I READ, THEREFORE I AM
I have had a lifelong love affair with books and magazines. I began reading when I was quite young, around 5 years old, and it became my passion, which has never waned. The excitement of a new book that I’ve been looking forward to is still there for me, and I follow certain authors and wait anxiously for their newest releases. Some of my favorite writers include Alice Hoffman, John Irving (two of the most memorable characters in fiction – Garp and Owen Meaney), Pat Conroy, Ann Tyler, and Richard Russo, just to name a few.
I have a fairly narrow scope of books that interest me, which sometimes I try to change up, but it generally doesn’t work. I never read biographies or autobiographies, except on rare occasion, as I find them a little slow and predictable. However, I love a good memoir, especially if its funny – David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs come to mind, with their dark humor and families filled with insanity. Recently I read Tina Fey’s memoir “Bossypants” and laughed out loud. My main interest is contemporary fiction, the newer the better. I love Magical Realism (Garcia Marquez, Alice Hoffman, and the little known Nicholas Christopher) and I also love stories of quirky and odd people (Wally Lamb, Mary Gaitskill). While I was in college, majoring in English, I read a lot of the classics – John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Cheever, William Faulkner – and though I enjoyed them, especially Steinbeck, they didn’t really hold my interest the way contemporary fiction does.
Books are a reliable and available companion, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. As I was growing up, when things got complicated and I moved from school to school far too often, I would turn to my books – and my Archie comic books and Mad Magazines – to keep me company while I waited to feel like I had a place in the world again. I was never unhappy when I was reading. I would read in bed, in the car, in the bathtub, at the dinner table, anyplace I could.
My idea of pure torture is to be on a plane with nothing to read.
In a good news/bad news way, I read really, really quickly. Sometimes too quickly – a good book can be finished far too soon, and then I’m ruined for a while for any other books. The most recent novel to do that to me was Ann Patchett’s “State of Wonder.” It took me almost a month to pick up another book.
One of the best things about the empty nest is having long stretches of time to read as much as I want to. I have to admit, the distractions of the internet and tv can eat into that free time, but still, when I dive into a book, it’s difficult to get me to come up for air. My kids and Peter all allowed me that escape – even when my kids were toddlers, they would leave me alone when I was reading the LA Times in the morning. It was actually pretty remarkable.
As I continue to blog, I’ll share some of my favorite books with you from time to time. If you love to read, like I do, let me know and we can compare notes. I’m always looking for people to connect with about my passion for a good book!
The Leftovers by Tom Perrota
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (reading currently!)
If you click on the link for a particular book or author, it will take you to Amazon.com.