Books!

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It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I love to read. I read a lot of different kinds of books, I read them over and over and over, and I generally theme my reading. October is when I read Hal Bodner’s ‘Bite Club’ (a hilarious gay vampire story) and other supernatural or eerie stories. I had forgotten about a gem I’d stashed on one of my shelves and am glad I pulled it out again.

I like this book (Sirens and other Daemon Lovers) not just because it is full of fascinating short stories, or that it was edited by a favorite author, but because of the introduction. Terri spends almost 12 pages preparing the reader for a dip into the world of fantasy and eroticism. She talks about where many stories might have originated and how they evolved over time. She discusses authors and artists who dabbled in fairy where it was safe. Kind of like today where it is quite ok to show orc blood on a screen by the bucket full in a PG13, but not ok at all to show human blood. (Still not sure how Disney got away with that when Edmund was stabbed by the White Witch). Terri is educating her audience and I do hope many of those who purchased this book did read her intro. I always read everything, even the table of contents when there are words!

I think one of the best things about returning to the PNW is my library. The kitchen is in the top two, but I missed my favorite books so much! They are old friends waiting to be picked up and enjoyed once more. Friends who don’t care if my mindset isn’t of theirs. Friends who don’t say they want me to be myself while trying to mold me into their pattern. Friends I can pick up at a moment’s notice who are exactly where I left them. Friends who don’t judge or change. Friends I can escape into other worlds or countries or homes with. No wonder reading has always been so important as I grew! (yes, there are some on my ereader, but not all of my favorites!) I also can’t use my ereader in the bright sunshine, so in the picture above, I have another favorite author in my hands, Patricia Wrede.

Germs among us

I have friends in areas where the Coronavirus originated. I have followed their stories and felt for their quarantines. (I have laughed a bit about my friends in Shanghai. The cats are loving full time laps, even if the two leggers are getting bored.) I have watched the WHO reports and know it is not as scary as most Americans are making it. It is something to be aware of and not a hoax as our POTUS has inferred. I have followed the CDC information and tried to stay away from internet hype.

However, today, I admit to nervous thoughts. There is a nearby Casino, which was closed indefinitely after an employee was discovered to have this disease. They also attended a sporting event in one of the schools by this house and live in this area. The person is now hospitalized in the next larger town over.

I’m pretty much a recluse, I reckon being a bit of an introvert is a good thing right now! Yet, my family is out and about. Little Bear was going shopping tonight and already people in this part of Oregon are flocking to purchase canned goods and disinfecting items. (is that closing the barn door after the horse leaves? I had my guys laughing a bit at me when I took hand wipes to the casino theatre complex when we saw the last Star Wars movie. And that was for the flu strain that was running amok!)

Yet, the thing I’m concerned about is my family bringing this home through work (The Craftsman did say there are many cars he works on and wears gloves while inside the vehicle because of the filth) or me getting stuck in the Seattle airport (I had that happen once when the boys were younger. It was horrible!). Then, I could get stuck in AK (not that I’d mind, unless the house was already sold and I’d end up living with my sister….YIKES!).

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I reckon the most important thing to remember right now is to wash hands, stay cheerful, and do what I can to keep my family and myself well. Oh, and to partake in Read an EBook week (March 2-8)!!! I’m not a fan of ebooks, they are so much slower to read than a paper one. However, I have some there I don’t have in paper! I’m also not as keen with hanging out at the library at the moment. (they changed their policy for late books and now there are no fines, so even if the book is due, it really isn’t. Not having a deadline, I just keep them and then feel guilty and then I don’t read them….Odd!) OH! Emagazines are just as cool as books, here is a fun one I subscribe to. InD-tale.

There are a great many of my crocus up and quite a few daffodils, colorful bits of joy! No early iris yet, though. Much as I love winter and hope to see snow when I head north, I’m ready for spring here. I even spied a hummingbird moth (hawk moth or tomato worm moth) the other day!

 

 

To Read or not to Read? Just READ!

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I love this picture of Loki, which is why I use it often! Without technology and the books on my iPad, I am thankful for bound editions. (I still want to finish the bubble gum book I’d started!!! Bubble gum reading are usually romances or lit churned out by authors with story lines very similar to each other. Comfort sorts of book). The books I’m working on at the moment are by a Polish author Anderzej Sapkowski. You might recognize his name, he’s the ‘HOT‘ fantasy author right now with a game and now a TV series made from this series I’m reading.

