Sunday, August 12, 2012

love of reading

I finished two books on the weekend, and although I don't write about books very much, I do love to read.  I rediscovered my love of books after reading "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin and starting a book club.  This summer, we read "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay for book club and I found a had a little extra time for reading.  So, I read "The Book of Negroes" by Lawrence Hill.

It is a compelling book.  I've had it sitting on my shelf for at least a year and I was waiting for a time when I felt ready to read something more serious, with difficult subject matter.  Maybe it was reading "Sarah's Key" (set in WWII) that prompted a new love of historical fiction.  Anyway, I picked it up and loved it.  It was so hard to read sometimes, but the brutality was presented in a very matter of fact fashion.  Brutality became expected, life was about survival.  The history was completely fascinating to me, it opened my eyes to the history of slave ships and the slave trade.  I have not traveled very much, I have not been to the continent of Africa, but my heart broke reading Aminata's story.  I have been to Shelburne many times as my grandfather lived close by and I had no sense of the history of ships bringing Black Loyalists to Nova Scotia.  

"The abolitionists may well call me their equal, but their lips do not yet say my name and their ears do not yet hear my story.  Not the way I want to tell it.  But I have long loved the written word, and come to see in it the power of the sleeping lion."  Hill, Lawrence, p. 101.

Historical fiction is such a fascinating genre, I find it such an interesting way to read stories that are rooted in specific historical events.  History is a science of perspective, digging for the truth and hearing the stories of the people who lived that history.  "Sarah's Key" discusses the importance of knowing and not hiding from the truth of the past, as horrific as it might be.  The act of remembering is a way to acknowledge those that have suffered.  

I also read through an e-book yesterday called "Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms" by Renee Tougas.  What an inspiring little book!  I would not call myself a creative person, however, I think that I have been wrong.  I am creative, just not in the painting, drawing, crafts, scrapbooking, organizing fancy parties way of being creative.  There were so many challenging little points, I'm sure that I will read through it again soon and jot down some ideas of how to begin a more intentional creative journey.  I need to start small, and start where I am at right now.  Writing is something that I absolutely love to do, and I often feel like I don't have any time.  I don't often have time to sit in a coffee shop for hours and write, but I can grab moments here and there and choose to write instead of consume media, other blogs etc.  I love this article, "Create Before You Consume" which talks about this very thing.  I glean inspiration from others online, and I learn tons while I'm at it, but I need to find my own voice somewhere along the way.

Also, Renee writes about the outdoors and finding inspiration in nature.  Being outside often feeds our creativity.  While I walk I can think about creative pursuits.  This is not a daily practice for me, but one that I would like to explore more this coming year.  I love the acknowledgement that her children have inspired many of her creative pursuits, that it is their freedom and abandon (and lack of perfectionism) that allows them to create constantly.  I am finding this true in my own children, and I need to be a listener and observer, recording their interests as they play and delving into projects that reflect their interests at the current time.  A challenge for me!  

I always have many books on my "to-read" list, but here are some that I hope to read in the near future:
1) "Steady Days" by Jamie Martin 
2) "Free Range Learning" by Laura Grace Weldon 
3) "An Everlasting Meal" by Tamar Adler 
4) "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese
5) "The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
6) "Grace for the Good Girl" by Emily P. Freeman

(I have started "Steady Days", "The Language of Flowers" and "Grace for the Good Girl".)

I love having many books on the go at one time, I find I finish more this way as I always have something to pick up and read based on my mood that day.  How do I find the time?  Well, I ready most often when I am nursing!  I read the most when I am trying to finish a book for book club or when I am so enthralled with a story, I cannot put it down easily.  I felt complete joy this weekend as Charlotte snuggled with me on the sofa at the camp and read her comic book while I read at the same time!  It was lovely.  I have visions of this for the future when she learns how to read the words as well as reading the pictures.

So what are you reading?  What is on your to-read list? How do you find time to read?


  1. I adored The Book of Negroes, especially the references to Birchtown and Shelburne as I spent much of my childhood in the area - my parents' cottage was only 10 minutes from there. Also loved Cutting for Stone, such a great read. I often have more than one book on the go and usually only get a few minutes to read each night before turning in. Every once in awhile I get luck and can spend a couple of hours engrossed on the weekend but as a working mom, those times are few and far between! :)

  2. Pamela, I am honored to be included on your reading list and such a lovely and kind review you gave my little book. thank you.

  3. Hey, Pamela. I read Free Range Learning this spring! Excellent book, tons of ideas. I don't have it to lend you unfortunately otherwise I would if you don't have it; I had borrowed it from our library in BC.