On Gifts That Last Forever

Sometimes a book just appears in our lives — a delightful langniappe that stays with you, one that just might change your life. I happened upon Nuala O’Faolain’s Are You Somebody years ago – a chance encounter at the High Point Library, long before I ever dreamed that I could actually be a writer. I thought, reading her memoir, that if I ever wrote, that’s how I would want to do it. Her searing honesty stayed with me, and in every word that I put to paper, I endeavor to be as honest, as authentic, as she.

Product Details

Another chance encounter, shortly after I moved to Greensboro, came again in a library, this time a tiny branch that was soon to be replaced by a modern, up-to-date location. This branch still had catalog cards, and was a delightful escape from the pressures of my very modern job. And there I discovered Miss Read, a sort-of 1950s answer to Alexander McCall Smith. Her tales of an English village where nothing really ever happened proved just the ticket to an evening of unwinding from a job where my brain was full-wired and ever-alert.

 

Barbara pym chronologically:

And then there are the lovely suggestions of friends, those who know more about you than you imagine. One such friend, from my Chicago days, looked at me shortly after we met and said, “I’ll bet you’d like Barbara Pym.” And was she ever right. Those stoic women-of-a-certain-age and their quiet courage certainly influenced me personally and in the characters I portray in my novels.

And now toStoner. Ah…John Williams’s book reached down into the depths of my heart, and I am ever grateful to dear Jane for recognizing that resonance.

 

And from my Raleigh days, I learned about E.F.Benson and Mapp and Lucia. Kathy, a quilter, a knitter, and a reader, opened my eyes to this writer and his fictional band of characters. I even visited Rye to walk the bricks that Miss Mapp and Mrs. Lucas had fictitiously trod.

Alice Steinbach passed away on Tuesday.

And finally Alice Steinbach’s Without Reservations. This recommended by a distant relative, whose reading menu I respect impeccably. I thought that it would be a worthwhile read, but was delighted to read of Steinbach’s honest insights on being on one’s own, of learning, digging deep, to find just who she really is.

So, this are just a few gifts that have made my reading life, or rather my life, my soul, fuller, deeper, more committed. I pass these few on to you with the hope that some, maybe even all, will do the same.

http://www.cynthiastrauff.com

On Gifts That Last Forever

Sometimes a book just appears in our lives — a delightful langniappe that stays with you, one that just might change your life. I happened upon Nuala O’Faolain’s Are You Somebody years ago – a chance encounter at the High Point Library, long before I ever dreamed that I could actually be a writer. I thought, reading her memoir, that if I ever wrote, that’s how I would want to do it. Her searing honesty stayed with me, and in every word that I put to paper, I endeavor to be as honest, as authentic, as she.

Product Details

Another chance encounter, shortly after I moved to Greensboro, came again in a library, this time a tiny branch that was soon to be replaced by a modern, up-to-date location. This branch still had catalog cards, and was a delightful escape from the pressures of my very modern job. And there I discovered Miss Read, a sort-of 1950s answer to Alexander McCall Smith. Her tales of an English village where nothing really ever happened proved just the ticket to an evening of unwinding from a job where my brain was full-wired and ever-alert.

 

Barbara pym chronologically:

And then there are the lovely suggestions of friends, those who know more about you than you imagine. One such friend, from my Chicago days, looked at me shortly after we met and said, “I’ll bet you’d like Barbara Pym.” And was she ever right. Those stoic women-of-a-certain-age and their quiet courage certainly influenced me personally and in the characters I portray in my novels.

And now toStoner. Ah…John Williams’s book reached down into the depths of my heart, and I am ever grateful to dear Jane for recognizing that resonance.

 

And from my Raleigh days, I learned about E.F.Benson and Mapp and Lucia. Kathy, a quilter, a knitter, and a reader, opened my eyes to this writer and his fictional band of characters. I even visited Rye to walk the bricks that Miss Mapp and Mrs. Lucas had fictitiously trod.

Alice Steinbach passed away on Tuesday.

And finally Alice Steinbach’s Without Reservations. This recommended by a distant relative, whose reading menu I respect impeccably. I thought that it would be a worthwhile read, but was delighted to read of Steinbach’s honest insights on being on one’s own, of learning, digging deep, to find just who she really is.

So, this are just a few gifts that have made my reading life, or rather my life, my soul, fuller, deeper, more committed. I pass these few on to you with the hope that some, maybe even all, will do the same.

http://www.cynthiastrauff.com

On My To-Be-Read Shelf

toberead

On My To-Be-Read Shelf —

I am strictly a Dewey Decimal System kind of gal. Okay, maybe not so strict, but I do give it a try, what I remember of it at least. I can almost find any of my books that I set out to identify, including those that I know I will read one day, just not now, or tomorrow, or, most likely, this year.

Then I happily learned of the idea of a “To Be Read” shelf. How great is that! And one morning, instead of working on my novel-in-progress or addressing the marketing of Another Sunday, I went through my bookcases and pulled out ten (I stopped myself at ten) to be placed in that special area where I can go whenever I’m putting off some onerous task to lose myself in one of those books I’ve been meaning to get to.

Here’s my list.

When Will There Be Good News – Kate Atkinson

Fell in love with Life After Life, so now I am a big Atkinson fan.

The Peaceable Kingdom – Jan deHartog

This book belonged to my mother and is one of the few books that I have that I know she read.

The Virgin Blue and Burning Bright – Tracey Chevalier

Two books here – because I loved The Girl with the Pearl Earring.

The Question – Cynthia Harrold Eagles

I’m starting way past midway in the Morland Family series, but you have to start somewhere.

Cranford – Mrs. Gaskell

Who wouldn’t want to read about mid-19th Century England?

The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

Because I loved The Swan Thieves.

Birds of America – Lorrie Morris

Can you ever get enough of anguish and aimlessness?

August 1914 – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I am fascinated by the time of World War I – and how interesting to read about it from the point of view of a Russian.

The Power of Myth – Joseph Campbell

One of those books that, when discussed, I always nod my head silently, trying to imply that, of course, I’ve read it while hoping that the topic soon moves to another subject. Will nod no more!

So, that’s my list. Wondering what you have on yours. And next week, a list of Books To Re-read.

 

Another Sunday, www. cynthiastrauff.com