These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Friday, December 08, 2006

Computers, Books and Classic Comics

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!

15 comments:

  1. How I fondly remember those Classic Comics. They introduced me to reading. I'll have to ask him what he did with them.
    I also spent many years deprived of friend books, because of time constraints. I've so enjoyed getting to read whatever I want the past 3 years. I suspect that reading for pleasure will slack off some soon, but not totally.
    Many of the books that I read to my kids were classics like Dickens. They've picked up the same reading bug. Guess it's genetic, huh, Auntie?
    I know this is a long post, but I have to pass this on :)
    Years ago while the children's mother was reading Dickens to them, she had to stop and explain what a pick-pocket was. A few weeks later she explained to them how my employer took out taxes before they paid me. After a few thoughtful minutes, my then 6 year old son said, "They must be pickpockets." Out of the mouths of babes...

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  2. What about "Honeymoon with my Brother". It's a very good book about a guy that gets dumped the night before his wedding and he takes his brother on his honeymoon. They end up coming home and selling everything and traveling the world for one year. I heard they are making a movie from the book. And it's a true story.

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  3. s3 - I'm always so please when I see children who love to read. Reading opens a world of wonderment and imagination for them. And if not genetic, it is certainly environmentally induced!

    What a hoot about the pick-pockets! Don't you love childrens' simplistic understanding?

    caroline - Hey, good one! It's now on the list! Thanks!!

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  4. I have three suggestions.

    The first one I read with a Book Group: The Sparrow http://www.amazon.com/Sparrow-Mary-Doria-Russell/dp/0449912558
    It is an AMAZING book.

    The second is an old standby for me. I read it every 2 or three years. To Kill a Mockingbird

    And the last I also read with a book group. Riding the Bus with My Sister. http://www.amazon.com/Riding-Bus-My-Sister-Journey/dp/0452284554/sr=1-1/qid=1165634270/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3416459-0046335?ie=UTF8&s=books

    All three have wonderful discussion opportunities.

    Don't let the "science fiction" designation of the first book throw you off. It is a wonderfully written journey into spirituality.

    Take care

    Priscilla

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  5. Priscilla - Thanks for the suggestions. The group seems to be open to a huge variety, so there shouldn't be any difficulty.

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  6. Well, I thought I'd offer a few suggestions however the moment I clicked on comment, they flew out of my head! BUT now I have a few ideas for my next read from the comments above!

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  7. As I read your recent blog entries, you often remind me of a beautiful butterfly, emerging from her cocoon. I'm glad life is going so well for you.

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  8. traci - LOL, that is funny! When You remember some, just drop back by!

    sassy - It is funny that you say that. My niece, who has had an incredibly challenging journey, took charge of her life a few years ago, left a bad marriage, started college, moved halfway across the US, and while raising her 2 teenage children, became a doctor just over a year ago. When she bought her her first post-school home, she named it Mariposa. Many people had commented that watching her was like watching the stages through which the butterfly emerges. Mariposa is butterfly in Spanish.

    I recently asked her permission to "borrow" the name for my future home, because I feel that my life has evolved similarly, and several have said the same about my blossoming. I was very pleased that she was not only willing, but felt proud to share the name. There is a little more to this story about the name of my place, but I'll wait to finish this when I am officially moving.

    Don't ya just hate it when people leave you in suspense? LOL!

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  9. Lynilu-
    Oh, I am so excited for your return to reading! You and I talked about this prior to your leaving. I'm also thrilled about your book group as I love you are venturing out. Regarding titles, I think "To Kill A mockingbird" is an excellent rec. I am a huge Harper Lee fan, and I love how she says she is not a writer but a person with a story to tell, this explains too well why there was never another book by her as well as her reclusive ways. Excellent ? for group: Is it the story which makes the book a classic or Lee's writing thus revealing Harper Lee as a true, talented writer the world has been deprived of. I have antoher non-fiction suggestion a bit more out there which I will email. If you were here this would have been a nice conversation to have on the deck.

    NOW: Why is it you want to throw down with me when I'm sick? You know what I'm talking about. You better take that crap off your blog becuase you didn't even win the nickname contest! Gawd! If you were here, this would have been a nice conversation to have... over the fence.hehe

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  10. Laura - OK, OK, I'll change it! I don't want to to forget the real me, ya know?

    Funny you should say that book. I'd thought of it also. I haven't read that is probably 35 years, and I'd love to revisit it.

    the book club has beena great beginning for me. One of the members is an artist who was in a small show Friday and yesterday. I went so I could see the art on display, but also to meet more people. She introduced me to several. But most exciting . . . she does digitally enhanced photography!! She is going to loan me some books on how to use Photoshop to achieve some of the enchanting and breathtaking effects she uses and more! She also has a friend who will help with oils, pastels and water colors. AND . . . they are going to introduce me to the writers' organization here! Did I strike a gold mine or what??

    Life is good. Thanks for your friendship and letting me get goofy on occasion without kicking me outta the clubhouse! ;-))

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  11. Sounds like a really great group of gals!!! I would like to be in a book group--just don't have the time right now!
    I LOVE to read, so a few quick suggestions for you--
    * To Kill a Mockingbird (classic book, but resonates today just as it did so many years ago)
    * Love in the Time of Cholera (I love anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but this is my favorite! awesome book!)
    * I just read The Kite Runner (was out in 2004, I think). Most powerful book I have read in a long time!!

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  12. Cheryl - Thanks for the recommendations. I'll be looking into these soon. And yes, a great group it is. One has opened several doors for me, and I'll blog on some of that soon.

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  13. Hello Lynilu! I found your blog through Caroline's (where I am a lurker as well, heh) and wanted to suggest the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It is truly an excellent read!! :) Hope you have a wonderful evening.

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  14. Once again you give me hope for my future. I to love nothing more than cuddling on the couch with a good book, however, for the past few years it has always been some parenting book with an occassional Grisham or Nicholas Sparks book. If I had one day to do only what I choose with nothing required of my, it would be to read, read, read!

    Good luck with the book club. What a great way to meet new people and these people sound interesting. Keep us posted!

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If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!