It is no secret that piles of books surround me. But due to life’s interruptions, the books have been piling up around here, each begging for attention. An unread book is an exciting invitation for me, but when they pile up, they feel like accusatory fingers pointing at my sloth.
This January has been a repeated page from last January so far. Last year I had a few weeks of great writing time, an exercise program in place, and was reading until death tipped the scale forcing me to stop everything and deal with the real world. So far, this January repeats the same path. I am determined to get back on my goals somehow. I started off writing and have several finished stories along with some unfinished pieces to show for my work. Accomplishment is like success, it breeds more of itself.
Last week I finished the book for my February book club which was Girls of Atomic City about the women who worked and lived in Oak Ridge, Tennessee as the atom bomb was being developed during W.W.II. It was a good read with lots of points to think about. So this week I was to tackle the book piles. I jumped around reading a little in each. I couldn’t settle because while reading each one the others in the stack “called to me”. Here is my shortest stack:
Bullies, Bastards, and Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction…decent material but nothing astounding so far.
For All the Tea in China…nonfiction about how the English smuggled tea plants out of China years ago to break China’s monopoly on tea. Again decent material but rather dry reading for long hours.
chasers of the light…a light book of poetry by a very sharp-looking young man. It is love poetry I would say and reminds me of the old Rod McKuen works of the 1960s…not critically accepted but best sellers by popular demand. Tyler Knott Gregson’s poems are a success because of a special hook built around a typewriter and his intensive PR efforts on places like Tumblr and Twitter. (I confess to not knowing how to use either of these!)
Indian Givers…nonfiction about how the Native Americans changed the world. This is great read but it is packed with info so is weighty reading.
Things We Loose: Stories…I got this book at a Christmas party hosted by the author. He was an English prof at SMS in Springfield 20 or so years ago. I have only read one of the stories, but it was fantastically written! I am ready to read more.
So yesterday I made a pass by my office bookcase when yet another title jumped out at me. Oh my gosh, there sat the Christmas book I bought at PSU in September and had saved for Christmas reading. Well, life intervened and I forgot. I decided not to wait another year to read it. I am almost finished and I can say this is a very good read. Although the setting is Christmas and there are trees, lights, and holiday foods, the real story is about people, young, old, handicapped, who are on the brink of fresh starts in their lives. I like the characters, flawed slightly, they aren’t evil or dangerous. They are like the rest of us, trying to be the best of who they are while they are here. Since Christmas is a story of birth, this Christmas book fits as it tells of some rebirths…oh, and there is a baby’s birth involved in this story too.
I’m a little late but I can recommend a carol dickens christmas by Thomas Fox Averill for next December…if not sooner!