One of my favorite t-shirts says “Eat, Sleep, Read” and when I wear it I almost always draw compliments from other avid readers. I have recently read a couple of books that are books about books. The End of the Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe is a memoir that focuses on the last two years of his mother’s life and the books they read together while she was waiting for chemo treatments. It is not as sad as it sounds. And it led to on-line shopping at Powell’s Books. My first box of books included:
- Mary Tileston, Daily Strength for Daily Needs
- Susan P. Halpern, The Etiquette of Illness
- Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons
and Alan Bennet’s The Uncommon Reader. This novella is comfy to hold and a hoot to read. It imagines what might happen if the Queen of England discovers reading in a mobile library parked behind the kitchen at Buckingham Palace. Of course she reads; however, there is a difference between a casual reader and a compulsive reader. She raises eyebrows when Queen Elizabeth II becomes an avid reader. It turns out that the books that Alan Bennet (who also wrote the delightful play/movie The History Boys) are books I love so I did not discover any new titles. Except Proust, but I doubt I will read Proust.
Other book titles that I jotted down from the End of the Life Book Club and have not bought yet:
- Frances Osborne, The Bolter
- Sheila Weller, Girls Like Us
- Alice Monro, Too Much Happiness
- Victor LaValle, The Big Machine
- Thomas Mann, Magic Mountain and Death in Venice
And these books I downloaded on my Kindle with my sister-in-law Heidi’s Mother’s recommendation (at Thanksgiving):
- Simon Winchester, Krakatoa
- Simon Winchester, Their Noble Lordships.
What are you reading? Please comment, I really do want to know!