Sunday, February 24, 2013


Reading is my favorite pastime.  I'm always reading something.  Lately, my mind has been a jumbled mess.  I find it hard to write.  I find it hard to journal.  I find it nearly impossible to compose a blog post.  Despite the jumbled mess of my mind, I have been reading.  Perhaps, I have not read as closely as I usually do, but I am reading.

I have a friend who always asks, "What are you reading?" I even have a doctor who always asks the same thing.  My doctor at National Jewish Hospital has been my doctor for seventeen years.  This woman has been one of the great mainstays of my life.  She believed in me when I went through one of the most difficult experiences of my life the year she became my doctor in 1996.  (That is another story for another day.)  We see each other once a year when I have my yearly check-up.  We converse like old friends, and she always asked what I am reading.  My internist in Pueblo was always interested in what I was reading also.  I've even dropped off a book for her to read when I finished it.  We discussed it on my next visit.

I'm always on the search for a new book.  I so enjoyed reading my dear blogging friend's post today.  DJan wrote, as usual, an inspirational Sunday morning post entitled Contemplation today.  In the post, she gave a short review of a book she just finished.  I purchased it for my Kindle before I even finished reading her post.

This most recent purchase for my Kindle means I have six titles to read.  Actually, since I am currently reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's No Ordinary Time - Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front In World War II,   that means I have seven books to read.  The lament, too many books, so little time, comes to mind.  We once used to say we had books stacked on our bedside table to read.  With the Kindle, that no longer applies.  Here is a list of what I have recently added to my books to be read:

  • A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca  - I bought this book when I recently attended a literacy conference in Denver.  I love reading Jimmy Santiago Baca's poetry and taught many of his poems when I was teaching high school English.  This book is Baca's biography.  I can't wait to read it.  I think it will be stunning.  It will most likely remind me of so many students that I taught: the ones who had so much writing talent, who would most likely never finish high school, and who lived lives filled with alcohol abuse, legal problems, and poverty.  If I were still teaching, we would be reading this book in class.  Maybe, I will read this before I read any more about the Roosevelt years.  
  • More Than You Know by Penny Vincenzi - I picked this book up as Costco on a day when I was browsing the books knowing I was about to finish the book I was currently reading.  I was desperate to have another book to read, so I picked up one by Penny Vincenzi.  Now, the truth is out.  I love to read Vincenzi.  Her novels are always engaging.  They provide me with escape reading.  Maybe I will start reading that tonight and put Franklin and Eleanor on hold for a while.  I need some escape reading.  
  • War Brides by Helen Bryan - I downloaded this to my Kindle yesterday.  It was recommended on the Amazon site, and since it only cost $.99, and since it was about World War II, my current reading topic, and since the reviews sounded interesting, I thought I would add it to my books to read.  I think I will read this after I finish reading about WWII in the U.S.
  • On Gold Mountain by Lisa See - This was definitely an impulse buy.  I purchased it on my Kindle when I saw the review after downloading War Brides.  It only cost me $7.19, so I could have spent more on a book.  I do love to read immigrant stories.  I especially like to read about the Asian immigrant experience.  I've read other books by Lisa See.  Some I have really enjoyed reading, others, not so much.  I'm sure this book is at the bottom of my reading list. 
  • Call the Midwife - A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times - by Jennifer Worth.  This book was the book recommended on DJan's blog today.  I have watched the series based on this book on television and loved it.  Since, I am reading about this period of time already, I think this book will be read after I read War Brides.  That seems like the logical progression.  Love and marriage should always proceed calling the midwife.  ;)
  • Beyond Belief: My Secret Life in Scientology and My Harrowing Escape  by Jenna Misgavige, Lisa Pulitzer, and Sandy Rustin - I haven't purchased this book yet.  I am trying to show some restraint.  I have more than enough to read right now.  My daughter just finished this and said she could not put it down.  I also love reading books about those whose lives have been derailed by cults and religious organizations.  I'm sure I will enjoy reading this book.  It is currently on the best seller list for non-fiction.
Even though I am somewhat conflicted over what book to pick up and read right now, my discipline pattern in reading will mean I will most likely keep reading No Ordinary Time.  The book is over six hundred pages long.  I won't be finishing it any time soon.  I am really enjoying it and am approaching the reading of it in a more scholarly way.  I have my pen in hand when I read so I can underline and annotate.  I am learning a great deal about the times just before I was born.  I've read other biographies about Eleanor Roosevelt as she is one of my favorite people from history, but I am especially enjoying this book because the scope is so large.  

