Reading Life

The Sunday Salon: Washing Ashore

One can’t help noticing the irony of it, here in this season where cards and carols proclaim “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men,” that acts of violence and terror seem to abound both far and near. As fear, intolerance, and hatred breed a global culture of paranoia and hate, it’s sometimes difficult if not impossible to find the spirit of our Christian holiday.

This week I’ve been immersed in the latest installment of Louise Penny’s Three Pines series, books I love for many reasons,  but perhaps mostly for the way they transport me to this place in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, this village nestled deep in a valley, marked by three tall pine trees that signify it as safe haven, a sanctuary. 

Oh, do I need a Sanctuary. 

The Sunday Salon: Riding the M Train

You all know I read a lot of memoirs. A good memoir for me takes a slice of the writer’s life and illuminates a deeper and more universal meaning. A good memoir is honest and vulnerable, seeking to understand, to share experience. A good memoir says “Come sit with me, let me tell you what happened, where I’ve been, what I’ve learned. Let me show you something about yourself you might recognize."

 M Train is a good memoir.

The Sunday Salon: Lives of the Rich and Famous

I confess. I want to know everything about them, from how they drink their coffee to their philosophy of life. I want to hear the details of their daily routine. I want to know their favorite books and music. I want to see pictures of them walking their dog, having drinks in a cafe, holding hands with their partner. I want to know what makes them tick, what turns them on, what inspires them, what lifts them from the depths of despair.

The “rich and famous” I’m referring to are NOT rock stars or box office least they wouldn’t be considered so to anyone else. No, the people whose lives I’m eager to peek inside are those writers, poets, musicians, and artists whose creative genius astounds and delights me. 

The Sunday Salon: What Happened Next

A dear friend pressed her copy of Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (the latest in the Jan Karon Mitford series) into my hands with these words:

“I almost stopped reading this book because nothing was happening, but once I got past the first 50 pages, I started to see something going on after all."

The Sunday Salon: For the Love of Letters

Dear Reader,

Until recently, I hadn’t written a real letter in at least 20 years. And when I say a "real letter,” you know I’m referring to the kind written in ink on pieces of paper, folded neatly and placed into an addressed envelope, and posted in a mailbox to wend its way to the recipient.

A couple of months ago, a fellow writer and I decided to engage in just such a written correspondence.