Personally, I cannot see how on earth these were made into a game. I don’t play video games, but I thought in a game you are a character and accomplished goals to reach an end. (at least that is how it works in the original Oregon Trail game..til you get dysentery and die!) The first book I read jumped around worse than a frog on a hot sidewalk. I was talking to Strider and he mentioned how most of the authors from that time period (80’s to early 90’sdid that. Little Bear then interjected those were called cliff hangers. Terry Brooks is very good with those, drives me nuts as a reader!!! Most of the book is similar to those favorite fantasy authors! Which makes sense. It is funny he is just now coming to light in the US market.

It appears the TV series (also not something I’ve partaken of), is based more on the books than the game. No matter, I’m plowing through quite quickly. The story is entertaining and I much appreciate the pithy comments interspersed inside the story. They are gems to find and hold up to the light. I’ll show you! (Note: he also is good for sentences that go on and on. Thankfully, NOT like Tad Williams who spent three pages going up a staircase.)

First gem: One of the characters is visiting a university town. The author shares this: “It was also a town of amusement, constant festivities, permanent holidays, and incessant revelry. Night and day, the streets resounded with music, song, and the clinking of chalices and tankards, for it is well known that nothing is such thirsty work as the acquisition of knowledge. Although, the chancellor’s orders forbade students and tutors to drink and play before dusk, drinking and playing took place around the clock in Oxenfurt, for it is well known that that if there is anything that makes men thirstier than the acquisition of knowledge it is the full or partial prohibition of drinking.”

The last one I’ll share made me laugh out loud. The mostly main character is a girl. (She starts out about 9, I imagine her TV character is the older version of her found in later books). In this ‘scene’ she is around her mid teens and is interested in sex. She’s been teased by other girls about being a virgin and her main teacher thinks the whole topic is pointless. Eventually, the teacher (who, according to my eldest, is an important TV character) tells the girl this about bedding a man: “…If you have any choice at all and no experience, appraise the bed….Those who have no beds, eliminate on the spot. From those who remain, you eliminate the owners of dirty or slovenly beds. And when only those who have clean and tidy beds remain, you chose the one you find most attractive. Unfortunately, the method is not 100% foolproof.”

I had to laugh at that last method of choice because it is true! I recall an incredibly mussed nest that startled me. Sweet man, but I do appreciate tidy and clean bodies and sleeping areas!

I didn’t realise this was going to be a ‘review’. I don’t think it is, exactly. It was a fun read I wanted to share by an author in his late 70’s. I do hope he doesn’t write off the deep end and I do hope I can get the rest of his books in this series soon. Since the series has taken off, his books are now harder to find. I was fortunate I snagged them just after the New Year. So, what is the series? ‘The Witcher‘. A name that is a type of mutated human and not just a single entity, although there aren’t very many of them anymore. The first book I read is called ‘Blood of Elves” and the title appears to be part of a prophecy or maybe it refers to the child character. I’m not entirely sure and hope the next book might tell me. It probably won’t, but we’ll see!

 

Achilles and Angels

I recently thought about how each of us probably has an Achilles heel. A place we are vulnerable and a spot that gets us every time. Granted, we don’t get killed from this place of weakness (I hope!), but it exists and generally isn’t good. Then, today, while waiting for a friend, I started a short story in an erotic anthology. (this is a fairly good anthology series. I enjoy a short that is fairly well written and makes one think. There are some typos, a few bobbles here and there, and the editing isn’t as good as I’d like. I think those come within the territory of ebooks in this age) This story, it made me think. And so, you are getting a post about Achilles and Angels.

The story is titled ‘Bringing Angels to Life’ by Chloe Thurlow. A little bit like ‘My Fair Lady’, but not exactly. (oddly, until typing those words, I had not even noticed how similar it was in genre to that classic musical or even the story of ‘Pygmalion!) The story is about a man who sees a woman and awakens her, the author litters the short with pithy sentences that I ended up highlighting (I wonder if that is why my iPad went from full to 14% in just a few hours???).  Thinking about my own Achilles heel of being responsible, of doing for those around me and not as often myself, these phrases showed me places I need awakened. This will be a long post. Bear with me!!!!

