So many books


I usually read more than one book at a time. I keep a book by my bed, and maybe one in the bag I take to work, but this summer I’m into overload with the books I’ve started. Several are short story works that don’t need to be finished at once, but I usually intend to stick with these before I look for something else.
Right now, I’m working on at least a dozen at once: a collection of short stories by Pam Houston called Cowboys Are My Weakness (it’s by the bed) and right beside it is a wacky novel called Hanging Up by Nora Ephron. Summer Sisters, a novel by Judy Blume (a small paperback that moves around with me), fits in my tote bags or my purse; the story pulls me along; it’s hard to put down.
There’s a collection of dog stories compiled from Bark magazine that I started last summer (I had it in the basement in the laundry area for short waits between loads). I took this to dad’s place when I stayed while he was recuperating. I took several books there and left them, since I’m stopping in more often during his treatments.
There are the books my girls recommend to me that I try to look into so I know what my daughters are reading. Sign of the Beaver (Elizabeth George Speare), I started at dad’s after I finished Esperanza Rising (Pamela Munoz Ryan’s wonder for all ages and a quick read).
I dip occasionally into God Is No Laughing Matter (Julia Cameron – an artist’s observations and objections on the spiritual path). Not intentionally a counter to that, I have a copy of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church that our church board (sort of) agreed to read and discuss. I chose a copy that had points of interest highlighted, and so far I’ve only read those highlights.
I read the beginning and skimmed the rest of 700 Sundays by Billy Crystal to check it out as a possible review for my book club. Then, there’s a paperback of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that I leave in the car and resort to when I’ve forgotten anything else – usually I’m waiting to pick up Kathie from a practice or class.
I warned myself not to bring home any more reading material from our Friends of the Library book sale last month. I did OK, not browsing at anything while the sale was going on, but in the last minutes, when we were checking out what was left and deciding what to do with it, I broke down like an alcoholic at a bar, and stuffed a bag with books and a few great jazz CDs that, to my surprise, nobody had wanted. (I live in country music territory which is no hardship for my husband).
One of the things I put in that bag was Jerry Baker’s Back to Nature Almanac. Watching the neighborhood gardens, looking lush by this time, one line in Jerry’s book speaks to me this year: “A beautiful garden is something most people will only turn over in their minds.”
Some of life’s experiences I can only read about. Oh, the power of a good book!

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We apologize that the cookbook price was wrong in our July 6 issue. I hope this didn’t cause any inconvenience.


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