I’m a voracious reader. Picture the person walking through the house with her nose in a book and tripping over the dust bunnies = me my entire life. I read everywhere. When I was a teenager, my body played the cruel trick of suddenly developing motion sickness. Thanks to the genius that is audio books, I no longer have to miss out on tall tales and decadent literary dramas.
Now that I have confessed that I am a walking disaster waiting to happen, I thought I would start sharing what I am reading. I have so many people asking me “Have you read anything good lately?” My answer is always yes, yes, I have.
What I’m Reading
I read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho two weeks ago and it was so good I am reading it again. The is the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd, who is told to seek his treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. His pursuit of his own Personal Legend isn’t straightforward, and he finds out that the lessons learned along the way are just as important as the destination. I still can’t believe I had never read this book. I discussed it with my good friend Thien-Kim who told me “I think that book finds you when you need it the most.” She is right and I shall forever be haunted by Cohelo’s words.
“…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”
Roxane Gay’s “Hunger” has left me sobbing on the sofa several times. Her memoir is complicated and difficult — while I want to binge read it in one sitting, I find that I am slowing down and luxuriating in order to fully experience the depth and profundity of her words. I’m pretty sure I feel that way because she has shoved a mirror in front of my face and is forcing me to look at my image. I have been stripped bare and there is nothing but skeletal remains and I’m finally seeing who I am for the first time in my life.
“I am nowhere near as brave as people believe me to be. As a writer, armed with words, I can do anything, but when I have to take my body out into the world, courage fails me.”
― Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
I have loved reading pioneer stories since I was a little girl when I was first introduced to the Little House series. I was sent a copy of Anne Hamre’s “Passages“, a fictionalized family saga of Hamre’s Grandparents, that takes readers across continents and into the joys and sorrows of young migrants in the 20th century. She easily transports readers across three continents — Europe, Australia, and North America chronicling not just the disparate climates and lifestyles encountered in such far-flung places and the long passages between them, but the lives that are changed by these travels.
I love the historical accuracy of this book. Hamre is a trained historian and was able to bring in rich detail about each period of the book creating a vivid sense of time and place for the reader.
What I’m Listening To:
I am a little slower when it comes to audio books. I have a deep pile teetering precariously in my Audible account, but only listen when I’m cooking, cleaning and driving, so I only have an hour or so per day to tune in.
Right now, I’m listening to the first book in a favorite series that I read in full every year. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Narrated by Jim Dale, I am working my way through all of the audio series — even though I’m on the third listening of this particular book.
“Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”
I’m going to go ahead and hang my Potter flag. I’m in Ravenclaw in case you’re wondering. My little brother loved these books. LOVED. He’s 16 years younger than I am, so when he started reading the Harry Potter books they were all he talked about for years. Harry Potter this and Harry Potter that. I refused to read them, even though I’m a huge fan of kid and young adult lit because he exhausted me. One day, I was at my local warehouse club and they had a copy of the first book with a torn cover and it was marked down to $3.00. I thought “I’m going to see what the fuss is all about.” I read it in one sitting. The next day I bought book two and read it in one sitting. Days 3 and 4 are the same story and then I was the person chomping the bits for the next story to come out — which wouldn’t happen for at least 6 months.
My copies are now dog-eared and ragged. J.K. Rowling is a master and winds a spell with words just as easily as Dumbledore does with his wand.
What are you reading?
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