Doris Kearns Goodwin write so masterfully.  Her research is meticulous.  Despite the size of the book and the topic, it is a book that holds my interest.  I've used the information in the book to ask my mother questions about the times and about my own family history from that time.  No wonder Goodwin won the Pulitzer with this book.  It truly lives up to all of its positive reviews.  


If you are interested in seeing what I am reading, I am on Goodreads.  Follow me by going to this link: my Goodreads profile page.  


I won't get much reading done today.  I'm off to watch the 2013 Oscars.  I will miss watching this with my daughters.  Amy and I always love this tradition.  She reminded me of the days when we would gather at my sister Carol's house where all of us, my sister and her two daughters, and me with Amy and Julie, would pile onto my sister's king size bed to watch the Oscars together.  She will be watching the show with her daughter tonight.  We will be texting.  I better go see what everyone is wearing as they walk down the red carpet.  


Terra said...

I like reading about what other bloggers are reading. My post today is about 3 books I am reading; these posts always give me an idea to read at least one more book. The one you are reading about the Roosevelts sounds up my alley. Enjoy the Oscars and your reading adventures.

Linda Myers said...

Currently I have set aside the books on my list so I can catch up with the magazines I subscribe to. I have 16 in my stack.

Linda Reeder said...

I am watching the Oscars as I read this post, from the comfort of my recliner.
I am currently reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks". A very good read!

Betsy Adams said...

Well---I'm not watching the Oscars and I don't enjoy reading very much... SO--I guess I struck out with your post today... BUT--I have worked on photography and on genealogy today---so I guess I am doing my share of 'reading' as such!!!!!!

I also took a walk and enjoyed being outside in the gorgeous sunshine today. Being out in nature is just so much fun for me.

I have never enjoyed reading --even as a child. My mother loved to read and tried to get me interested many times. I will read --but it's always something I'm interested in (such as health issues, birding, photography, etc.)....

I'm sure you will find a special one to read soon...


Elizabeth said...

How interesting your list is. I love biographies/autobiographies and I think I'd like 'Beyond Belief'. I had never intended writing a book but in 2004 I started a blog and after some time I got a message from an English teacher in California telling me hebecause was using my blog as a class text as it was so well written. So then I started to think 'maybe a book' as I blogged and wrote, especially as my life as being turned upside down at the time.

I did write a book but I put it aside as it was not easy to publish illustrated books at the time. Last year I retrieved and edited it and this year I published it as a Kindle book called 'Blue Tulips: A love story'.

It is the last thing I thought I would write ... but there you go, life takes unexpected turns some times.

Arkansas Patti said...

I read Djan also and am checking out that series on PBS.
Kindle really makes the pile of books so small that will fit in the palm of you hand. I just put my 400th
to-be-read book on my Kindle, almost all free. What a blessing it is to be a reader today.
Thanks for the reviews, even with 400 I am still looking.

DJan said...

I am currently reading "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder, about Paul Farmer and his quest to save the Haitians. It's fascinating, too! And today I will pick up the second book in the trilogy about midwives. I always have at least one book going, but you've got me beat for sure! :-)

Olga said...

