I was going to title this My Summer Reading Plan, Progress Note, (https://michelesomerville.blog/2021/06/14/my-summer-reading-plan but I feel the quickly draining away of summer, with all of the school supplies on sale, the summer clothes on sale that seem to be heralding the close, or clothes of one season morphing into another. I never did buy enough sleeveless tops to get through the heat of summer, but today I had to go digging for long sleeves, at least to get me through the cool of the morning and the dog’s first walk of the day.
I was at one of my favorite stores the other day and saw an attractive door decoration and was tempted to buy it. But I stopped myself with this thought, a stifled yell from somewhere in my psyche, “Don’t buy that yet, it screams fall and it is only July 21st!”
We have had a lot of rain the last few weeks in North Central Pennsylvania. Every. Day. Rain, storms, flooding and grey skies; definitely not good sunbathing weather, or swimming or other outdoor activity weather.
I admit, perhaps this chatter is to avoid telling you how abysmally my summer reading plan has turned out. And yet, not so bad in the long run. I have read a book that I enjoyed, and highly recommend: Mennonite Daughter: the Story of a Plain Girl, by Marian Longenecker Beaman. https://marianbeaman.com It is available on Amazon, I read it on my Kindle. I have a bad habit of checking out the ending of a book, but it is way to much hassle to do that when reading on a Kindle. So I was pleasantly surprised to find some recipes at the end of the book.
I found it to be well written and compelling and perhaps a must read, but also a potential trigger story, for anyone who has grown up with domestic violence and done the hard work of processing, attempting to understand the perpetrator, and find threads of love and forgiveness. In addition to that, she experienced extreme prejudice and bullying in a toxic work environment. There is a lot of redemption in her story and fulfillment.
It took me a while to get through the book, not because of any failing on the part of the author, but because I can be easily distracted and more importantly, had genuine family needs that required my attention.
I had started reading a second book as well, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. This is a book that is good for writers at any stage, but in order to engage the book best, one needs to read a little and then write. I picked out a notebook to use, but just did not keep up. I intend to return to the reading and the work.
The second book that I successfully completed, was an audio book by one of my favorite authors, Jan Karon, the book was “To Be Where You Are.” I had read the book previously on a vacation, but I don’t go anywhere without an audiobook and I find comfort, encouragement and inspiration in Jan’s writing. It was an excellent companion during the stressful time of my husband’s surgery, hospitalization and recuperation.
My current read, that I am moving through slowly, but finding it important for the stage of life that I am in, is Mary Pipher’s “Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age” It is a book I had started on a previous vacation and when I returned the copy to the library (unfinished) I determined to purchase my own copy. It had sat on the floor by my bed for several weeks, where I managed to avoid it, until one fateful morning it seemed to jump up and say, “Hey! Pick me!”
I am also listening to a current political memoir book on Audible, but my Kindle, or the app or my car sync can be temperamental, so I am only about 43% on that one.
So, the truth is I have only finished two books in the last month. On the other hand, I have finished two books this month! Hurrah! I know, it does not sound like much, but in the normal day to day of my work life, most actual reading is professional, which takes precedence over any other reading. It is usually on vacation that I can pick up one book read it, and then pick up another and come home from vacation with 3 to 5 books read. I always listen to audio books in the car when I am alone, so I hear books on average two a month, depending on the size of the book and the amount of car time.
But my goal here is to pick up a book, or my Kindle and READ the whole thing!
Part of my goal that has been most successful is my determination to not sit in front of the television watching endless repeats of shows I have seen. One exception to this plan is Friday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time (U.S.), if Blue Bloods is on, I am there. So I feel really accomplished in that way.
In addition to all the above, I have written and published two blog posts, and have two in process and have been intentional about reading and commenting on other blogs as I am able. Another wonderful part of my reading/writing life is a generally weekly phone conversation with a friend who writes, we share what is going on in our lives, but also encourage each other in writing progress or attempts and our hope to get back on track with our joint writing venture.
So my plan now is to continue the discipline and the reading plan into fall. That will require more intention on my part because the fall season of favorite shows is coming, and I will try to be choosy.
Oh, my other summer reading? Bread recipes! But that is another story for another post. What will my next read be? Tune in. What about you? Do you have a favorite author, or genre?
Not holding back the tide,
Copyright 2020-2024 Michele Somerville, The Beach Girl Chronicles and https://msomervillesite.WordPress.com
Linking up with Natalie’s #Coffee Share Weekend, #Esme Senior Salon and #Denyse Whelan’s life This Week