Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Reading Life

I recently found myself thinking about my reading life; and it is, indeed, a particular life, just as someone has a working life, or a farm life, or a home life. I've noticed an interesting phenomenon which has occurred three times now. I've found myself reading and listening to the same sorts of books without really planning to do so. I did a book report the first time it happened. I was listening to and reading a print version of two different mysteries with similar situations. I also wrote about the second time: that was when I stayed up so late after finishing a print book, and then listening to an audio book - both exciting, unstoppable mysteries.

And now, the third. This time it involved three books. I have finished the first two, and am currently reading the third. I have high hopes of writing about each one, and soon. The first is an audio book called Little Heathens, by Mildred Armstrong Kalish about growing up in rural Iowa during the Depression years. The second is Home and Away by Anny Scoones, a book of reminiscences of childhood and travel. The third is Saturday Beans & Sunday Suppers by Edie Clark, a book of recipes and their human connections in her past. They have a lot in common, these books. They are memoirs in the very best sense of the word. The genre has acquired an unpleasant taste in late years with many stories of horrific childhoods, and even lies. They don't appeal to me in the least. But these books, these three gems in the world of memory writing are like mashed potatoes or homemade bread; the ultimate in comfort reading. I didn't plan to read them one after the other. I just happened on the first; Les sent me her copy of the second; and the third I'd been meaning to read for a while, having read and enjoyed her first book, The View From Mary's Farm.


  1. These titles interest me and maybe the title of a book I have just read may interest you too. It's "TOAST" by Nigel Slater, a story of childhood remembered through food.We are nearly of the same generation and it brought back memeories of food I used to eat when young in England. Some details of his private life are a little too explicit though. Nigel Slater is famous for his books on food and he has his site on Internet where he gives his recipes. Another book, American this time is "Feast here a while "by Jo Brans.Really enjoyed this one!

  2. I look forward to reading your review on Home and Away, Nan!!


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