This first quoted started my words winnowing, ‘What is life for, but to be lived?’  Mum made me aware of this and in the last months, I’ve forgotten it a bit. She always planned or said she would do something and it never was done. I have wanted to do things this year, they generally are pushed off because of responsible.

Was I living life? Or was I like the hands on the clock, just going through the motions?’ ME in Oregon or taking care of mom. I didn’t want to come back to the house today, because I am doing the same things over and over. (granted, as I work by myself or with others, I am making a bit of progress) ‘I wasn’t sure if chances came or chances were something you made happen yourself.’ Exactly true. In my Achilles heel, do I wait for chances or do I reach out and grasp them? ‘You only fail when you stop trying, stop believing. I was waiting for something to happen without realizing I was waiting. It was like I was dreaming of winning the lottery, but neither had the ticket or the intention of buying one.’ OUCH!!! I look at where I am with The Craftsman, dream of where my life could be, and do not do a thing besides what I’m expected to do. (I have had affairs. They have taught me more about myself than 30 years of marriage. Odd!)  One of my friends is changing his life, I’m so proud of him. I need to not just follow his example, but strike out onto my own path of change.

I laughed at this next quote I found. It was so me. Except I don’t look for new shoes, I look for books. The main character is wondering what she wants to do and glances down. ‘Some new shoes, I thought, that’s what I need.’ I highlighted it because it is so easy to find important things one needs that are useful for our daily life, but not what our soul needs.

The tired working woman character meets the Angel Maker after work and he says, ‘Come.’ She ‘realised I had been waiting as if on a cliff edge and just needed a push.’ When we are bent on one pattern, it takes something major to move you out of that rut. I have many places that trip me up. I don’t have a very good self-image. Mom didn’t encourage me much, my spouse doesn’t, and I absolutely crave being told I look nice or am pretty (I know, women are supposed to be beyond that. We are supposed to be lauded for our brains or achievements. I figure I can start with pretty and go from there!). The Angel maker tells the female character, ‘you are more interesting than you think you are.’ When I’m told this, I am flabbergasted. I often excuse the person saying it because they don’t know me in ‘real every day life.’ He then tells the woman, ‘You are here because you want to be.’ She’s not so sure. ‘You are crossing a bridge that is burning behind you as you go, he said. You don’t want to go back into the flames, the what’s the word, the ashes. And you are afraid to go forward. Is true?’ I nodded, ‘Yes.’ ‘I learn in this life, we do not regret the things we do, only what we wanted to do and never did.’   Powerful thought provoking words, those.

The secret of life is to discover what you are good at, then do it, whatever it is.’ I’m not sure what I’m good at. I do like to make others happy. I should not do it at the expense of myself. I need to be the chocolate chip cookie maker and not the doormat. (I was sad last fall when I went back to Oregon and learned the guys sort of weaned themselves off of sweet baked goods. Now what do I do?) ‘I had been waiting for something to happen. I had grown used to waiting, and you grow tired of waiting.’ Actually, that isn’t exactly true for me. Sometimes I get tired of waiting (most of my blog posts the last couple of years! Or getting the pipes dug up—there is a tractor in the drive as I type!), generally I carry books to help me during waits. Escape into another world is a good way to make time vanish.

In her transformation, he begins by sexually loving her. I liked how these scenes were written. It wasn’t graphic, it was beautiful. He accepted her for what she was, saw her desirability in her work environment and her clothes, removed her from the former and removed the latter—not because they were offensive, but as a part of who she was– dressed her in those same things the next day, then took her to buy new clothing and be guided into the woman she should have been.  He accepted her and guided her. (I’d probably do anything for a person who accepted me for myself.) ‘He made me feel wanted, beautiful, special.’ ‘I looked sexy but, more than sexy, I looked in the warm yellow light almost beautiful, and more than that, I looked happy, and thought those things go together like a matching handbag, shoes, and gloves.’ He pretends to be startled by the transformation and she laughs. He notes, ‘There is nothing sexier than a beautiful girl laughing.’ (NOTE: I had no idea sexual intimacy could be fun until I experienced it! I am a great flirt and giggle often while doing that, but laughing and giggling during sex? Blasphemy!) This last quote, I have experienced. KK told this to me years ago and it is a card I pull out every now and then. ‘If you think you’re beautiful, and special, if you lift your chin and hold your back straight, you are a desirable woman.’ ‘Remember at all times, and never forget it: you are a lady, not a tart.’ Then, the Angel Maker reminds her to ‘Never complain, never explain, and never apologise. Some famous lady said that, it’s good advice.’

