Friday, May 12, 2006

A Book for the Weekend

My sister and I shared many family traits, one of which was reading and the love of a good book. For many years, we traded books and titles and our personal reviews and rejoiced when we found a novel or autobiography that kept us enthralled. We didn’t always share the same taste, however. That is what made our back and forth comments interesting and fun. Since she’s been gone, I sometimes feel like I read in a vacuum.

Frances had a fear of weekends. Or rather a fear of going through the weekend without a good book, and when we both lived in The City, we made a habit of meeting on Friday afternoons and heading to a bookstore. It’s Friday today and I am thinking of her and how much she would have enjoyed the book I just finished, My Name Escapes Me, by Alec Guinness. A marvelous glimpse into the daily life of a very talented and renowned actor who writes of mundane things - what he had for dinner, what he was reading, the weather, and the birds outside his window. Being a diarist myself, I found the book captivating.

After I finished it, I picked up The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell which has resided on the New York Times Bestseller List for awhile. I am finding it didactic, preachy, repetitive and much like a text I might have chosen for extra credit reading when I was teaching Social Psych 101. I’ll finish it on the inbound commute and then I will be free to head to a bookstore for my weekend read. Unfortunately, Powells is too far to walk so I will be forced into Borders.

My choice, and I am very excitedly looking forward to reading it, is Blue Shoes and Happiness, the 7th in the series by Alexander McCall Smith. His latest has been anxiously awaited. On July 5th last summer, in the first posting in the Musings blog, I wrote the following:

“For keeping cool, nothing beats kicking back on the front porch on a July day with a good book and a glass of iced tea. My choice for this activity: Alexander McCall Smith's latest in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies is set in Botswana, Africa and tells the further adventures of Precious Ramotswe and her friends. These stories can transport you to another place and time.”


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