Chip off the Old Block

I’m a little verklempt.

I’ve always been a reader.  I have a photo of myself “reading” to my little sister when I was about three.  I knew all my books by heart, even when to turn the page; many folks thought I was reading well before I actually was.  For all of my school life, I was reading above my grade level.  When I was in fifth grade, I pulled “Hunchback of Notre Dame” off the school library shelf and the librarian told me it was “too old for me”.  Like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

I’m also a serial reader; there is a book on CD in the car, audiobook on my laptop and assorted books in the bedroom and the living room.   Right now I’m reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini (dragon book – thanks for the nudge MiG), Elementary She Read by Vicki Delaney (murder mystery), I am Thinking of You My Darling by Vincent McHugh (science fiction recommended by our Steve), Selected Poems by Amy Lowell (she was a fairly well-known poet in her day, writing at the turn of the 20th century) and finally The Peacocks of Baboquivari by Erma Fisk (memoir of a woman who lived alone for five months banding birds for The Nature Conservancy – I have NO clue where I got the idea about this one). 

But why am I verklempt, you ask?  Because I did not raise a reader.  Saying this out loud is a little like committing hari-kari.  I read to her constantly when she was young, she had a good library of books, she learned to read easily but to no avail; she has just never wanted to read.  Right after Christmas I was amazed to see her toting a book around the house. Some kind of inspirational/self-help/current events thing.  I teared up a little.  Then three weeks ago she came to me and asked if she could use my Amazon account to buy.. wait for it… books!  Now what you need to know is that asking to use my account is YA’s code for “will you buy it for me”.  “OF COURSE YOU CAN USE MY ACCOUNT” I yelled as I hugged her.  When the books showed up on Friday I was so excited — as I was taking the photo, you could have heard her eyes roll from a block away.  She did tell me that I could read the books as well if I wanted to.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had already read two of them.

Have you infected anybody with the reading bug?  What are you reading right now?

37 thoughts on “Chip off the Old Block”

    1. Aaah… good. I’m a few chapters in and it didn’t SEEM like a Steve choice, but I had it in my head that it was one of his. Thanks. Now I just need to find out about the peacock book!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes. My kids. We taught them to read well first grade. (Skipped kindergarten) This bookishness had a few disadvantages. My daughter was placed in advanced courses several times that were way over her head. And Son was always compared by others to Daughter. Both kids are very intelligent but are not geniuses.
    Reading now The Ottomans by Marc Baer. The interplay of religion and politics over hundreds of years is fascinating.
    Next up is Jefferson and Hamilton by John Ferling. Is there a Jefferson musical in there? Hope so.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great story, VS. Glad YA came over from the dark side. 🙂 Not sure I infected anyone with the reading bug but I sure as hell tried with both my Little Brothers.

    I’m currently reading ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain”, a middle grade writing craft book with a long title, and “The Urban Thesaurus” another writing craft book.
    Gotta keep stuffing all that knowledge into my brain because it keeps leaking out! 😦

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Art of Racing in the Rain is one of those books that I really loved, to the point that I won’t watch the movie. I don’t want anything messing with what I have in my head.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, my, I can see why you’re excited about his, VS. I think we infected Joel a bit – there are a number of photos of him being read to as a wee child. He was at least an occasional reader as an adult, and would sometimes give us books as gifts.

    I am currently reading, for my non-fiction book club, The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks – the experience of being part of an ancient occupation, but in an area (England’s Lake District) where tourism has taken over… For the fiction group, I’ve just started The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin. I also try to keep up with what y’all are reading for Blevins Book Club, and at least sample them once in a while – even if it’s after the fact… And I enjoyed The Thursday Murder Club from VS’ year-end book list.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t think I’ve turned anyone into a reader, but hopefully someone read and appreciated something I recommended to them while I was working at the library or the bookstore. Right now I’m reading “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke for the next meeting of the Rivendell Group of the Mythopoetic Society. I can’t truthfully say that I’m enjoying it or would ever want to reread it, but it’s interesting and I do want to know what happens.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Rise and Pick Up Your Book, Baboons,

    I tried to infect my son with the reading bug, and I did to a certain extent. My true joys are fiction and memoirs—the stories of lives and challenges. My son reads science and writes computer code. His first book that he loved was “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Mary Ann.” Therefore, he grew up to be a digital engineer with a warehouse full of 21st century machines: a very large computerized and automated machinist thingie that I cannot remember the name of, and a robot that produces circuit boards, as well as other stuff.

    My mother was a speed reader. We children would watch her read, turning pages rapidly then piling the completed books up on the table beside her chair. Mom read everything: Harper Lee, Dostoyevsky, James Herriot. She still has piles of library books in her room, but she now likes Amish romances. Yes, indeed. That is what Alzheimer’s will do to your brain—make you satisfied with Amish romances novels. I tried one and faded out early in the first chapter.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Both our children read a lot. Our daughter even signed up for a library card from the ND State Library to access its on-line book collection so she didn’t have to wait for the books she wants from her local library in Tacoma. Grandson loves books, too.

    I am currently reading Supervision Essentials for the Practice of Competency-Based Supervion. Not a real page turner, I assure you.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. A professional book I hope?

