Read a lot!

Even more than writing, I love to read. And I love talking about books. At last night’s book club we discussed Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Only two of us finished the book. (Yes, I was one of the two! And it was a loooooooooong novel.)

I found it compelling. I identified with every one of the f’ed up characters. I didn’t like that I saw myself in the depressed women. The character Patty was trying to be proactive. Still, she was reactive, self-defeating and messed up. She should’ve been in a book club. Reading helps.

We vote on the next month’s selection. In last night’s final voting, The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald was tied with my pick (and my mother’s recommendation), A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I was disappointed that in the final round, the classic won.

Today, it dawned on me: I can read whatever I want, even books not picked by my book club. That’s what it means to be a grown-up. I like that part of adulthood. I can be proactive, not reactive. I am more than a character in a novel (or a writer of a blog.)

Drowning in Literature

I’m gonna drown myself in a book. Not just any book. A good book. A book with a fine bouquet.

Paperback or Kindle. From a box or bottle. Bought or borrowed. It’s all good. It all works, gets me out of my own head and into a different space.

I love love love love love reading. I can read everything and anything.

I took this picture last August at my friend's summer house on Saranac Lake.

When I’m down I grab a book and I down it.

I don’t care if it’s self-help (need it!) chick lit (love it!) or trash (gimme!).

I have been feeling a little down this week — maybe it’s transitioning the kids from school to summer or a slight anxiety about Chris’s health or simply not enough sunshine.

So I start with an appetizer, the front section of The New York Times, then I move on to the main course, right now reading Franzen’s Freedom. For dessert, I might read Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak (Thanks, Juliana for lending!).

I get lost in reading. I have to have something to read with me at all times — in my purse, beside my bed, in my bike basket. Something to comfort, transport, drown me.  Reading is my great escape.

And it is my Number 2 Rule — Escape Through Literature. I’m going to read a lot tonite, but first I have to finish watching the movie Chris borrowed from the library, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.  That’s right, I’m drowning myself in a movie based on great literature. That counts too.