Thursday, May 28, 2009

More this and that

Here is a picture of my library area. It holds the largest amount of my books and the most comfortable reading chair ever (if you can stay awake sitting in it!). I also should add that my husband built it for me (he is the best!). I also have book areas in my study and in my bedroom. You can never have enough book space! I am also working on my husband to get our hammock up so that when it warms up I can head out there!

Today is my 3rd day of retirement and I am just beginning to give myself permission to read whenever I want to! I received 2 new books for retirement gifts...John Grisham's The Appeal and The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block. Anxious to get to those. I also have waiting to be read No One You Know and Loving Frank. I need to get to it!

Over the holiday weekend we made a visit to the Illinois Antique Center in Peoria IL and I found 2 more books that I had to have: Diary of a Union Lady 1861-1865 by Maria Lydig Daly and The Lincoln Enigma edited by Gabor Boritt. I want to learn more about Abraham Lincoln and have several other books waiting on my bookshelf in my study to read about him.

I am still reading Handle With Care. It is a difficult subject to read for me, so it has been rather slow going. I am curious to finish it however, to see how the ending is handled. More on that later!

I think that I will go read for a bit!

Monday, May 18, 2009

This and That

Just completed reading The Lost Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini. Apparently, she has a series of books about quilts. I was drawn to this particular book because it was about the Civil War and finding the women who had done a quilt that had been found, so between my interests in genealogy and the Civil War, it caught my attention. It was an easy read, nice story, etc.

My daughter has given me the latest Jodi Picult book to read, so I will be attending to that next, so that I can return it to her. Again, pretty easy reading.

I went into the library at Canton Illinois this morning. Canton is about 12 miles away from us, and is a town of about 16,000. The library is the Parlin Ingersoll Library ( and is just about the best small library that I have ever seen. No, not "just about", it is the best. I am so looking forward to retirement (another 4 days!) in order to begin reading all the great books that I see there. This morning I got a book on the Delta Mississippi Blues, on Organic Eating and 2 books on using Smokers (my husband got one for Christmas and loves it!). I can usually find whatever I am looking for there. Although I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have any books on Clean Eating, which is what I went there looking for. But you know what? I bet that they have some books about it soon! They really seem to stay quite current with books.

I had a pleasant surprise when reading the paper last week and learned that our really small town (Farmington), 5 miles from us, has purchased land to build a new library! It is on hold right now because of the economy, but hopefully it will get going soon. Right now I really avoid that library because it is so small that I can't even bend over in any of the aisles to see what's on the lower shelves. I know that some of that is due to my not-so-small size, but still...I'm not THAT big!

Another thing that I had read recently in our newspaper was that an anonymous donor gave something like 8 million dollars for a new library in Yates City (about 10 miles from us). I may be off on the amount, but it was an incredibly generous gift!

Reading Rules!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On The Black Hill

I finished reading On The Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin last week. It was one of my challenges to myself to read 5 Whitbread Winners, and I think that this was the last one. I really liked it. What is odd, is that I remember reading about the book when it first came out (1982) and thought it sounded interesting. When I began reading it, I recognized right away that it was a book that I had wanted to read a long time ago.

Simply put, this is the story of identical twin brothers. Which right there grabs my attention. I have always been fascinated with twins (part genealogy, part psychology). Lewis and Benjamin Jones are born to simple Welsh parents, who life a simple rural life. The brothers are quite different from one another, yet are totally devoted to each other, to the point where one seemingly sacrifices his life (not literally, but figuratively). Lewis is the rough and tough brother, interested in the more traditionally "male" sorts of things, like farming, airplanes, and women, while Benjamin seems to be more his mother's son, in that he is very introverted, quiet, shy and not willing to take any risks at all. Very unadventurous. However, as different as they are, they cannot seem to exist without the other. There are several times in the story where they are separated and it is unbearable for them. In the end, they stay together through all of the changes of the 20th century, until death.

Essentially, the book tells the story of one life, through 2 different people! The writing is outstanding and it is another one of those books that I would love to be in a class with to dissect and examine with others. Fascinating story!