I have been into mind candy kind of books lately. I do my summer reading in the winter and always have for some reason--related to school I am sure. However, I try not to let my mind go to mush completely. I just fisnished Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist and I really loved the characters--a very satisfying read.
I also put Call the Midwife and how Green is My Valley on my to read list this morning.

Jeanie said...

I would be one of those always asking you what you are reading. I read all the time too and always like suggestions about a good book. I have read "War Brides" and "On Gold Mountain". I liked then both. I really liked the "Call the Midwife" TV series...I will have to get the book on my Kindle.

thisisme said...

Hi Sally. Good to see you here today. I love reading as well - it can take you to another place altogether. I can't imagine a life without books! We are watching the second series of Call the Midwife over here at the moment, and I enjoy it very much, so I would think that book will be good. I also fancy War Brides, and I love Penny Vincenzi novels as well, although I haven't read one for quite a few years. They're usually real family sagas. I've just finished reading The Kashmir Shawl, by Rosie Thomas, which I would thoroughly recommend. Hope you are keeping well. Take care. Oh, lovely memories of all of you watching the Oscars together.

Friko said...

Reading is such a joy; unfortunately, since I’ve become a blogger, I read much less than I used to do.

Books used to be my favourite companions. I still have a pile of ‘unreads’ - no Kindle for me yet - I still buy the paper variety, although Beloved has a Kindle - but I don’t seem to be able to concentrate enough. Perhaps I should pick up a thriller or an easy novel - like Vincenzi, whom I don’t like much - and sit down and get down to it. Going without TV in the evening would be good too, that’s my escapism, TV of the lighter sort, like the Midwives story.

Tom Sightings said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I've been reading mostly mysteries lately and have been looking for something else- - so I'm gonna check these out. DJan, if you like "Mountains Beyond Mountains" try Kidder's "Strength in What Remains." Inspiring story.

Chatty Crone said...

I have to be honest and say I have not read those books - but they do look good.
I watched the Oscars too - thought there was a lot of class there.

rosaria williams said...

I'm currently reading Midnight Children by Rushdie, 1Q84 by Murakami,The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Barbery. The last one is for a group read, so it's a re-read for me. I have a book in the living room, one by the bed, one in the car, and one right by the television. As long as I read, the world is manageable!

KathyA said...

Like you I am a serial reader. It is interesting that when I am upset or distracted, I can still read, but I can not write. I guess that the former allows for escape, the latter calls for too much introspection.

troutbirder said...

Yes I've read most of Kearns books including the your present one. Actually I think since about 10 years of age there has always been a book in hand and several waiting their turn. Finally I thought there were some really terrific movies nominated this year for Oscars and we saw quite a few. The show last night at least the so called "jokes" by the MC was tacky tawdry, bigoted, sterotyping, sexist, and overall disgusting. Needless to say I was disappointed...:(

Kay said...

I'm having a hard time fitting in my reading with my blog posts and other activities I've gotten into lately. I need to get to my Kindle now. I've downloaded books from the library which will expire in 3 weeks. Yikes!

Perpetua said...

Sally, I can identify and sympathise with the feeling of having a mind that's a jumbled mess. :-) I do hope it starts to clear soon.

I don't watch the Oscars but always have a pile of books on my bedside table. I've read all Jennifer Worth's Midwife books and very much enjoyed them.

Dee said...

Dear Sally, since your interest in books is so eclectic, I'd like to suggest two novels to you: "The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey, which is a mystery about a 1950 detective intrigued by the face of Richard III, and "The Beautiful Mystery" by Louise Penny, which is a tour de force and should win every prize for novels for 2012--in my opinion. Peace.

Jeanie said...

Catching up as you can tell! I love WWI and WWII stories and am looking forward to reading Call the Midwife, too. A new season begins March 31! And isn't Doris Kearns Goodwin wonderful? I admire her skill with words and history!

My bookstack is pretty tall right now, too... alas. And I just realized book club is Wednesday and that is ONE book not on the stack! Hope the bookstore has it today!