December 23, 2012
On the 10th Day of The Reverse Commute: I Bought Myself Some Books on My Kindle
I have always been an avid reader. Ever since I learned to read, I had a book in my hand. My family would make the trip to the Warwick Public Library every other Saturday and I would return home with the five book limit. I usually read all of them by the time they were due back at the library. Rarely did I have to renew one.
My favorite childhood books were Little Women (I so wanted to be Jo Marsh) and The Little House on the Prairie series.
One rainy Saturday afternoon while scouring the libraries’ bookshelves to find something I hadn’t read yet, I came across a collection of old books. They didn’t have the dust jacket covered in plastic like most of the other books in the library. They were hardcover novels with gold embossed lettering. Written by Alice Turner Curtis from 1913 to 1937, the first one I borrowed was A Little Maid of Narragansett Bay. The description read “Penelope Balfour and her brother Ted find ways to provide help to the American patriots camped near their Rhode Island farm during the Revolutionary War.”
I couldn’t wait to get home and start reading. As a matter of fact, I didn’t wait. I started reading in the back of our old green Chevy Impala station wagon. Before seat belts my brother and sisters and I could sprawl in the “way back” with pillows and blankets.
These books were written for me, the girl who grew up along the banks of the Narragansett Bay where the patriots sank the British ship the Gaspee. They were stories of brave, independent young heroines during the early days of America. As the daughter of an American history teacher who spent summer vacations traveling to places like Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Vernon, I couldn’t get enough of these books. I spent an entire summer reading all twenty four of them. There were the little maids of Newport, Bunker Hill, Old Maine, and Provincetown. When I made my way out of New England, it was on to Old New York, Philadelphia, Virginia, and Valley Forge. I had been to all these places and the stories were so real to me. I could easily time travel back to the Revolutionary War, live in a log cabin in the Maine woods, travel by stagecoach from Boston to Newburyport, witness the surrender of General Cornwallis, or be kidnapped by an Indian and make a daring escape.
So now that I am no longer working full time while writing a novel, I can’t wait to read more books on my brand new Kindle. The first book I downloaded was naturally mine, The Reverse Commute.
I am also currently reading The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I found it hard to get started. In the beginning so many unlikeable characters were introduced I had a hard time keeping everyone straight. But I am now very much enjoying this story of backstabbing small town politics and class differences. This could happen anywhere in America with the “not in my backyard” mentality of the realistic characters and their petty, small-minded concerns.
I also purchased The Round House. I have always loved Louise Erdrich. I first read Love Medicine and The Beet Queen back in the early eighties and fell in love with her stories of contemporary Native Americans struggling to find their place in a country that had exiled them to reservations in rural areas.
Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a debut novel by June Elbus. My sister highly recommends this story of an artist who dies of AIDS and his niece who while missing him terribly, learns about love and being vulnerable.
I also downloaded The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. I am a newbie at this publishing, blogging, and tweeting sort of thing so I’m eager to learn all I can.
Let me know what you’re reading in the coming year. Happy reading!