A Dim View

It’s been a rather lackluster reading week, dear friends, which explains my absence from these pages.  I did complete a review book for Curled Up With A Good Book, although I’ve yet to write the review.  And I certainly have no dearth of books from which to choose my next read.  Yet none of them seems to be crying “Read Me!”  Thus my reading experience has been less than stellar.

However, this morning I was going through an old bookstack in the basement, looking for some books to put “up for mooching” (I must say, this Book Mooch-ing is a fabulous idea!) when, lo and behold, I came across three old favorites, and books I had completely forgotten I owned.

While I Was Gone, by Sue Miller; Family Happiness, by Laurie Colwin; and The Other SIde, by Mary Gordon. 

I do love re-reading books.  It’s like visiting with an old friend you haven’t seen in far too long.  The familiar cadence of their speech, the descriptions of places dear to them, the characters that intersect with their lives – it’s always a joyous reunion.  And invariably I learn something new, for I’m coming with fresh eyes after my time away.

So I’ve dived into While I Was Gone, Miller’s extremely well written tale of a woman’s mid-life crisis.   I found this book a bit like a grown up version of The Good Mother – clearly a story of a woman dealing with emotional growth, just at a different stage of life.  I first read The Good Mother when I was a young mother myself, just like Anna. 

Now, I’m a middle aged woman (like Jo), and feeling “at just that moment when you begin to turn, when you’re poised exactly between the things in life you want to do and those you need to do, and it seems for a few blessed seconds that they are all going to be the same.”

I love Miller’s writing – I find her books are full of luscious sentences that beg to be copied down in a notebook somewhere.  (Do you do that, by the way?  Have a notebook for  examples of delicious sentences you want to write out in your own handwriting, as if by some writing them down with your own pen, some of the talent behind the words will seep into your brain?)

And so the view from my reading room is definitely brightening.  Thanks to finding a few old friends to visit.

Now tell me, how’s the view from your reading room these days?





10 thoughts on “A Dim View

  1. I love to reread books; I spend as much time rereading as I do reading. I always learn something new too.

    The view from my reading room isn’t so great right now. I’m feeling torn between what I want to read and what I ought to read, and as a result I’m kind of at a standstill. Stupid, I know.

  2. When you’re having a fallow patch returning to a much loved book is often the best thing to do I think. It certainly seems to have been working for me over these past few days. I haven’t read any Miller, but have heard so many good things about her I’m off to order something from the library site right now.

  3. It’s quite amazing how you read books differently when you pick them up later. I’ve just reread Dostoyevski’s Crime and Punishment and I now read it like a fantastic psychogical thriller, almost a detective, will he give himself away or won’t he? Whereas the first time round I think I was simply hugely impressed by the story, this fantastic Russian scenery, of people walking around in tatters. Anyway, must write that review! But yes, you’re right about rereading books and how nice that experience can be, like old friends, as you say so rightly. And no, I haven’t read any Miller, obviously another one for the wishlist…

  4. I haven’t done any mooching in a while and I’m anxious to spend some hours there looking for some good books. I also need to do some weeding of my shelves and put more up…
    Me? I’ve got a good mystery going on but that’s about it. I think I’ll be starting some new books soon 🙂

  5. I love re-reading books, though I haven’t done so in a while. It’s so refreshing and dear to revisit an old familiar friend in the pages, and like you, I always learn something new or have a different perspective. This is why my shelves are sagging: I collect all the books I think I’ll want to read and read again.

  6. My reading is going well at the moment. Though, I had a spell a few weeks ago in which nothing much was grabbing my attention. I have Miller’s the Good Mother but haven’t read it. I need to find it and remedy that.

  7. Well, my reading room is filled with things to catch up on, including a mystery set in British Columbia whose title I can’t recall by an author new to me (that’s next on the list). I have a couple of biographies stacked up and want to do a quick re-read of “A Gift from the Sea” before I give a copy to a friend for a gift! Just raced through a Susan Kandell mystery called “Seamus in the Green Room,” in which the lead character is a writer who specializes in writing bios of dead mystery writers — in this case, Dashiell Hammett. So, now my Hammett interest is piqued, too. I check the bookstore weekly for the new Maisie Dobbs to be in paper! And since I read “The Sisters” (the Mitfords), “Brideshead Revisited” keeps popping up in front of me. (I tried to find a Mitford novel at the bookstore. I need a bigger store!) But now that you mention Laurie Colwin…

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