As in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ ‘When you wear beautiful things, you do feel beautiful.’ I wore black sparkly tights today and my split jean skirt with a favorite flannel top that has a black velvety collar.  Warm and I felt it was pretty. (It was pouring rain today. When I texted The Craftsman that it was raining cats and dogs and I thought a St. Bernard landed in the lake, he responded with ‘A St Bernard?’ I should have just stuck to basic raining! Lol) Since I was meeting one friend for lunch and hoping to see another and shopping, I wanted to feel good and I did. This story I started, it helped me realise I need to wake up and shake off the clinging arrow in my foot.

I don’t need to keep waiting for something, I need to do. Whether I go back to school or move to Alaska or what, staying inside the house cooking and cleaning isn’t all I was created for. Taking care of mom won’t last forever. (I hope!)  I’m good at being responsible, somewhere there must be a different shoe for this Achilles heel of mine.

Rewrites

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I do not know whether many people realize how much more than is ever written there really is in a story—how many parts of it are never told—how much more really happened than there is in the book one holds in one’s hand and pores over. Stories are something like letters. When a letter is written, how often one remembers things omitted and says, “Ah, why did I not tell them that?” In writing a book one relates all that one remembers at the time, and if one told all that really happened perhaps the book would never end. Between the lines of every story there is another story, and that is one that is never heard and can only be guessed at by the people who are good at guessing. The person who writes the story may never know all of it, but sometimes he does and wishes he had the chance to begin again.” Frances Hodgson Burnett

I know this is a very long quote. Ms. Burnett wrote this for an author’s note in the book she’d written about Sara Crewe. It was a small story she had turned into a play and found so much more going on at Sara’s school than she ever imagined. She says of the characters, “They were as real as Sara, and it was careless of them not to come out of the story shadowland and say, “Here I am—tell about me.” But they did not—which was their fault and not mine. People who live in the story one is writing ought to come forward at the beginning and tap the writing person on the shoulder and say, “Hallo, what about me?” If they don’t, no one can be blamed but themselves and their slouching, idle ways.” F. H. Burnett

After the production of the play, her publisher asked if she’d rewrite the whole thing. She did, eventually releasing one of my favorite books into the world (all grown up) to make generations of new friends.

I love the relationship the Ms. Burnett has with her book. When I see authors doing a rewrite, it drives me crazy! Yet, I understand why they do it. I’m glad this particular wordsmith stopped editing and let it go before she killed it in her enthusiasm to get it right. I’m a fan of all of her works. She had a crazy life, was an American who loved England, and was all about rags to riches. Oddly, she was also insistent on making sure the class distinctions she blurred continued to exist in her writing.

She created Dickon, the one who made it possible for Colin to walk and Mary to regain health, but he was always a beloved gardener boy and the brother of one of the more Yorkshire of the servants. The Rat is rarely known as anything else, yet he invented the Game to put Marco and his dad on the throne, following them beyond the last page. Sara lived with poor abused Becky in the garret, but when Sara’s fortunes turned for the better, Becky was made Sara’s servant. Even little Cedric started out poor and continued to retain a wholesome American background in the world of Lords in England.

Her books make wonderful improbable read alouds to explain a previous way of life to a modern generation. Since it’s March, I’ll soon dive into the magical weaving of growth and life inside The Secret Garden. I almost always read it during spring break. Which is much more springlike in Oregon than Alaska!  (Except for the year the daffodils were buried in snow!)

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A Delicious Gift 💝

food-eating-candy-chocolate.jpgI’m always amused when various holidays choose to hallmark a box of chocolates as a great gift. I’m all for a meal out (preferably something not in the faster food range) or perhaps a nice walk alone somewhere. (Alone as in two people, minus tourists!) I’m fond of flowers and can never have too many in my space (not plants, cut ones which are already dead and can’t be killed). However, I am of the mind one of the best gifts in the entire world are words. Those hand made coupons are cute, but never used (making them takes time, using them takes even more time). Cards are nice and silly expensive. If someone wants to spend 5 dollars on me, I’d suggest adding a couple more and getting me a book from the list of “Books Mom Wants” affixed to the fridge with the library magnet! (I also have a few on Amazon..)

