Saturday, January 16, 2010

Self indulgence.

I just walked the dog and it was raining. It melted a lot of the snow, but many places were still very icy, so you can imagine how it was to walk there. It was like taking your life in your own hands. I ended up walking in the middle of the street, because it was the least slippery there, but the dog couldn't figure out why we were walking there. We got very wet. My boots are soaked and so was the dog, but he loves to get rubbed dry with a towel. He comes back for more and stands there patiently while I get him as dry as possible.

I just finished reading 'Superior Women' by Alice Adams and now I have to choose a new book. I'm completely undecided yet and will just walk to the bookcase and let my instincts guide me. As a matter of fact, I'll go do that right now.

I've picked 'Prodigal Summer' by Barbara Kingsolver and now I can't wait to get started on it. I think it's something completely different than Alice Adams. I tell you, a good book can save your life. I would give up a lot of things before I gave up books, especially now that I'm feeling so very low and reading seems to be one activity that I can still do easily. Well, it's almost the only thing I still do.

Three books arrived in the mail today, two of which I ordered at They are 'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult and 'The Almost Moon' by Alice Sebold. The other book that came is 'Ellen Foster' by Kaye Gibbons. I also have 'A Virtuous Woman' by her. I haven't read that one yet either. I get very excited when I have an unread book in my hands and when I look at all the unread books on my bookcase. I also feel very good about putting a finished book back on the bookcase, knowing that one day I will maybe read it again, but also knowing it is there and looking at it with fondness because of the good memories.

I feel very proprietary about my books. That was one of the hard parts about Bookmooch, giving up your own books to get other ones, yet you got three books for every two that you gave away, so there was a reward system and I did end up with a lot of books. But there was a big price to pay in the form of postage. Now I get to keep every book I own and I feel good about that and I will fill my bookshelves in the living room and in the bedroom. The books that I will get rid off are the beat up and discolored ones, but I think I already mentioned that.

There's a book called 'Ecotopia' by Ernest Callenbach and I have a very old and beat up edition, but I hate to get rid of it because it's such a good book. I want to try and get a new edition to replace this one and read it again, or have other people read it, because the idea behind the book is so novel. Northern California and Oregon and Washington declare independence from the USA and become isolated and mysterious. Wonderful things happen there and finally a visitor is allowed who makes a report about it to the President. It's a real eye opener and completely up my alley.

I just went to and saw that it is still in print and I put it on my list of books I want to get. The ever growing list of books to which there is no end and which will always keep growing no matter how many books I get. It's possible that I care about books even more than I care about clothes, at least at the moment I do. That may be because I have enough clothes to wear, although you could argue that I have enough books to read also, but I can't get enough of them.

I had a library card when I was a kid and my kids had one also. When they were growing up, we were lucky, because the library was just at the end of our street. We went there often and came back with arms full of books. My son ended up reading a lot of fantasy books, but my daughter read everything she could lay her hands on. For a long time I was indiscriminate in my taste and read whatever was on the New York Times bestseller list. Tom Clancy and John le Carré and John Irving. When I came to the Netherlands I decided to focus on female authors and I've been doing that almost exclusively ever since, except for a long period when I was not doing well and couldn't read at all. That was a miserable time in my life. There's nothing worse than not being able to read.

I still like John Irving, although some of his books are to thick and too laborious, but I loved 'The World According To Garb' and 'The Hotel New Hampshire' and 'A Prayer for Owen Meany,' which I reread not too long ago. I also want to reread 'The Hotel New Hampshire.' 'A Widow For A Year' was good also. Oh, and of course, 'The Cider House Rules.' He's a quite talented man.

I read Isac Asimov for a while and Stephen King, but then I decided I didn't want to scare myself half to death anymore and science fiction lost my interest too, because as far as I'm concerned I'm living in it. I read all of the 'Dune' books. I was fascinated with them for a while, especially the first one. It spoiled it when they made a movie out of it. When I was younger, a teenager, I read Ray Bradbury, but it was very pessimistic. Science fiction was very pessimistic back then. And of course I read Arthur Clarke and I love that movie, '2010, A Space Odyssey.' Funny that we should be living in that year now.

I'm sticking to my female writers now, although I make an exception now and then and include a male writer. I have some books by two male authors I have yet to read, David Guterson and Michael Cunningham. I haven't tackled them yet, I'm waiting for the right moment. I suspect David Guterson of being too soft and Michael Cunningham of being too intellectual, but I may be completely wrong. I need a little bit of extra courage to get started on them. I don't have that much capacity right now.

It's time for me to get my pajamas on and to get something to eat. I haven't had dinner yet, but just a glass of juice. I've had two cups of coffee that helped me get out of a terrible dip that I was in. I probably got that way because I didn't have my quota of caffeine for the day. I hadn't had a cup of coffee since early this morning and that is too long to go without for me. I was going through withdrawal. I'll also take my medicines and get ready for bed. I have a new book to read and I am looking forward to that. There are clean sheets on the bed too, so that's nice.

I hope you're all having a wonderful Saturday and that all your books are enjoyable. Suggestions are always welcome.



Gail said...

Oh, such wonderful books you have.

I love to read.

Have a wonderful evening.

Angie said...

Have you ever read any of Diana Gabaldon books?

Babaloo said...

We're totally in agreement on John Irving. Try "Until I Find You" as well!

Oh, and I think you're getting those 'dips' because you drink coffee! Whenever I give up the coffee for a while (I do that occasionally), I have none of those dips during the day at all and have tons more energy. It feels amazing really. Too bad I love the taste and smell of coffee so much... ;)