A Book a Day

My mother was a voracious reader. We would go to the local library and she would leave with her arms full of books. Although I know she read a reasonable sampling of classic literature, her strength was mostly in mysteries, romances, and more popular authors. At one point I realized that she was reading as many as three of those fat bodice-rippers a day .. day after day.

I find that reading requires concentration and drops off exponentially when the demands of life intervene. However, my current environment is so well suited to hours of reading daily that I might well challenge my mother’s feats of reading. If only I read more romances. I have, it seems, read just about the equivalent of a book a day this last year: good light, digital editions, perpetual quarantine, and no television.

Oh, I regularly entertain the grand-kids on the Apple Arcade and am fond of following selected series on HBO, Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix, but I too often am thinking of the time I’m robbing from my reading to watch The Morning Show or Mare of Easttown or Taco Chronicles. I justify my actions by realizing that I. am as keen to know what happens next, whether it is in a book or on an internet stream. I do wish I had more time to watch all the excellent cinema treats available on the Criterion Channel: It’s the best!

Note that unlike the old, pre-pandemic days, I have actually read a good many of the titles I suggest each day. These were the suggestions from November:

11-01-21 – Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century — Jessica Bruder
11-02-21 – Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me — Richard Fariña
11-03-21 – Simply Joyce — Margot Norris
11-04-21 – The Unfolding of Language — Guy Deutscher
11-05-21 – Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World — Kevin Dutton
11-06-21 – Saturation Project — Christine Hume
11-07-21 – The Aosawa Murders — Riku Onda
11-08-21 – Naked — Brian S. Hoffman
11-09-21 – The Art of Literature — Arthur Schopenhauer
11-10-21 – The Waiting Game — R. A. Chandler
11-11-21 – In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash — Jean Shepherd
11-12-21 – Inside Story : A Novel — Martim Amis
11-13-21 – H. P. Lovecraft: A Look Behind Cthulhu Mythos — Lin Carter
11-14-21 – American War — Omar El Akkad
11-15-21 – A F*ckload of Shorts — Jedidiah Ayres
11-16-21 – A Great Idea At the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books — Alex Beam
11-17-21 – The Liar’s Dictionary — Eley Williams
11-18-21 – The Midnight Library: A Novel — Matt Haig
11-19-21 – Bride of the Sea — Eman Quotah
11-20-21 – Craft In the Real World — Matthew Salsas
11-21-21 – The Bridge On the Drina — Ivo Andric
11-22-21 – Zadig — Voltaire
11-23-21 – Go With the Flow: How the Great Master of Go Trained His Mind — Hunhyun Cho
11-24-21 – Stay With Me: A Novel — Ayobami Adebayo
11-25-21 – Bedtime Eyes – Amy Yamada
11-26-21 – In the Land of the Cyclops — Karl One Knausgård
11-27-21 – How the One-Armed Woman Sweeps Her House — Cherie Jones
11-28-21 – Klara and the Sun — Kazuo Ishiguro
11-29-21 – Vulgar Tongues — Max Décharné
11-30-21 – Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates — Thomas Cathcart

Wuthering Heights

images-1.jpgBack in the early 1960s I was the sleepy blond surfer with the denim Converse and the sea-salty epidural itch. I was an inadvertent undercover scholar who passed for being bored in class because I was bored in class. When the teacher asked a question I often allowed the tense quiet to build before I almost imperceptibly raised my arm and grunted the correct answer.

My favorite class was English and in my senior year I happily read lots of books, drawled out correct answers, aced all the quizzes and tests, all while affecting a bad boy attitude toward school and learning.

Continue reading “Wuthering Heights”