Thursday, December 23, 2010

Return to reading

My love for books has taken a back seat over the past few years, in favor of more hands-on activities like knitting, gardening, and cooking (and nephewsitting!  The Goo eats things).  These days, however, I migrate back to the familiarity of words printed on paper, that comfortable feeling of flipping pages.

I have randomly come across helpful articles. Sitting in the doctor's office I spied an issue of the New Yorker, in which there was an article on Roland Barthes' journal entries as he mourned the loss of his mother. Also -- and again, randomly, as it's not my habit to read magazines -- in an issue of Real Simple magazine I came across a description of The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion's memoir of the year she lost her husband.

Over and above my own findings, I have friends who've had parents pass away.  They have rallied to my side through email, text, phone calls, handwritten cards, and even books and music.



Jessica, who lost her dad a couple years ago, sent me When the Heart Waits and A Grace Disguised.  I am not quite ready for the former (having picked it up and not been able to get through the introduction) but am finding the latter a treasure.  I'm reading it slowly, red pencil in hand, because there's so much goodness to it.  Even in things I don't think I need.  For example, I skipped over the part on forgiveness because I think of myself as a forgiving person and because I just didn't think it applied to me.  But the self-imposed guilt of not reading the whole book got to me and I went back to read the three or four pages.  It wasn't just that I saw myself reflected in Sittster's description of an unforgiving person, but he had good advice about how to become a forgiving person. There are things in my heart, attitude, and actions that I can do.  So I will try.

I am totally open to recommendations, too, so don't be shy!  It feels good to be in the company of good books.


  1. I'm not sure I can offer any book recommendations along the lines of what you've described in this post (all of which sound terrific). But when you're ready for something completely different (and witty! and hilarious!), let me know. :)

  2. Loved THe Year of Magical Thinking. I'd recommend a book called Letters from Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman.