Sunday, August 23, 2015

Reading Afternoons


The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Capuscinski

Across four decades, this Polish journalist traveled here, there and everywhere around the continent of Africa, rubbing shoulders with the common man and getting himself into more than a few scrapes. While he reveals much about the history, economy and politics of the land, his accounts read not as news articles but as personal and heartfelt stories about individual lives. 

East of the Mountains by David Guterson

A retired heart surgeon with terminal cancer works out a plan to end his life. But don't let the grim plot line put you off; this novel is actually a poetic homage to the open skies, windswept foothills and fragrant orchards of eastern Washington. Also, there are dogs.

A Rat's Tale by Tor Seidler

A meet-cute love story about a young lady of privilege and the working man who adores her. Of course, they are rats. Also revealed is a complex rodent society that prowls across the gutters, sewers and wharves of New York City. Not surprisingly, they manage to outsmart the humans who want them dead. 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

What would you say if you were given the chance to live forever? Meet Winnie Foster who is granted a rare opportunity to drink from a hidden fountain of youth, and prepare to be surprised at her choices. This stylistic dream of a book reads like a fairy tale and delivers a meaningful, poignant message to readers of all ages.


* * * * *

Here's a brutally honest breakdown of how I've spent my summer:

57% running around with a paintbrush or electric sander in my hand.
29% watching Netflix with my two youngest.
12% walking my good dog, Ranger.

And with the remaining 2% of my time, I have been reading books.

Actual books. With covers and spines and pages for turning. I'm even using homemade bookmarks from my daughters' vast and highly artistic childhood collections.

At different phases in my life, I'm embraced recreational reading with varying degrees of passion, and the past two or three years have been a bit of a dry spell.

However, I've continued to buy books at my usual enthusiastic pace, and while recently sorting through the bookcases around here, I realized that my collection has gotten a bit ahead of me. As I dusted off one curious title after the next, I decided it was high time to turn over a new leaf. Or page, as the case may be.

In order to be sure I would actually sit down to read for maybe a half-hour each day, experience reminded me that I needed more than wishful thinking. I decided to shoehorn a designated reading time slot into my daily agenda, and chose the quiet time right after Ranger and I return from our daily walk.

Especially during this summer's sizzling heat, my hot dog loves to drop down in the shady grass as soon as he hits the front yard, and lounge - tongue lolling out and panting heavily - until he regains his cool. And of course, the little dumpling wants me to stay close by while he relaxes. Gladly, I've been dropping myself down in a nearby chair and picking up my book; we are both quite happy with our reading afternoons..

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment...I'd love to hear from you!