rediscovering the world of books and other good stuff

It’s just me stopping by to let the world–or whoever–know I’m still here. I’ve been away from regular blogging for so long I’m having a hard time stepping back in. The truth is that I discovered a whole lot of other things I used to do before I got into the blogosphere, and while I was hanging in there from all the cancer treatments and almost daily doctor and hospital jaunts I rediscovered some of the things I used to love. Like reading. I’ve read so many books of late I’ve lost count–fiction and non-fiction alike. So many books calling to me. I’ll never have time to read them all.

I just finished two by Anne Lamont who writes with clarity and honesty about living in a country at war (both these books were written during George W’s presidency) and somehow keeping up faith, GRACE and PLAN B, (share excerpts from both on the previous links–look for the Search Inside This Book link) and highly recommend both.

MARRYING ANITA was written by American-born Indian Anita Jain about the travails of finding a suitable husband. This blog review wraps it up quite well I think, far better than I could. Ms Jain compares the rituals of courtship like those she experienced in New York–partying, one time hookups–with the arranged marriages of of India-born Indians like her parents, and even goes so far as to endure meetings with suitable boys arranged by her parents. It was a quick but fascinating read even though I can’t quite figure out whether or not I liked it well enough to recommend it.

At the moment I’m just finishing up SOMEWHERE TOWARD THE END, a book written by Diana Athill,Ā  a British woman who spent 50 years as an editor working with writers such as V.S. Naipaul, Norman Mailer. and John Updike. Published in 2009 when she was 92, she writes quite frankly about the fading of sexual desire that comes with age, about the death of her mother and about her own expectations of her own death. Her thoughts on these topics and atheism alone make the book well worth reading. See for yourself by clicking here and another here for fascinating excerpts.

The biggest problem I’m having, after all these and other great reads so far, is that I realize how boring my stuff is in comparison. I expect I’ll get back into the swing of writing and blogging sooner or later, but in the meantime there’s a pillow in a swing on the porch and a nice pastry and tall glass of lemonade waiting for me. Life is still good.

20 thoughts on “rediscovering the world of books and other good stuff

  1. Your stuff is not boring.

    So there.

    Yes, I will go chase down that last book. Did Anita get married. I’m rereading Gilman’s so well written mysteries. She’s to be the lead author at the Edgar’s this year. I found an old one at the thrift store, and my reading of them has just snowballed.

    You can blog and read and write and live all at the same time. šŸ™‚

    • Wow! That was fast! (I hope I didn’t cause problems with my last minute editing after I clicked “publish”.) Anita didn’t get married. The ending was a little fuzzy to me but it sounded to me as if she’d settled in to living with her servant-maid and deciding she maybe didn’t need marriage to be fulfilled. In spite of lingering questions, the voyeur in me relished it. šŸ˜•

    • Me too Colleen. Try reading the ingredient listing on any boxed “edible” thing and learn all kinds of new words. But still I feel terribly boring these days.

  2. Don’t you think you deserve a break from just about everything that was routine before you found out you had cancer? Personally, I could think of no better way to spend time than to read books by writers who write so effortlessly, filling every page with wonder and poetry and in my daydreams, well in our daydreams, don’t we all wish we could write those kind of books. But even better is we get to read those books. I don’t think blogging is purposeful, as a matter of fact it might be the complete opposite – for no reason whatsoever Alice sits down at her computer and writes in her blog and talks about what she thinks, what she knows, her experience, her passions. Why? For no good reason, she just does it. And hey, Alice is taking a break – she’s sitting on the porch, reading good books and spending a little time indulging in being a reader instead of a writer. Why? For no good reason. She just wants to is why. Sounds like a good plan to me. Enjoy!!!

    • Blogging doesn’t have to be purposeful…I like that and will have to remember it. In fact this is a great blogging subject. Thanks for the peptalk.

    • I’m sure you’ll like it, she’s very good with words. Hubby discourages me from bookstores although I do sneak around and online to Amazon books online, but most of the time I check the library first. Enjoy. It’s refreshing to see a woman 92 years old who wasn’t prudish or especially judgemental–a freeythinker as many woman of her time weren’t allowed to be.

  3. I don’t read books, well, except for the occasional self help type books, and cancer books, and maybe the Sunday paper, and well, of course, your blog! Sounds like you’re doing enough reading for the two of us! Good for you!

    • The problem with reading too many books is that I have less time for my blog surfing. But I usually make it at least once a week and catch up all at once. Better late than never. (Btw, looks like my hair will be mostly white but there are funny patches of dark here and there–I fear I’ll look like a skunk.)

  4. So long as you stay well that is all that matters. I like what you do, otherwise I would not keep coming back! Last week I was slow because I was playing Happy Families!

  5. Boring? never. Just finding the path back to normalcy. A porch, a swing and a good book, perfect. love sue

    • Dr. N, I gave up on Tolstoy many years back! I think Vikram Seth may be slightly easier to take. And in the meantime they made a movie of it, and that was much easier to take.

  6. I appreciate your reading recommendations! And those of your friends who commented. SOMEWHERE sounds especially intriguing. I love a good mystery, and so I researched Mage’s Dorothy Gilman recommendation as I didn’t “know” this author. To my delight, I found that her heroine is a 60-year-old spy! My kind of gal.

    Because of my profession, I read a lot of Young Adult novels, and I have dedicated my summer reading to Utah authors – and we have many talented, award-winning superstars. I plan to blog about them soon.

    AND, boy, isn’t a bout with cancer so boring? You silly woman! Your life and writing is FAR from boring.

    • So nice to hear from you Ranae! Somewhere really is a nice book. I’ll be looking forward to your Utah authors blog as I’d like to learn more about them as well. I’m only 4 readers away from receiving THE HELP from the library–the waiting list for that one was LONG if that’s any indication of how good the book is. Appreciate your support for my writing, but I have to say if I had to choose between writing or reading, the writing would be the first to go.

  7. Checking in and glad to see you’re doing well and enjoying some reading. I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned, but they all sound very good.
    I finally finished up 909 pages of A Woman of Substance, by Barbara Taylor Bradford… second time reading it after 30 years. Have to say I enjoyed it even more the second time around and it’s the ONLY book I’ve ever read twice. My “to be read” pile is about ready to topple over, even though I constantly have a book going. Now reading her sequel, Emma’s Secret, and also enjoying it very much. Great women’s fiction!
    Stay well and enjoy your summer!

    • Thanks so much Terri, you’ve just reminded me I need to go to and order CASTING ABOUT, which I will very soon. I’m hoping to revisit some of the characters I met in SPINNING FORWARD. Nice to read about all your travel adventures and PR gigs to promote your books. Must be a blast!

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