The Sunday Salon: Time of the Season

The Sunday

For many years, the Labor Day Weekend was my signal that life would soon be kicking into high gear.  School was the obvious reason for the major uptick in my activity level.  I was barely out of college when my son started kindergarten, and when he graduated from high school I was working in a school myself. So for about 40 years of my life, September meant getting all of our heads in gear for another academic year.

It’s been five years since I was completely divorced from school activities of any kind, and this is the first year I’ve noticed a change in my perception. For the past four years, I’ve felt a gentle nudge toward the school supply aisle, a need to start setting my alarm clock incrementally earlier, an impulse to shop for a new purse or bookbag.  But this year – not so much.  Perhaps because this autumn I’m focused on the impending arrival of my first grandchild rather than a new schedule of classes!   Whatever the reason, I’m not feeling the least bit academically inclined.

And what does all this have to do with reading? Usually in the fall, I’m eager to take on some heavy reading lists- haul out the classics, sign up for some of the reading challenges so popular in the blogging world, maybe even join a book club with “real” people. I haven’t felt quite the same impetus to do those things this fall – in fact, I’m still plugging away at the TBR pile that’s been sitting in my corner all summer. I’d like to clear that up before baby Connor’s arrival, which is anticipated around Thanksgiving, but if I don’t, it will wait for me.

There is one book on my horizon that will not wait to be read. It’s been calling to me ever since I first heard the title and saw the compelling cover illustration.  You Are My Only, the latest novel by Beth Kephart, tells the story of Emmy Rane, a young mother in an unhappy marriage whose baby daughter is stolen from her one horrible day, and of Sophie, that very daughter 14 years later, a teenaged girl trying to understand why she has always been forced to live a reclusive, nomadic life.  Beth Kephart always conveys an amazing depth of understanding about her characters and their emotional lives, while creating a story that captivates and engages readers of all ages. She writes about real people in real situations whose lives and feelings mirror our own, but elevates these experiences to an almost mystical level with her beautiful descriptive language and writerly attention to detail. As My Friend Amy described it so perfectly in her post today, Kephart has a gift for capturing those “small moments” that “bring a story out of the realm of the imaginary and ground them in the real world, and make these stories stick because they feel so real.”  I eagerly anticipate every one of Beth’s new novels, and can’t wait to add You Are My Only to my growing collection of her work.

What about you? What’s on your horizon for fall reading?

11 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Time of the Season

  1. I love being able to jump into books that are calling to me! For me when school starts it’s a busy time with school activities for my sons, but also a break during the middle of the day while they’re at school.

    • I used to enjoy a mid-afternoon break for reading too, and looked forward to having a hour or so to wait while my son was in an after school activity. Gave me time to go for tea and read a while…

      Have a good school year, Alyce 🙂

  2. I always feel a pull to go back to school! I loved university, and studying and immersing myself in learning. Though, I realized what I need to do is learn something on my own, since it’s difficult to go back and I still wouldn’t know what to do for a master’s in English literature. But that pull is still there!

    I hope you enjoy reading some of your book pile before your grandson is born. Congratulations on the impending birth, and also on feeling free to read as you wish. It’s lovely, isn’t it?

    • I used to think a lot about going back to school, but I think I’m “over” the whole school thing at last. One never knows however – I did take an online seminar in the early summer and really enjoyed it. So – who knows??

  3. From Jeff in St. Paul, Mn. I obtained a copy of “The Anatomy of Melancholy” by Robert Burton, which has all the Latin passages included in the text, after having been translated into English. I purchased it from one of the Amazon.Com affiliated sellers at a most reasonable price; less than 20 dollars for a hardcover copy in quite good condition. I just started reading it on Sunday, Sep 4th,. Afew months ago, I checked out a copy of the book from the St, Paul Public Library, but the hundreds of pages of Latin mixed in with the English defeated me after 72 pages. This English copy has already captivated me after only 25 pages, so I,m sure I’ll be able to read the whole thing without any difficulty.

  4. Congrats on the upcoming baby! I joined the Sunday Salon group and found your blog 🙂
    My fall reading includes the new book by Marisa De Los Santos and Tom Perotta and a slew of 9/11 memoirs (A Decade of Hope, Thunder Dog, Where You Left Me, and Unmeasured Strength.)

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