Monday, August 12, 2013

Book History

I ordered some Penzey spices this morning and talked to a lovely gal in Wisconsin. She said  my order would be here by the end of the week. I told her she might want to send that box by boat!

Yes, it's raining—again. So this morning I was thinking about my book life and how it developed.
My first readings were two children’s magazines that I got in the mail even before I could read. I loved my Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill. Mother read them to me and helped me learn mazes and matching before I got old enough to read the stories to myself. It was during this time period that I read a lot of comic books. Mother let me pick one at a time at the drug store where I agonized over choices between Superman and Batman. In the beginning she would sit down and read them to me.

Then when I was in grade school our coffee table in the living room always hosted the True Story, LOOK and LIFE. Mother discouraged me from reading True Story and when I became a skilled reader, she put those in her bedroom. But the pictorial essay magazines were ours to read or cut up or take to school.
Then I got old enough for a library card! In the beginning Mother took me and we carried home stacks of books. I gradually moved up to riding my bike, and I moved chapter books, horse stories, fiction about nurses finding romance, and eventually made it to the classic shelf where I tackled Around the World in 80 Days, Last of the Mohicans, War and Peace and the like. I missed a lot with my young mind but pushed through those books as best I could.

Then came Shakespeare in high school with the drama every junior reads, Romeo and Juliet. I loved it. “Romeo, Romeo, where forth are thou?” I went on to read Shakespeare histories and comedies in college. While I always appreciated his work, it was never easy reading for me. I had to read it aloud (which are the way plays are written—meant to be heard) to get my small amount of understanding. I remember people living next to my apartment asked me what I did every night as they could hear just enough of the lines through the wall to think I was slightly weird. Once they knew I was an English major, they understand and then knew for sure I was weird!

Over the weekend I finished Dragging Wyatt Earp, a great memoir of growing up in Dodge City, Kansas. Rebein, the author, is a master at evoking place, but then he was in my favorite place, the prairies of Kansas which was once an underground sea. He also captures the days of the American cowboy in truthful manner; their life was not the glamorous adventure portrayed by Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates.

Then I read local author Larry Wood's Murder and Mayhem in Missouri. Larry found some little known stories about some gruesome murders in this state. Much of it reads like a tale off Criminal Minds, CSI, or Dateline maybe. He also included a chapter on Jesse James' murder and the shootout in Kansas City that involved Pretty Boy Floyd.

Today I picked up Snow in August by Pete Hamill about a boy's growing up in post WWII Brooklyn. The title seemed appropriate today as the dark and damp invade crevices of my mind just like winter cold can do. Yet, I hear it will be summer again by the end of the week. Until it does arrive, I am putting on the tea kettle and turning pages!

                          What are YOU reading today?

Why does Blogger mess with my font?!?!


Sioux said...

I am reading a Jodi Picoult book right now. I always enjoy her twists and turns...

Lynn said...

I'm reading The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance. You're lucky that you were encouraged to read at such a young age. I got a late start on the whole reading thing... lots of catching up to do. My parents were not readers.

BECKY said...

Hi Claudia! I am fortunate that my parents, older sisters, and paternal grandma all read to my brother and me when we were little, and gave us books as gifts from a very young age, as well. I can't imagine a life without books! (I'm not really reading anything right now. Shame on me! I keep picking up a book, read a bit, but can't get into it. I need to find something by one of my old favs...)

Linda O'Connell said...

I developed a love of books in highschool after reading Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth. Today I am reading C. Hope Clark's second mystery, Tidewater Murder. Everyday I read a few pages/chapters of some book, and when we travel I read.

Jenny said...

Good morning. Penzey spices are wonderful. There is actually a little shop here in Scottsdale that sells them so you don't have to mail order! It is like a candy store.

I've been mostly just reading second grade books along with a Grandlittle.

Debora said...

I'm a serial several books at once. This week its
"The Garden of Happy Endings" by Barbara O'Neal...very sweet story.
"Resonance: 9 practices for Harmonious Health and Vitality"...I resonate with most of it!
Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong by Kelly G Wilson and Troy Dufrene...A great book for people who suffer from any kind of anxiety.

Susan said...

Hi Bookie....Aren't we lucky that we were introduced to reading at very early ages? What a gift it is to read for pleasure.

Right now, I'm reading a book by a life coach----you know, tips on how to live a quality life. I'm really liking it.

I want to thank you for your faithful visits this entire week while I entertaining guests. They left this morning. Although I'm bone tired, I truly had a wonderful week. So thanks so much for visiting. Susan