On deeply green and often boring summer vacations (boring isn't a four-letter word, really) in Greensboro, Vermont, the highlight of trips to town was the tiny, well-stocked public library. It was packed with possibilities. Someone should have opened a beautiful indie bookstore in Greensboro, at least for the summer, because moms and dads sat in the car during early morning goosebump swim lessons and no one had cell phones or kindles. But I remember the smell of the place, the vanilla and dust of books, checked out and brought to the lake, checked out and left on plaid couches, checked out and read through night and into morning.
This morning I met a Manhattan police woman, coming home after a night shift. She watched me pick up my book to read and said, "that's what I want to do when I retire: read." It'll be one long summer vacation, finding friends in fiction, finding something to ponder with friends in real life. I thanked her for working all night--so we felt safe reading in bed.
So here's your topic: Write a memory of summer reading. Is reading why you love to write? What did you find and read in summer libraries, in rental homes, in your grandmother's basement?
And also: what's on your summer reading list? Here's mine so far--because I want to read, read, read as if I were waiting until after rain to check the crayfish traps and swim out to the big rock.
Jane Smiley's Private Lives,
Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller,
Keeper--a Kathi Appelt YA,
You and Juki, my new serger manual,
B is for Bad Poetry but Pamela August Russell.
That's just the stack by the desk. There are a thousand more in the bedroom, in the library, in my shopping cart.
Also, I hope you'll read THE ORPHAN SISTER, which is coming out July 5th. You can buy it at your local bookstore, or at Amazon, or Powell's online or download it to your kindle or nook. Please do honor me with your read--and let me know what you think. (I believe, this week, if you navigate your way to Goodreads, you can get an advance FREE copy! Also check out Manic Mommy's post--she's giving them away, too, and many other fabulous books!)
Oh, and if you're in northern NJ on July 13, come to Bookends in Ridgewood for a free writing workshop and signing at 7pm. Or Barnes and Noble on Route 17S in Paramus at 730 for a signing and reading--I'm bringing chocolate.