My mother taught me how to crochet and my father showed me how to straighten a bent nail. By the sixth grade I could field-strip a traditional American bicycle and make a wicked pineapple stitch doily for the little table that ugly black rotary phone sat on in the hall (remember Ident-a-Ring?).
They’re gone now and when my birthday rolled around last year I realize I’d outlived both my parents. It was probably all that tamale pie and Delaware Punch, not to mention an acquired craving for Ballantyne Ale and Rippers at Rutt’s Hut.
I’m retired now and surviving with minimal contact to the outside world (Thank you, Covid). Not only am I in my mid-seventies, but I also have diabetes, arterial fibrillation, psoriases (auto-immune), arthritis, asthma, and a few lingering problems related to a stroke I experienced almost twenty years ago. So I hide out in my two rooms in my daughter’s house and read. Sometimes I watch (binge even) a series on Netflix or a classic movie on Criterion and several times a day my dog Ricky drags me outside (I sit on the porch and he doesn’t go very far: he’s deaf and old like me).
One of my favorite activities, one which gives me the highs and lows of any day, is scanning through my book lists to decide what titles I will try to read in the near future.
Putting together a reading list is fun and even exciting; but the downer is the realization of all those appealing books I can’t wait to read … and will have to wait. No matter the pandemic, there’s a limit to how many books I can read during the month. Still, the lockdown has allowed me to make a serious dent in my Bucket List and to fill-in some of those embarrassing gaps in my literary education.
The reading pool for the shortest month of the year is sufficiently eclectic to appeal to many readers and I hope you might see a title that interests you and maybe even share your opinions after you read it.
- Looking For Bapu — Anjali Banerjee
- They Were Found Wanting — Miklós Bánffy
- An Ice-Cream War: A Novel — William Boyd
- Agnes Grey — Anne Brönte
- Villette — Charlotte Brönte
- The Pilot; or, A Tale of the Sea — James Fenimore Cooper
- Ghost Town — Robert Coover
- Medea — Rachel Cusk
- Carnival: A Novel — Rawi Hage
- The Marble Faun: Or, The Romance of Monte Beni — Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Stealth — Sonallah Ibrahim
- Cities of the Plain — Cormac McCarthy
- Lookout Cartridge — Joseph McElroy
- Earthlings — Sayaka Murata
- Miss Iceland — Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
- Home: A Novel — Marilynne Robinson
- Innocents Abroad — Mark Twain
- Jailbird — Kurt Vonnegut
- Interior Chinatown — Charles Ya
- Le Docteur Pascal — Émile Zola