Books are for Reading?

Meanwhile as my poor Kindle gathers dust...

Meanwhile as my poor Kindle gathers dust…

We are almost through November! When did THAT happen?? Fall passed too quickly. All of those beautiful fall leaves were swept away in a recent wind storm and winter has taken hold of Seattle in its meanfisted grip for the next six months. The weather these last two days has been near freezing and I have long broken out the down jacket on my early morning walks with Miles. I am now midway through my 23rd week of pregnancy and Baby Girl is kicking like crazy, which feels both bizarre and amazing.

Nick started his night float rotation last week and so he works evenings Sun- Wed and is off Thurs through Sat. This will be his schedule until the end of the year. While we miss him in the evenings, I’ve been using the time to snuggle with Miles, to cook whatever I want (mostly concoctions only I would love such as hardboiled eggs with rice and soy sauce SO GOOD), research baby stuff for the registry, sit in bemused silence while feeling the little alien inside me kick, and catch up on reading actual books, and not just online articles. In the last few weeks, I’ve barreled through the The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, The Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple and have enjoyed escaping into their stories for a little while.

Here are my thoughts:

The Angel’s Game– nonfiction, historical suspense set in Barcelona. If you loved Shadow of the Wind (one of my absolute favorites), this prequel isn’t as good, but the story is still compelling and it is always a thrill to visit the Forgotten Cemetery of Books again.

The Language of Flowers– Missy mentioned this one in a previous post! I loved this elegant story about a woman who struggled through the foster care system growing up and has a unique skill for communicating through flowers. Did you know that dahlias convey dignity, and daffodils signal new beginnings?

The Beautiful Ruins– a story that is both a travelogue (set in the Amalfi Coast of Italy), and a fictionalized account of Old Hollywood? I’m in.

Where’d You Go Bernadette?– Once I got used to the haphazard narrative and characters and settled into the book, it was a fun read. Plus, it was set in Seattle so a lot of details made me laugh out loud. Like the character complaining about the overabundance of five-way intersections around here. Girl, don’t even get me started on the city’s ridiculous road system.

Why was finishing these books such a big deal? I have a confession. I collect books. I love seeing them filling up my shelves and house but am a little ashamed to say how proud I am when I can actually SIT for a few hours these days and finish one. I used to read voraciously: on car trips, in class, at the library, under the bed covers until 3am some days to the point where my eyesight suffered growing up, but my attention span has really diminished lately. This may be in part a side effect to all the multitasking we are required to do nowadays and yes, also because of the introduction of smartphones and tablets into our lives.  Why do just one thing, reading a book for example, when you can get THREE things done at the same time like catching up on the news and online shopping and banking?

That sounds terrible so I am making a conscious effort to enjoy these precious last few months of freedom before I’m completely and wholly occupied with taking care of a little human being for the next 18 years. Plus, I think people are just so much more interesting when they’re well-read.

What books are on your reading list these days? Throw them at me. I think the next ones on my list will be Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes based upon other people’s recommendations. I hope to continue this reading streak through the holidays and into the new year. Fingers crossed!

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