Jun 15, 2013

Summer Reading. No Regrets.

Some of the great books I have found LATELY for little to nothing at second hand stores.  Books are one of the best buys you will ever find.  I am always amazed at what people are willing to part with when it comes to books.  I think it's the quantity rather than the quality that the prices are based on, and Lord knows there are many who a) do not read and b) do not have what it takes to painstakingly go through a bunch of books when someone dies.  There are so many things to go through when a person dies that I can see where it would tempting, if one did not read, to just box the whole mess up and take it to the Good Will store.  Which is where I come in, and am very rarely disappointed.  I hate to say it, but I am glad some people don't read for purely selfish reasons.

It goes without saying that if you read, you probably always make yourself finish the book.  If these 2 things are true, you will also probably remember a book or two, hopefully not many, that you actually regret wasting the time to read.  There are few things worse than that experience, and the worst part is that you did it to yourself!  Hopefully you only wasted time and not money, but we've all picked up a book in desperation and gotten lured into a relationship for a few days with a loser and ended up with less respect for ourselves than we had before, haven't we?  I hate it when that happens!  It does not have to happen to you, either, I have come to show you the light.  So to speak.

This first one I have yet to find at a 2nd hand  store, but this is one of the best books I have ever read and it's also one of those that you can read repeatedly because you never get tired of it.  If you ever find this book, grab it right off, because it is a keeper.  The name is Peace Like  A River, the author is Lief Enger and the writing is pure magic, miracles included.  Take my word for it, this is a book that will never be forgotten once read.

Books are approx. $1 ea. for hardbacks, $.50 soft covers.  These I have picked up in the last few months.
I should say that I am a book person as opposed to a Kindle person.  Not that I wouldn't read a book on a Kindle, necessarily, just that it's not the same to me as holding that book in my hand.  Seeing evidence of tears, which pages have been turned down, any underlining, knowing that book has been held by someone's hands, especially if you know/knew that someone, or even if you don't.  That is as plain as I can put it. I'm just old school that way.  If you read, however you read, really makes no difference to me. I'm glad you read any way at all, but for me, it's books all the way.

Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah which I already talked about here, and yes I have already read the sequel, Fly Away, and it is as good as I expected it to be.  She does not disappoint.  At least if you have ever been through grief, she doesn't. 

East of Eden - John Steinbeck   I know, right?  Someone got rid of this.  It should almost be a crime.  And if you have a soul, it already is.  More for me, is about all I have to say about this.  Thank you, you fool that got rid of this, thank you very much. ;)

Sweet Water Creek - Anne Rivers Siddons, this woman is 99% as precious as Joyce Carol Oates to me.  I have never read anything that I didn't like, but this one is very very special, and I think needs a sequel.  I think I may write her a letter begging for one.  You can't tell me Emily Parmenter hasn't haunted her too.  If you have ever read what Larry McMurtry wrote about Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment, he put it just exactly right.  He said she just wouldn't leave him alone, and I have read this story about 4 times before I bought it.  I wonder frequently about the rest of Emily's life.  I can only hope Emily haunts Anne like she does me.  This is a coming of age story with earthly magic, dophins and a dog named Elvis set in the deep South.

Product Details

The Known World, Edward P. Jones.  Pulitzer prize winning story about the South right after the Civil War, when minds started having to bend around the idea of "free" slaves.  Also, naturally set in the South, and a great representation of a world at odds with itself while it's life depends upon change. Change is never easy but always worth it.  If you are below the age of 40 I highly recommend that read everything you can get hold of about this time in our history.  You may be surprised at what you learn and how varied the stories are with love and loyalty, slavery nonwithstanding. At any rate, read everything you can get your hands on and make up your own mind.  In no way trust what you are being taught in "school" these days.  You may find yourself with a new and encompassing hobby, at the very least, where the history is written down in ink on paper, and cannot be changed or leave you with a message saying "this page has been removed*.  If you know what I mean. wink wink.

A Prayer For Owen Meanie, John Irving.  John Irving has long been one of my favorites, and I have loved everything he has ever written with the exception of the last one he wrote. I forget the name of it and I wouldn't even repeat it if I could, so bad was that load of PC crap that seemed to have no point.  But before that, he was always solid gold for me.  If you have seen the movies they have made of his books, do not think you know anything about the books.  By far my favorite one is the one below, though.  Yes, it's long.  Yes, it could have been shorter, but trust me, by the end of this book you will fighting with yourself to hurry and find out what happens while you are already sad that the story is almost over.  The only way you will be able to stand it is knowing you can read it AGAIN.  I have an old copy that the library got rid of.  It's in bad shape but I don't care.  Until I find this at a great price it's my copy, and after I replace it I will give it a decent send off, because it has earned it.

These are just a few, but they are all solid gold.
Have fun with your summer. We are about ready to go on vacation and there is a BIG SURPRISE coming to a few people I love very much.  That's all I can say but in a few weeks, all will be revealed.
Miracles really do happen every day, if you just recognize them.  Keep that in mind, my hopeful friends, keep that in mind.
And for heaven's sakes, READ something good this summer!