If A Book Read Equaled A Passport Stamp, I Would Buy Passports In Bulk

This past weekend was spent with a group of some of my favorite people, who also happen to be part bookworm. We had our first bookclub sleepover and it was so fun. Our August book was Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Most everyone had the chance to read it and it was almost unanimously loved.

It was nice to know that we had more time to just sit and talk. The weather couldn’t have been better and we sat outside for most of Saturday. The food and drinks were delicious and my dear, sweet friend hosted us all at her beautiful lake house. We fittingly watched the movie Bookclub, some of us had seen it, others had not. All the way around that movie is the best, it makes me excited to be sixty. I just love Diane Keaton! Seriously, could the weekend have been any better?

After lots of coffee, blueberry muffins, sausage balls and more conversation, we all began to pack up our bags Sunday morning to head back to our various homes.

A few of us rode together and on the way back we were talking some more. I mentioned how, as much as I like to travel (referring to my recent vacation), I have found myself hating how much work it is to plan and actually go on a trip. Then, on top of all of the work that precedes a trip, there’s so much to do afterwards, not to mention the sad feeling that it’s over. And, insult to injury: we paid a bunch of money to do all of this! I find myself thinking more and more about the whole process and just how much I just don’t like it. Saying all this led my friend to say while we were driving home, “That’s the great thing about books, you don’t have to leave your home to go somewhere. And people who don’t read just don’t understand how true this really is.” These may have not been Jennifer’s exact words, because I wasn’t recording our conversation-but it was the gist. If you read this Jennifer, please correct me in the comments if you disagree πŸ™‚

When I look at all of the books on my shelves, each one represents somewhere to go. I’ve spoke it this before and readers know this to be true, so I know I don’t have to convince you. There are more trips waiting to be taken sitting on bookshelves than I could ever manage out globetrotting this world. Something reading and taking physical trips do have in common is time. Just like going somewhere on a plane or in car takes hours, so does reading. Us readers value our precious reading time and look forward to it in many of the same ways someone preparing for a trip does.

I’ve always been somewhat of a homebody. This fact only becomes more concrete every year. Let me reiterate, I do like going places, but I like being at home just as much, if not more. Reading broadens the mind as you all know, and my mind is huge. I’m not talking smarts necessarily, but the size in reference to my imagination. If there’s a border to another place, I cross it without thought. If going back in time, or even to the future is on the agenda, I’m game-and most likely I have my pj’s or crappy stretched out yoga pants on. I don’t need a stamp on my passport (which I don’t have, but I do really plan to get) to sit in an outdoor cafe in Paris. I’ve been there my friends, at least in my mind, which is more vivid than any trip I have or ever will take. So take that to the bank, non-readers. You just don’t understand and maybe like the quote says, ” If you don’t like reading, you just haven’t found the right book.”

Sincerely,

tmc

PS. If you need me, I’ll either be in the 1950s suburbia, Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman or out west in Texas with some cowboys, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”

– Logan Pearsall Smith

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Oh Bookworms, The Crawdads Are Definitely Singing

“There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.”

-Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is the August selection for the bookclub that I am a part of. Two good friends of mine read this last year and loved it. When it came time to select the books for the next bunch of months, several within our group suggested this book, so it made the list.

The wait list for the e-copy at my library is crazy long ( as in over 2000-people-long!). So I went ahead a bought a copy for my Kindle. I came across this stack last week and knew I had to snap a picture, it’s such a pretty cover.

As I was finishing up another book, I knew I needed to get on the ball and start WTCS. We meet this weekend to talk about this book. As much as I have wanted to read this book, I’d be lying if I said I was without a small amount of reservation. This reservation is due to its widespread popularity and also that Reese Witherspoon has placed her cute little logo-thing on the cover. Sometimes a book gains so much hype that it’s hard to think it will be anything but amazing. And it might be pretty darn good, but then if you aren’t completely blown away, your mind goes down the path of, “well it was good, but all that hype?!” Its not really fair. The other thing: Reese Witherspoon. She is so darn cute + she is a major bookworm = I am a fan. But it’s kind of like her selections took the place of Oprah’s. Oprah has chosen more great books than not (in my opinion), but I think subconsciously something happens when people, ahem, famous people start putting their ‘stamp of approval’ on particular items. It’s a strange phenomenon. I have no scientific data to back this up, it just happens, ok? So, you read a string of really good or great books that a celebrity has promoted, then, poof: you read one of their selections and it’s just kind of “meh,” maybe it lands 2.5 stars or eeks in barely at 3. Your faith in their picks starts to wobble ever so slightly. If it happens again, some intense teetering begins. Then you might see a picture of that celebrity or their logo and think, “yeah, maybe I’ll wait on that one, it might not even be good.” You may or may not agree with me, but something happens when celebrities endorse things. End of story.

All of that being said, I am halfway through this book and I love it. Going in I hadn’t read any type of synopsis and I still haven’t. I only knew-through the grapevine, that it was about a swamp girl. Her name is Kya and I think she is such a strong character. Not only because she is the main character, but rather because of her personality and grit. Delia Owens’ writing is beautiful. I can see the swamp, marsh areas and all of the wildlife so vividly. Kya not only lives in this swampland, but it is a part of her soul-it’s this quality which makes her beautiful to me. The only life she has ever known is one of hardship and poverty, yet she sees the inherent beauty of the world around her. Woven throughout this story are lines that make me pause, read them again and then write them down. I’m sure most of you have at least heard of this book or are familiar with the cover. I’m not going to add a synopsis for this book. Go in blind, like I did more or less, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. But just in case, I’m not a celebrity and my endorsement logo isn’t on the cover.

Cheers.

Sincerely,

tmc

“Doves fight as often as hawks.”

“I wasn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.”

-Delia Owens

Bookclub

I am part of a book club.

A group of us meet once a month to eat, drink, and discuss books. We’ve been getting together for several years now. Our group has grown, gotten smaller, almost stopped meeting, then sort-of re-vamped, and got bigger. As much as combining edibles, with read-ables and friend-ables is so much fun, sometimes there are bookclub nights that I just want to hang at home. The week has wore me down and I just want to hide out in my home. Occasionally my week has gotten the best of me and I do stay at home, but usually I end up going and I can say I am always, always glad that I went.

Last night was no exception. In fact, last night was great. For the most part, the book we were supposed to have read was kind of a disappointment. I didn’t get past chapter three. One of the girls had put book-darts by a few passages and even though she didn’t love the book, her marked passages sparked some great conversations, which led to some pretty funny tangent conversations. We were all laughing and just having such a good time. We were in a restaurant (we vary between our homes and restaurants) and I did notice a table or two around us, but really I was just enjoying our group as if we were the only ones there. We have our similarities and of course a love of books, but we also bring our differences as well. One of my favorite things related to our differences is the variety of book choices and recommendations. Since the formation of this club, I have read many books I otherwise would not have. Not because I would’ve turned my nose up, but simply because there are so many books out there. We vouch for books that we love, that make us laugh, or cry, or even scare us. We recognize the details that we know will also catch the eyes of each other. We remember the books our friends love and push them to the fronts of our lists that already have too many books on them.

I got home around ten last night and my house was silent. I slipped in to my pjs and though I was tired, stayed up a little longer to check out some of the books we had all talked about. After that, in the midst of a dark and quiet house I took a few minutes more and read before I also joined my family and went to sleep.

It’s nights like that that are among the good things in life.

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke