Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Summer Hardly-Reading Update

A moth, doing his thing

In the desert-part of California, we rarely get rain.  It could be raining everywhere in California; but the most we get are the clouds. 

But this June, our little desert had two days of downpour.  It was such a blessing and joy. My plants and flowers were so happy, especially following weeks of over 100 degree, brutal heat.  After those two separate days of showers, we had unusual sunsets, and I had to take pictures, which do them no justice.  The sky glowed florescent orange, which reminded me of Gone With the Wind.

After the shower

Gone with the Wind, I am ashamed to admit that I have stopped reading.  Given that June was extremely busy for my family, there were many days I didn't read anything.

I do not like to give up reading a book, especially one that I have great regard for; I had reacted emotionally when I committed myself to reading it this summer, and I was not able to enjoy it as I had wanted to.  I did not want to force myself to read it and then produce a bad experience, especially since I had an amazing experience the first time I read it.  So I sadly admitted defeat and put it back on the shelf.

In addition, I am only half way through 300 pages of The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, and a little more than half way with The Wind in the Willows.  I had wanted to be done with both by the end of June, but that is not happening.

Another amazing sunset after rain

What spare time I was able to find, I used it to continue reading the Little House on the Prairie series. While everyone was still asleep, I would steal away to the back porch in the early morning and read as long as I could.  It is the one story or series of stories that I love to escape to: a simpler life, a simpler time.  And for some reason, it makes me want to be a better mother. A friend of mine once remarked that when motherhood became difficult for her, she found herself asking, "What would Caroline do?" 

Of course, though there was no time to read thoroughly and deeply this June, it did not stop me from collecting more books.
More books that I do not have time to read

I found these in the library used books section: 

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Surprised by Joy - C.S. Lewis
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Julie and Julia - Julie Powell
Out of Africa - Karen Blixen (Dinesen)
Mill on the Floss - George Eliot

This was given away at church:

Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier

And this was given to me for my birthday:

Evelina - Frances Burney

Speaking of my birthday, I ended up with several Barnes and Noble gift cards, too. I went through my wish list on and shopped seriously.  When those arrive, I will share.

Now that summer is officially here and my calendar is clear, I hope to start reading thoroughly and purposefully again.

Happy sunflower


Heidi’sbooks said...

What beautiful flowers and sunsets. I'm not reading much either. This year had been insane. It should settle down but I don't think it actually will.

Cleo said...

Happy birthday to you!!!! :-) And extra special wishes and blessings for the coming year (including lots of reading time).

I so hear what you're saying! I'm three books behind schedule for the year and I usually am way ahead. I have had almost no time to read, let alone blog or check friend's blog and I feel somewhat miserable in this respect. I'll be free on July 14th and then busy for the weekend after that and then I'm completely slowing down. I can't wait.

Ruth said...

Yeah, what is it with summer? It should be relaxing.

Ruth said...

Thanks! You, too - more reading and writing. I've noticed you haven't written many post lately.

So, I'm wondering if you guys will be starting Up From Slavery, yet. I'm almost 2/3 through w/ Frederick Douglass, but I need another week probably w/ the holiday and weekend coming up.

Carol Apple said...

Barnes and Noble gift cards are my favorite gift. Love your attempts to read. I have given up on some books to and have not even started Frederick Douglas. A year ago I gave up on Mrs. Dalloway and then a month or so ago tried again and loved it. I guess my brain is still maturing. In fact it seems to have suddenly developed an affinity for Virginia Woolf, because since then I have read two more of her wonderful books. (Reviews coming soon.) Love your stack of books. I've read three of the bottom four and I think the top book is coming up soon on my "to read" list.

Cleo said...

I've started Up From Slavery but it's a very fast read. You can let me know if you need more time. After dreading this book, I am enjoying it so much! Do we want to see where everyone is at the end of July and if we need a week or two of adjustment, do it then? We have some biggies coming up (in length and brain power).

Unknown said...

And a (belated) Happy Birthday wish to you in sunny CA from l'il old me on the white sands of the Gulf coast. Summer does have a way of upsetting the apple-cart of reading; too many demands upon our time get in the way. I have rededicated myself to a solstice-to-solstice reading plan (which you can read about in my latest posting at Beyond Eastrod). Perhaps your recent purchases will be the catalyst you want and need for a return to the power-and-passion of good books. Have a beautiful day!

Ruth said...

Oh, me too. I did not enjoy Mrs. Dalloway, but recently read Out to Voyage and loved it thoroughly. (That was read on my iCloud, and I think I would have loved it even more had it been a physical book.) So now I am open to more Woolf.

Ruth said...

Well, thank you.

I've actually been open to reading more contemporary works, like those in my new stack, and inspired to read books pertaining to my school year, several of which I did purchase through B&N.

Life happens and we have to change with it.