Solstice 2014: Rekindle


I've only read two books in the past three years.  There it is.  My sheepish confession.  I have been a reader my whole life but for the past about seven years . . . since law school.  I can't really blame that experience for my failure at personal reading -- although maybe it did have something to do with killing the joy of words on a page for me.

I miss being a pleasure reader a lot.  Most of my good friends are avid readers and so I have sought out their stories and recommendations, which somehow also makes me feel more badly about my own inability to do what they enjoy so much.  I've quit subscribing to The New Yorker and have pretty much only bought cookbooks for the past five years.  The novels I do buy, I get to page 17 and put them down never to return.

Local book shops are still some of my favorite places, but despite the money and time I spend in these fine establishments -- Third Place, The Secret Garden, and Phinney Books --  the inner desire to read just isn't there.

Well, until this summer.  Those two books that I confessed to -- I've read them both since August.  I'm hoping this means I'm (book)worming my way back . . .  

I suppose part of my hope is based not only on the fact that I'm reading again, but that I'm becoming desperate to read again.  Since Thanksgiving when I picked up my latest book, I've carried it everywhere.  Stealing a quick read of a page or two whenever I can.  Last night, I turned off my headlamp at 1:06 a.m., having just turned the last page of Three Junes by Julia Glass. Glass won the National Book Award for it, and I can completely see why. The careful and researched writing, the developed-just-enough characters, and the interwoven story of family (both those we are born into and those we choose) resonated deeply with me.  One of the narrators in particular kept me turning page after page.  Plus, there's much writing about great food . . .

Which leads me to the other book I finished:  Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr.  This book, which I finished in the summer, is written by the great-nephew of M.F.K. Fisher and weaves a tale (based on some pretty seemingly thorough research of personal papers) around the lives and ideas of M.F.K., Julia and Paul Child, James Beard, and other food luminaries from the day.  The book centers on their interactions in the winter of 1970 in Provence, where the group convened during the holidays.  I was sad to finish it.  The story so clearly reveals the passions of these friends -- for connection and food and sharing it with those they love -- it inspired me to work harder at collecting my own friends around our table as often as possible.

Now I just need another good book to dive into -- and fast before I lose momentum!

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