Publishing: New York. 2005.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The concept of community has been pervasive in every area of my life these days: my spiritual life, my literary choices, my civic involvement and even at the hockey rink. Community, or the lack thereof, is something that has been weighing heavily on my head and on my heart these days. I truly believe that human beings are designed to live in community with others and I am being given glimpses of what happens when we choose to deny that aspect of our being and live individual, self focused lives. It is no suprise to me, then, that the next book that showed up on my stack of books was If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende. Lende lives with her family in Haines, Alaska, a small town 90 miles north of Juneau. Her book is a series of snapshots of life and community in Haines. It is, quite simply, a lovely, lovely book. When you read it, let me know what you think. Oh, and the chapter on marriage is absolutely beautiful.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Back from Whistler, by far one of the best places ever. Dylan is ready to pull up roots and move to Canada tomorrow. He even has their national anthem memorized. Oh wait, maybe that's because he has been to a gazillion hockey games. It is easier to sing than the Star Spangled Banner, but that is for another day. The book that occupied most of my down time (and there was a lot because it rained every day!) was a book by Edward P. Jones called The Known World, a work of fiction set in the pre-Civil War South. What makes this book different than any other civil war fiction I have read is that it is from the black perspective, both free and slave. It deals with the freed blacks who have purchased their own freedom and then that of their wives and children. Some, then, choose to purchase slaves of their own. Tough subject matter but an excellent book. I may jinx myself, but so far I have not read one book this summer that I wouldn't recommend. Woo Hoo!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Heading to Canada this week with a youth hockey team and a stack of books. I hear that we will have a whole week of rain and "it looks like rain" so I might have a chance to get all of them in. I just finished Little Chapel on the River: A Pub, A Town and the Search for What Matters by Gwendolyn Bounds. Non-Fiction. Made me think a lot about the idea of community and the role of the small business owner in the care and nurture of said community. Wal-Mart and Target are certainly not community builders in the true sense of the word. Starbucks could be in a watered down way in that people do gather there, but it is still supporting a large corporation headed by people whom we will never meet and will never be a part of our lives. They serve a purpose, but do not fulfill a need. In any case, a good book. Let me know what you think should you read it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Got your nose in a book again? This was the recurrent question of my brother-in-law Bart on our trip to my husband's family reunion last week. We spent four days at the Palmer Gulch KOA at the base of Mount Rushmore which I would highly recommend if you are planning to visit Mount Rushmore and you don't mind obscenely large recreational vehicles filled with white people who like to "rough it". In any case, as is my nature, I spent a great deal of the time reading. Here are some of the books I read this week. I highly recommend all of them: 1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert 2. Fluke by Christopher Moore (Another fabulous, albeit highly inappropriate, book by this guy is Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, pee your pants funny) 3. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.