Books, books, books!

As we head into the weekend, I've got way too much to to -- and I would really just rather be reading.

So I thought I would show you what I'm reading right now instead of doing laundry. Check out the double meaning in the previous sentence!

The tall boy bought this book as a thank-you gift for one of his teachers -- and got one for me too! I'm enjoying it very much, in bits and pieces. Check out how much George V of Great Britain and Nicholas II of Russia looked alike! Here in the States we like to call this in-breeding.

This hilarious book is part of my family's collection of novels in the zombie/vampire/romantic comedy genre. [The teenaged urchins are preparing for the zombie apocalypse; apparently the best way to defeat them (the zombies, not the urchins) is with witty sarcasm.] A sample of this author's style: "Miss Tarabotti was a proper English young lady, aside from not having a soul and being half Italian." Now that's funny!

I love the way Kathleen Norris writes about her faith; she always makes me think. The Cloister Walk and Amazing Grace are among my favorites of her spiritual memoirs. This book is wonderful if somewhat convicting; she writes movingly about acedia, which might be described as spiritual laziness, except that the notion of laziness doesn't really capture how insidious acedia can be. Acedia, also called accidie and translated most compellingly as the Deadly Sin of Sloth, can eat into one's connection to God, as well as into one's emotional and physical relationships -- and is way more dangerous than zombies!

I am one of the few people on the planet who actually liked the movie version of this book, starring Kevin Costner -- but the movie did not do the book justice. Isn't that pretty much a universal truth? The book is always better than the movie. I would wear that on a t-shirt!

The Postman takes place in a post-apocalyptic dystopia, and this genre of books pleases me.

What does this say about me, that I like to read about lonely wanderers in a devastated land? Troubling . . . . But I do love Stephen King's The Stand, Into the Forest by Jean Hegland, and oh have mercy, but the gorgeous and bleak The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

The title character of The Postman roams throughout the Pacific northwest, hoping to find a pocket of humanity that will take him in. When he happens upon an abandoned Postal Service truck, he acquires the uniform of a postman -- glad to have a warm coat. But when he is mistaken for a "real" postman, he inspires hope for a broken world.

Hope you and I both get a chance to curl up and read this weekend!

Read this book!

OK, so I haven't explicitly talked before about my addiction, but I feel we know each other well enough now that I can open myself to you without you judging me . . . ? Please?

You need to know that I am addicted to books. All books. Alright -- I might walk away from a calculus textbook unmoved, but anything else -- that's my genre. I've got it bad, people. If I'm asked what my favorite book is, I freeze. How could I ever choose?! I have a constantly changing top-five favorites list, but that's really a futile exercise. I just love 'em all.

This has serious consequences for the flat surfaces of my home. It's tricky to find a place to park my can of Coke.

Up 'til now I have held myself back from discussing books with you, because, let's be honest -- I might never shut up. But as you know I recently visited nirvana the United Kingdom -- home to A.S. Byatt, Anthony Trollope, Jane Austen, Evelyn Waugh, Geoffrey Chaucer, J.K. Rowling, Anita Brookner, Salmon Rushdie . . . . OK, now I'm out of breath.

So now that I am home I do feel compelled to recommend one of my favorite books: Persuasion, by Jane Austen. Now, lots of people are Austen lovers, based solely (and justly) on reading her Pride and Prejudice -- but while I bow down before Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy with all of you, my heart beats just a little faster for Persuasion. The poignant story of love and loss just moves me deeply.

And, oooh! The movie version is yummy! Starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds (oh, my dears! Ciaran Hinds! Where are my smelling salts?) it's remarkably faithful to the book, beautifully filmed -- in Bath, people! And did I mention Ciaran Hinds?

Read the book! Then watch the movie, and go read the book again!