Good morning, all! Well, the computer issues are about over. The wireless router has bit the dust, apparently. I'm researching for a replacement today, and while it is a bit more expensive, I will probably get a new Airport Extreme as it will be completely compatible and easy for this old gal to work with as there are absolutely no configurations , etc., to deal with. I've always had excellent experiences with my Apple products, and there is no reason to fix what ain't broke. I'll be wired, rather than wireless, for a short time, but I can live with that.
I joined a book reading club and the first discussion was Wednesday night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. We had read Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks. It is a very good book, and I would recommend it. It is an autobiographical book that looks at family relationships, and I enjoyed reading it very much. BTW, although both brothers are listed, it was clearly written by Nicholas who also wrote The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, and several other good reads. I'm sure Micah had input, but Nicholas is the writer.
The discussion group is interesting. I don't know about everyone yet, but the age range is from about late 30's to my age, 60's. One woman is a school teacher for 35 year, another is an artist, the owner of a fairly new bookstore where this originates is present, but the others, I don't know much about yet. It seems to be a pretty varied representation of women from the community.
I think I'm going to enjoy this experience. I joined for specific reasons: I wanted to meet people in the community; I've wanted to be in a discussion group for a long time; and I wanted to force myself to read a book all the way through again. You see, I was once an avid reader. From my childhood and through my late 30's, I read everything I could put my hands on. Then I decided to go to college. That was a very good thing, but it robbed me of spare time that was previously used for reading. When I began college, I still had three kids at home, a daughter in college, a son in high school and a daughter in grade school; I had a high maintenance husband; I also had a full time job. So my reading came to be limited to textbooks and related materials. Period. Other than the occasional magazine articles (I've been a subscriber to National Geographic, Archeology Today, Natural History, Discover, Reader's Digest, and, of course, New Mexico Magazine for as long as I can remember), I did little personal reading. And I must admit, many of the magazine articles went unfinished.
Eight years later, with bachelors and masters degrees in hand, free of the demands of the world of academia, I was ready to be "normal" again. However, I found that my schedule still held demands over me. When I read, it was usually a professional journal or book. With a few months of beginning my new career, I was supervising and training staff persons from high school graduates to master's degreed. When asked a question, it was usually a "how to," so I went to my bookshelf, pulled one or two or five books and read paragraphs or chapters to refer to the questioner or for my own knowledge to work with that person on a solution. I had an extensive professional library, and I was once asked by a friend and coworker if I'd read all those books. After thinking a moment, I replied that I had, but few, if any, had been read straight through. I'd probably read almost all of every book, but in random chapters as need required.
By this time, I had developed a habit. I'm not sure if it is a good or bad habit. I read in bursts in all aspect of my life. I usually had three to five or six books going at once, both at home and at work, and when I had time, I read a few chapters of the closest book. My attention span was very short. When I tried to read, I was distracted by many things, but let's just call it "life's events." My husband's health had become more and more fragile, our children had moved all over the US, and I was alone in caring for him and meeting the increasing physical, emotional and medical needs. So when I sat down to read, I had a nagging voice that said, "do laundry," "wash dishes," "check the medications," "buy groceries." I felt guilty if I sat down and enjoyed reading. So I didn't.
In the last six or eight years, I think I have not finished a single book. No, wait, I did finish a couple while on vacations. And in the last two years, I've been so spread thin and exhausted that when I tried to read I usually fell asleep. So, I really wanted to read a book from cover to cover again, and be able to enjoy the story as a whole, rather than putting chapters or just pages together in a jigsaw puzzle. With the completion of Three Weeks with My Brother, I did just that!! I'm back on track again. In the same time frame, the last month, I read three magazines, essentially cover to cover! I'M BACK!!
I signed up to pick a book for the group to read in February, and I'm researching to find a good one. I've found a couple that sound interesting, but no firm decision just yet. So I thought I would open this for suggestions from y'all. If you've read a book recently that you enjoyed, please tell me the title and author. The reading group is open to a wide variety of types. I'm partial to historical novels, but absolutely not limited to that. They've read a novel, a mystery, at least one history, and this autobiography; we talked about reading some of the classics(*a note on this below) and even poetry. So it seems the sky is the limit. Let me know what is your favorite book of all times and/or your most recent good read.
*When I typed "classics," I was reminded that at my sister's house recently, my eldest nephew was directed to a couple boxes that had his name on them. In one, he found a stack of probably about 100 "Classic Comics." Does anyone remember those? These were very popular from the time that my older sibs were in high school (C. late 1940's) and were still published while I was in HS (C. early 1960's). All that each of us had collected were passed down to my nephew, who is just 8 years younger than I. We had such fun going through these and enjoying the memories. For those of you who don't know them, CCs were comic books that told the stories of the classic books, Ivanhoe, The Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables, Don Quixote, etc. They were good for children who perhaps couldn't stay awake long enough to read War and Peace in the regular printed form. These gave kids the chance to appreciate some of the great classics of all times. I was more than once inspired to then go read the "real" book! Of course, there was another use for CCs . . . quick and easy book reports! I honestly didn't do that, because I enjoyed reading the "real thing," but before Cliff Notes, it was da bomb!!
OK, send me titles!
PS added at 12:10PM:
OH, the "Resident Roadrunner" just ran by the front window of the house!! What a beautiful creature he is! Allan told me there was one here, but I hadn't seen it until just now! For those of you not familiar with this charming bird, it is very good to have one near your house. They are very territorial and protect their property. Most important of all, they keep the land clear of rattlesnakes!!! Clearly, having a roadrunner who co-owns your land is a very good thing!