In spite of my crazy schedule I am able to finish 4-5 books a week. Some are a delight, others I feel obligated to read and every once in awhile I am reminded of something my Mom said years ago. It was during the heyday of "The Bridges of Madison County". My little bookstore had sold over 100 hardcover copies of that book. (Harry Potter books outsold Bridges by a large margin) I had not read the little novel by Robert James Waller and finally sat down one evening and polished it off. It took all of 2 hours and I was underwhelmed and thought to myself well......maybe Mom would have a different take on this since she was from a foreign land (Scotland) and found herself married, the mother of 4, living on a ranch in Montana. I shipped it off to her a with note saying I would love to get her opinion. She called before reading it and said "Thanks, I have heard a lot about this book." We spoke the next morning she didn't even say hello before stating "Why did you have me waste 3 hours of my life on this tripe?" "I am here to tell you the last thing a wife and mother is going to do when her husband and kids head off to the county fair is hop into the bathtub with a traveling salesman." (she didn't care that he was actually a photographer) she continued by telling me, "You dream of being able to take a bath with the door open, a drink in one hand and a book in the other, all the while being uninterrupted." So every now and then I do come across a book that my Mom would consider tripe.
I have spent many wonderful hours disappearing into a world separate from my own, into the pages of a book (many books) discovering pieces of me as I respond to the words. I love recommendations from my fellow readers. "All Things Cease to Appear" by Elizabeth Brundage, was a novel shared with me by a favorite customer and is a story with twists and turns that left me stunned. After reading that book I binged on a couple of her other titles: "The Doctor's Wife" and "Somebody Else's Daughter" with "A Stranger Like You" waiting in a stack of books on my nightstand.
I am savoring "First Women" by Kate Anderson Brower, a look at First Ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. I devoured Fifty-Six Counties by my friend Russell Rowland. I have been in trouble the past 2 days because I am reading at my desk -- I should have warning lights on my shoulders to alert customers to approach with caution. (I try to avoid eye contact and sigh heavily if it turns out I must set the book down and take their money..............not a good plan if I want to be in business another 24 years.) "A Shooting in Bannack" by R.J. Harrison (also a friend) is beckoning me from beneath a pile of papers. I am reading a cookbook manuscript penned by local women and will get my hands on the real book soon.
Waltz Against the Sky - Glen Larum
Book That Matters Most - Ann Hood
Barkskins - Annie Proulx
Nest - Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
For a Little While - Rick Bass
Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman
and I can not wait to get my hands on the New Harry Potter book.
and sooooo many more. It really is All about the Books!