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On Reading

August 17, 2008

I used to be a voracious reader. I always had a book going, and I always read before I went to sleep at night. Then in 1997 I met Dan, who is not a reader. Between spending so much time with Dan and the increasing demands of being a new homeowner as well as a single parent to a toddler, I ended up not reading much at all. Oh, I still read books with short essay-type segments, magazine articles, and the like. I just gave up reading novels.

And I missed it terribly. I tried doing audio books, but when you only listen in the car and your longest trip takes 20 minutes (if traffic is bad), it can be a little challenging.

This year, however, has seen my slow return to reading novels. One of the audio books I had listened to was Sarah Kate Lynch’s Blessed are the Cheesemakers, which I really enjoyed. So I started my new adventures in reading by picking up another book by the same author called By Bread Alone. It was also quite good, although I spent a great deal of it wanting to smack the heroine upside her head with the book. (You’d have to read it to understand.)

Then I didn’t know what to read. I was so out of touch with what was current and good that I got overwhelmed any time I tried to look for a new novel to read. I decided to look at the book section of the thrift store, because a smaller selection would make it easier. That’s when I found Cranberry Queen by Kathleen DeMarco. It was okay. Then I read The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst. It was a selection of Oprah’s book club and that alone should have tipped me off that it was not my kind of book. But I read it anyway. And hated it.

Another thrift store buy was Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I loved it. The heroine was such a mess but she was so likeable. I mentioned the book to Noodle, who recommended Kinsella’s Undomestic Goddess.  I just finished that one yesterday and really liked it.  As with Shopaholic, the heroine was quite likable.

And finally — FINALLY! — Sarah Kate Lynch has a new novel out. This one is called House of Daughters. I bought it as soon as it was released and have just started reading it today. I love her writing! Check out the first sentence:

By afternoon teatime on the third Wednesday of spring, Clementine knew there would be a frost.

Followed a few paragraphs later by

It… was an extremely rude awakening to the fact that the day, which as it was had started with snapped panty elastic and a stale croissant, appeared about to go steadily downhill, quite possibly taking the whole year with it.

*sigh* Oh, how I’ve missed her writing! Now, if I’m light on blog posts for a while, you’ll know why. I’ll be curled up somewhere reading House of Daughters.

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