Empty House, Full Mind

Views of life from the empty nest


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.


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6 thoughts on “I READ, THEREFORE I AM

  1. Good stuff! I personally enjoy true crime and or historical books. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I just finished The Paris Wife. On to A Movable Feast as a companion. State of Wonder is on my night stand. Keep up the recommendations.

  3. Will do! And please share any great reads with me. I envy you reading State of Wonder – it's pretty fantastic.

  4. I lovvvve to read. I've been on a reading hiatus while I work on my MBA (textbook and case reading overload), but now that I'm within a year of finishing, I got the reading itch again! I'm more than halfway through Girl with a Dragon Tattoo and LOVE it so far. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.

    If you're not already on Pinterest, you should join! I've been using it to collect must-read books (in addition to all sorts of wedding, decorating, crafting, and recipe ideas too).


    You need an invite to join. Let me know if you want one.

  5. I’m reading State of Wonder right now, and it’s so good! (It’s a wonder I’m taking time on the computer rather than reading it right now!) I love to read, too, and am in a book club which helps me find time to read. Otherwise with two kids at home, it would be too easy not to make the time! And then boy, do I miss reading!

    • Reading is part of what kept me going when I was a stay-at-home mom with small kids. It’s such a gift to love to read. And back then (the dark ages) there was no internet to speak of, so without a book, I was lost!

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