I Slept with 14 Books and Read None


It’s only happened to me once and I remember the experience so clearly after all these years.  In my mind, I can see myself sitting in my comfortable chair hunched over a book, so consumed with it that I cannot stop. I read for three days, with a few hours of sleep in between; finally I finished the massive book.  I remember just sitting and letting the feelings swirl around me.  I can’t even tell you what it was, but in that instant I felt changed.

The book was “I Know This Much Is True,” by Wally Lamb.  Honestly, it was the strangest book.  There were flashbacks to Italy which were sometimes boring and confusing.  Whatever it was—Wally weaved this tale so beautifully, it moved me.  Just so you don’t think I’m crazy, the same thing happened to my sister.  She loaned me the book, saying I could read it first because she was busy and it was a huge book. When I gave it back to her, I just said, “You have to read this.”  She stayed up all night too and came out the other side—changed in some inexplicable way.

I’ve thought about reading it again, but I don’t want to erase that experience by reading the book with new eyes.

Today I picked up a book that has been sitting next to my bed for about two years.  It was stacked with all the others that my heart longs to read, but my head wonders if I ever will.  I collect books that catch my interest and add them to my collection, knowing when the time is right, I will read them.  I had this one book on my shelf for five years, only to discover that it was not what I thought—it was wonderful and made me so happy.  Maybe I wasn’t ready for it.  I don’t even know if I believe in things like that. Continue reading


The Four Agreements

Do you remember when this book was hot about ten years ago?  I read it and donated it, but found myself wanting to read it again “with new eyes,” as I like to say.  Here are the four agreements, which I find very powerful:

The Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz

Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. Continue reading

The Happiness Project Feed

I added to my blog an RSS feed of Gretchen Rubin‘s The Happiness Project Blog.  I get a happiness quote in my inbox each morning and really feel inspired by them.  Her website is great and I like the Happiness Toolbox.  Check it out sometime.

A great book about the deadly 1900 Galveston hurricane

I read Erik Larson’s book Isaac’s Storm about ten years ago after reading a lot of good reviews for it.  Prior to reading the book, I had not been aware of the 1900 Galveston hurricane, considered the deadliest in recorded history.

The book follows Isaac Cline, who was stationed at the U.S. Weather Bureau in Galveston, in the days leading up to the storm.  He monitored the weather and his concern grew as residents went about there daily routines, unaware of the horror headed their way.

It’s a slim book worth reading if only to quell our irritation about weather updates interupting our favorite television shows.

A journal entry about legacy.

January 29, 2007

I read a book several years ago—actually, I think I’ve read it three times now—Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve. The story took place in the late 1800s, off the Maine coast. The main characters turned an old convent into a home for pregnant, unwed girls. This book is my favorite Shreve novel. It was a good story

Several years later, Shreve had a new book out called Sea Glass. It too was set along the Maine coast, in the year 1929. The characters in this book move into an abandoned house that was built in the previous book. The old convent, all boarded up, was also mentioned. This was not a central plot point in Sea glass, just mentioned in passing.

I was hit with an expected feeling of great sadness. Fortune’s Rocks ended with the two characters happily together and doing their life’s work. Years later, a boarded up old house was the only remnant of those who came before; new people living their lives in the footprints of people they will never know. Continue reading