      I am just starting William Kent Kruger’s Lightning Strike. I listened to Amy Dickinson’s “People Tell Me Things” which I liked a lot. I am visually reading Elin Hildebrand’s “Paradise” trilogy located in the USVI of St. John’s. I just finished listening to Elizabeth George’s “Something to HIde” , a Lynley/Havers mystery which was very good.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I have no idea whether I’ve ever infected anyone with the reading bug, but because reading was such an important part of my life, I’ve tended to hang out with people who read. When someone tells me they don’t read, or don’t like to read, it’s a red flag that this person’s understanding of the world around us is going to be extremely limited. I tend to read in spurts, possibly because it takes time for me to digest what I’ve just read.

    At the moment I’m reading several books simultaneously. I most recently breezed through Garnet Rogers’ first novel, “6 Crows Gold.” I had previously read his memoir, “Night Drive: Travels with my Brother.” Garnet is a skilled writer who knows how to spin a tale, and he doesn’t hold anything back. At the moment, I’m rereading Lynda Barry’s “The Good Times Are Killing Me.” I’m loving it as much as the first time around, back in 1989. I’m halfway through Brené Brown’s “Atlas of the Heart,” Annie Proulx’ “Barkskins,” and have just dipped into a delightful little novel by Arundhati Roy, “The God of Small Things.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If anyone is interested in “6 Crows Gold,” I’m ready to hand it off to the next reader. It’s an interesting read, hard to put down once you get started, though I’d say the story is a bit far fetched. It’s fiction but addresses a lot of contemporary issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know how you can read more than one book at a time; the stories all mix up in my head.

    I read Mel Brooks autobiography and that was fun. It was just like listening to him telling stories, so it was pretty “fluffy”.
    I’m reading an old book called “Homelife in Colonial Days” by Alice Morse Earle written in 1908 it appears. It’s pretty fascinating.

    Son read a lot in his teenage years; not sure how much he reads anymore. Daughter too, lately she’s not interested in reading or writing so much, but I expect they’ll come back around too it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I read more than one book at a time, Ben, it’s usually because at least one of them is difficult to read. Annie Proulx’s “Barkskins” is a pretty heavy duty tome. It’s well written and interesting, but I can only concentrate for so long. Keeping track of the various characters from whose perspective the story is told requires that I pay close attention or I lose track. When my mind begins to wander, it’s time to stop and do something else. I never did this when I was younger, so perhaps it’s a reflection of my diminished powers of concentration? Garnet Rogers’ book, on the other hand, is a romp of a read. Five-hundred-plus page just flew by virtually uninterrupted.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I loved The Shipping News but other books by Proulx, like Accordian Crimes have been too dark for my taste and I have shied away from her books since.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I love Annie Proulx’s writing style, and I really don’t mind dark stories at all. I just have to pace myself to take it all in, and know when to take a break. I find her evenhanded and non-judgmental way of “reporting” human frailty in all its glory, refreshing. I’m especially fond of her short stories.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. With any writer, one is, to an extent, allowed into their head. With fiction, the writer is not only reporting but also inventing what they choose to report. That’s a lot of the writer’s psyche to be thrust into. It’s up to the reader to decide if that’s a place where he or she wants to be.

          Liked by 3 people

  9. Right now I’m reading New Green World by Josephine Herbst, a book about John Bartram, his son William, and the early naturalists in America. Its part of a series of books produced in the mid-1950s called The American Procession Series and which I’ve found to be uniformly good. Another book from that series, titled The Brass Knuckle Crusade was about the No Nothings in the middle of the nineteenth century and it drew startling parallels to Qanon.

    I mentioned a few days ago I was reading Père Marquette by Agnes Repplier. Repplier had a long career as a writer but was most active in the early part of the 20th century. I’ve read several books by her, mostly essays and found them all to be worthwhile.

    After Père Marquette, I read The Thursday Murder Club. I don’t often read mysteries but Robin had gotten it out of the library, probably on the strength of Sherrilee’s recommendation. It looked amusing, featuring as it does a set of quirky oldsters, and it was. I read it in a day.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Right now I’m reading Kate Atkinson’s Big Sky. I read Started Early, Took My Doga few weeks ago, and Big Sky is in the same series.

    Picked up a copy of A Far Cry From Kensington, by Muriel Spark, in a Little Free Library recently. That could be next.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. How fun. I read A Far Cry From Kensington eons ago, it seems. Don’t remember many details of it, but I do recall enjoying it. I’d like to read it again when you get done with it, Linda, if you care to pass it on. Happy to swap it for something I have that might interest you.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. i got two 1/2 readers out of 5 kids
    3 musicians
    2 sales people
    5 wonderful human beings
    but i am concerned about the ones who don’t read

    my books got messed up when my library app died
    just got em back
    garrison keillor
    david saderas
    frank mccourt teacher man and angela’s ashes (tia was fantastic)
    tom wolf (the painted word
    nikki giovanni collected poems
    tim ferriss compilation
    and meg mason /sorrow and bliss /that will be my chill pill

    Liked by 2 people

  12. oh and
    dear fang with love i am reading with my daughter the 1/2 reader as a discussion book or a father daughter book club book
    she picked it
    it’s very interesting

    i guess she should be considered a full reader
    she’s a jr as a english major in education to teach lit to high school students
    she is a reader
    i forgot because it’s all assignments right now but we have 5 books on our agenda

    Liked by 4 people

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