I grew up in a sleepy little town, and when my Mom wasn’t sewing, or crocheting, she was reading. Mesmerized, she was, as my Dad watched TV, and she had her head buried in a book. Completely oblivious to the scenes on the television, and my Dad’s laughter at the punch lines.
When I was old enough and ready, she took me down to the local fire-station, which also housed our town library, and introduced me to the librarian. From there, I was directed to the Nancy Drew section, and The Secret of the Clock was placed in my hands. These were my Mom’s favorite books when she was a growing up, and they soon became mine too.
I soon learned about my Mom’s peculiar habit: She would read the last page of the book, and then decide if she wanted to read the rest of the book! “But then, you know who did it, and the story is ruined!” But to her, the fun was in watching how the author strung the characters, the plot and the mystery all together.
I have never once, in my life, read the last page of a book first. I earn the right to read the last page of the book. Still, my Mom and I shared a vast passion of mystery books, even though I often had to remind her that, I did not want to know the ending. From Nancy Drew, I jumped to artsy mysterious, like Griffin & Sabine: The Complete Postcards.
When I traveled, there was a time when I always had a Lillian Jackson Braun Cat Mystery audio book in the car. Mr. Quilleran was quite comforting to listen to while driving. Then, I found the Kinsey Millhone Mysteries, and my Mom read them as fast as they were published. “I wonder what she’ll write for “X”,” we would say.
Have you read Blue Jelly: Love Lost and the Lessons of Canning? I love that book, and no, it isn’t a mystery.
When MotherPie asked about the books I read, I immediately thought of how much time I do spend reading picture books right now, and how much I adore picture books. Some make me cry, some make me laugh, and I’m so grateful I’ve had 12 years to have someone to read them to. Favorites? My Lucky Day, Blue Bowl Down: An Appalachian Rhyme, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and of course the narcoleptic, Little Red Riding Hood. Actually, I can think of 100 more of them to list right here… but I won’t. I have never liked Dr. Seuss, but, my boys do, so I’ve read more than I care to remember of Dr. Seuss. Oh, and how I love Clay Boy.
As a Mother, I have read more self-help, parenting and Zen books than I care to mention. My favorites are The First Six Months, and Setting Limits. Theology, interests me too, as parenting has led me to pray more than I have every found necessary before. I would put Heart’s Code in that category, as it focuses on the interweaving of mind, body and spirit — which I think of as just one word now.
I wish my Mom were here to see that publishers send me books to review. She would have been proud. But, MotherPie, I wish they would send me more cookbooks, as I read them as if they were novels. I am fascinated by the science of food.
I am behind in my reading what new and hot, as I am just now starting, for the first time the The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (Book 1). This, is an amazing and wonderful book, that I am delighted — so delighted to read. Next, MotherPie’s suggestion of Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor.
Still, my Mom made such an impression on me by introducing me to Nancy Drew, that, even though I have boys, I couldn’t resist the temptation to introduce them to the female sleuth. Now, we read a chapter from Nancy Drew at night at the lake. This is the biggest piece of myself I can give to my kids from my past.