Call me unromantic or whatever, books are my chocolate, my oxygen, and my kryptonite. They fill my soul, comfort me, amuse me, teach, and give to me over and over. When I meet an author, I’m in awe. (There are so many on WP! It’s exciting to read them) Wordsmiths fill me with wonder as they craft phrases into paragraphs and then into stories for me to devour. I was even lucky enough to be written into a book once! (I know, I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s pretty darn cool! Oregon Detective Kelly Lowe)

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The individual morsels of words as they roll on your tongue are better than nougat (definitely better than coconut!) and caramel. Here is a fun one I recently found in a children’s book I’ve read dozens of times, “chrysoprase”. (I believe it is the color ‘apple green’) A string of words can thrill me to my toes, no matter how often I hear it. I’m a sucker for book quotes of all kinds, because they are words threaded together to warm my thoughts. Truman Capote said this about writing, but it fits reading, too. “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.”

One of my favorite good friends, the SSC, (who took me out for dinner last February, marking that outing as one of the top 6 most wonderful experiences of 2017) found and gave me a book by Anais Nin, Delta of Venus. He offhandedly wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day when he told me about it. I picked it up on the 13th and am very happy! I’ve already been ‘sung to’ in the preface, I can’t wait to see what’s next! (Did you know she had this particular set of stories published because they showed “the beginning efforts of a woman in a world that had been the domain of men.” She and her friends were paid a dollar a page for their erotica, and every dollar was needed desperately).

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I’m know going to enjoy each tantalizing bit in this delicious read! (Have I told you how much I love books?)

But, first I need to re-read a book a friend and I read every Valentine’s Day. It’s by L.M. Montgomery and is called The Blue Castle. We used to fight over it at the library (she’s a kindergarten teacher) and when I finally bought the worn used copy, I bought her a newer one of her own. Even though we are far apart and have been for years, we always read this together. Or close to together!

Happy Valentine’s Day and may you curl up with a good book as you while away the day.

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A Love to Last

 

 

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If you have followed me for very long, you know I love books and words. You may know I have a deep fondness for paragraphs and sentences. You might be aware of my adoration for libraries and librarians. (Librarians are those magical people who unlock the worlds of knowledge and imagination for their patrons. I should have been a librarian. I may have been one in a former life!) February is a month to celebrate libraries and books and reading. Which makes perfect sense.

The spine of the month is about relationships. It has pages of personalities and experiences sewn together. End pages are glued securely to sturdy covers of the first and twenty eighth, keeping the month intact. (Or 29th, depending on the year!) The contents are set down in holidays and other incidents. In 2018, the chapters of February have some devoted to the winter Olympics. A time where the world meets on a competitive stage, building relationships between countries through icy and snowy sporting events. (Hooray for household names like Noriaki Kasai and Shaun White!) Holidays are devoted to interactions as simple as counting birds to ones as flamboyant as a new year. It’s a wonderful exciting wintery month of meetings.

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February is also full of days to enjoy fellowship with a book. These are by far the best liaisons. A book will only leave you hanging if the author does. A book is patient. A book doesn’t like to get wet, but they will survive. A book can sleep with you and caress your mind. With the advent of electronic books, you can take your best friends almost anywhere (barring watery spots!). You can let them be for a time, picking them back up when you get the chance, they won’t care. They are always available, they never seem to mind you bothering them. A book is a good time waiting for you to join in. The characters are always ready to teach you something, nonfiction is definitely educational! Reading is a lasting love for a lifetime.

 

 

Relationships

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Every February I read books by Anne McCaffrey. When asked why, I respond with this. “Anne is one of the most romantic authors I’ve ever read.” Often, I’m shot down with the derisive words, “I have never read her like that.” (Which is silly. It’s true an author writes and a reader interprets. Yet, reading the surface of a story leaves so many leaves unturned!) Anne is known for dragons and science fiction. What I enjoy are the relationship she creates.

The bonding of a dragon with a rider is so strong the death of one is often destructive to the remaining partner. These kinds of strong pairings happen all over on Pern. Granted, trading partners is common among the dragons and their riders. Being mind bonded matters when mating hormones are in play. (And yes, 98% of the dragonriders are male. The dragons have 5 colors, 2 of which are female. Gold, rare and always ridden by a female, and green, more numerous and sterile and extremely sexual.) They are fascinating stories of an agrarian world settled by people from a distant earth.

