Sunday, February 24, 2013

Reading

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.  

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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.  

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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.  
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