Music is a big part of Anne’s writing. On Pern, an entire people group called Harpers are dedicated to music. On Ballybran, the crystal mined there is done by a precious few who sing the crystal from the earth. A symbiotic spore is responsible for changes in inhabitants of the planet and only the Singers can ever leave. In the romantic short story Coelura, the creatures who spin silk are protected by measures of tune. All kinds of relationships built inside the notes of music.

I love the stories of brain and brawn matches. Brains are humans who have brilliant minds and ruined stunted bodies. They are ensconced inside a shell and eventually relocated to a station or ship or world. They outlive their brawn partners over and over. They stories about the relationships of these pairs are sometimes heartbreaking and always full of space adventure.

Anne has written regular romantic stories and she has created worlds where minds meet and grow together. Often before the bodies lay physical eyes on each other. She writes about horses (something I know little about!), making me see what she’s talking about. She has three books I call “little books” which are full of illustrations and fun. Stories about relationships between cats and humans, friendships between humans, and promises kept in families.

This author, Anne McCaffrey, is one I can praise to the stars and back. She is a darn good read for any time in the year. February is a month to celebrate libraries, so I’m checking out her books and devouring them all over again! (Although, I’m going to borrow ‘Black Horses for the King’ from my SSC friend!)

 

 

To read…

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It may not surprise you, but I love books and words and sentences. I love the melding of ideas into a form where it can be shared via language. (Oddly, math is one of those ideas and forms which doesn’t need translation. Well, except around me!) Books are my escape, my happy place, or whatever you might want to call it. An addiction. Not reading would be like not breathing. I tried to give up fiction for Lent one year. Couldn’t do it.

I’ve been seeing people posting reading lists or ‘join me in books for the next year’, ‘read a book a month’, and so on. This seems odd. I know there is a word in our world to explain why people who read do not want to (alliteracy was discussed extensively at one of the library board meetings I attended. It is frightening to find people who can read and won’t.). I realise how important books are. I did try once to write down the books I read in a year. It was hard. Not because I didn’t read, but because I read so much I would forget to record what I’d read (This last sentence is rather fun! It reads in two different ways!). Then, I’d have the problems of ‘Do I count books I’ve read before?’ ‘Do I count novellas?’ ‘Does a really long one count more than one book?’ and the hardest one of all, ‘Does a bad book count as a book at all?’ With the exception of the last query, I think I have them all sorted under everything is a book and can be counted accordingly. (Bad books I don’t usually finish, so I can’t record it if it isn’t done!)

I read books over and over, so that first question drives others nuts. But, I do hate leaving my friends alone on pages. They wait so patiently for someone to find them and bring them to life. Does it really matter I know most of their dialogue by heart? I know many people don’t understand how someone can read a book more than once. If it is a bad one, I’d agree. However, I enjoy them and I can learn something from them. The majority of the books I devour are fiction. I rarely read a non-fiction more than once. I will take notes as I read a non-fiction book. This means I have pages of my own filled with musings and quotes from someone else. (Often illegible to anyone but myself!) This is because I detest writing anything in a book beyond my name!

Book care is incredibly important to me. I’ll mark pages with sticky notes, receipts, library book check out slips, and book markers. In Oregon, I’d make bookmarkers to carry around and give them to people mistreating books. If someone has a book open, splayed spine, I cringe and give them a marker. Total strangers have seen the hand of my indignant self slide a handmade marker onto their book or next to their luncheon plate. Startled, they would look at me and I’d tell them to use the marker, cuz it hurts the book to be bent that way. Often, they do. Librarians have stories of things people use to mark their pages. I hope my small gifts protect a few books out there! As mentioned, I don’t write in anything but a study book or my bible, which is also a study book!

So, what do I read? Cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, (I tend to skim some of mum’s mail that has too many pages of stuff on insurances and what not) fiction of all kinds, non-fiction of some sorts (poetry, biographies, autobiographies, history, gardening, and a few others), emails and blogs! I love kid lit, erotica, romances, and stories that make me laugh. Fantasy is a huge favorite and sci-fi makes for a great read, as well. If I was stranded on an island and had a book, I’d probably want ‘Daddy Long Legs’ by Jean Webster. (I wrote about this book earlier in this blog)

Blogging friend Jack passed onto me a note which held a rather profound bit of wisdom. He mentioned (at that time) we were on page two of a 365 page book. THIS is an idea I can wrap my brain around. As I live each page in my book of this year, I will also read words by others. Stories help create a person. The thoughts and ideas you ingest become a part of you. Granted, some get sorted and tossed out, but most of them stay firmly set in a busy brain. (There must be a ton of room in mine, I’m always losing thoughts!) I am going to record the books I’ve read, just to see if I can. So far, in 2018, I’ve read two. I know I’ve read one for sure. I’m pretty sure the other one was after the new year started. Unfortunately, I read at least two others this last weekend. It was before the first, so I shouldn’t count them. (One was a fun YA story, ‘Train to Anguish’ by SE Isaac.)

I have 6 on my ipad to travel with. I’m not going to check out any more from the library, if I leave, I leave in a week. A rather busy week full of many sorts of things. I was going to get more ebooks, but my gift cert balance is low again. (For now!) I may take one of ……..books with me, too. Paper doesn’t use batteries! If I don’t leave, well, I have books! With my birthday coming up in a few weeks, I’ll most likely get another gift card, so I can get more. (I’ll probably purchase an audio book or two for the house, too.)

So many books, so little time! Remember that haunting ‘Twilight Zone’ episode about the man who survived a nuclear blast and now had time to read….but his glasses broke? (Time Enough at Last) That always bothered me. Why didn’t he have an old spare tucked away????? (this episode may be why I rarely donate my old glasses!)

A little bit of prejudice….

I love books. I’m pretty sure anyone who follows me might be aware of this. Words and sentences and paragraphs are like oxygen to me. I’m always eager to find new things to read and have many favorites. While in the north, most of my beloved books recline on dusty shelves. (This may not be accurate, The Craftsman may dust my bookshelves, but I don’t expect it!)

One of my very favorite authors is Patricia Briggs. I prefer her early books, I enjoy her later stories. Mercedes Thompson is easy to love and the Omega series is VERY good. I love a read which ends completely unexpectedly! (In one of the Omega books, I read the last chapter twice in a row and audibly cheered when…well, I don’t want to spoil it for you! And I rarely use essential oils without thinking of Baba Yaga.)

I ran across another author in a used book store-I picked her up because quite a few of her series was on the shelf. It isn’t a favorite, my spouse doesn’t like me to have these ones ‘out’ due to their erotic content (the Briggs books have a bit in them as well, but are not blatant about it!), and I brought them north. They are not my favorite because they seem to parallel the Briggs books too closely. The Galenorn books take place in Seattle, Patricia is from the Tri Cities in Washington. Patricia writes about fey and otherworld characters, so does Yasmine. I fell in love with Patricia Briggs first and have almost everything she’s written, so it was rather difficult for me to like Yasmine Galenorn. Too many things are similar and I am prejudiced!

Since I’m reading the ‘Otherworld series’, I have them near me all the time. (I do this with all books!) So, I was rather startled when I put a couple of business cards down on top of one of the Galenorn books and saw another similarity!

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The lady on the card has training as a phlebotomist and the character on the cover of the book? She’s a vampire! I am so going to use Celisa’s business card as my bookmarker for this series. In a larger view, it isn’t just the reddish hair. They have the same smile and eyes.

Just finished another book this weekend. (I read rather quickly. I haven’t felt entirely myself, so I’ve done a spot of reading.) This one is also a favorite author. I was introduced to the series by an especially dear friend. Books recommended by friends are the best kind! I may have mentioned this author in a previous post. It is about dragon shapeshifters and is very fine storytelling mixed with hot erotica. G. A. Aiken is definitely a fun read. In this particular story, part of a chapter is devoted to a banquet scene. There are two monarchs in attendance as well as many people and dragon shifters. The female monarch is caught by her female battle lord with a book. She was hiding it under the table and reading instead of paying attention to the ‘guest’ male dragon monarch. As the scene continues, the dragon monarch hauls out a book from under the table and confesses he was reading, as well. Later, we learn the two were reading the same author. An author who wrote spy novels. Together, the two share thoughts on the books and finish the chapter with this:

“..I can’t read deep, meaningful, thought-provoking philosophy all the time…..Sometimes you have to read about a completely amoral hero whoring and killing his way across an unnamed land in the name of the queen that he’ll always love—“ “—but never have.” Then both Ragnar and Annwyl sighed a little.” Last Dragon Standing.

Books where books are read and loved. Perfectly perfect in every way.