As we began the enormous task of unpacking, sorting and shelving our books, and I was forced to play librarian.
Know what? I kind of liked it. Marilyn the Librarian. Sue me, but I love The Music Man.
I ripped open boxes and categorized until my fingers bled. And while leaning into box after box, I recalled a few very good reads from 2007, and decided to give you seven short reviews.
Fifty Acres and a Poodle Jeanne Marie Laskas
I had an airport delay in November and didn’t even mind, because it let me tear through this wonderful memoir in one sitting. Recommended by Rechelle over at Country Doctor’s Wife, it actually surpasses “laugh and cry” – it’s all that and more. A funny and intelligent tale of leaving both city and self behind.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows JK Rowling
All three of us are great big dorky Harry Potter fans. We generally fight over the book on release days, but this year, poor Josie had oral surgery in July. She missed the midnight Border’s party and was still pretty anesthetized when her friends hand-delivered the book at 1 AM.
On the plus side, her hazy state gave us a fighting chance to read Rowling’s amazing finale first. The kid devoured that whole doorstop of a book the next day – gauze, codeine, milkshakes and all.
The Not So Big House Sarah Susanka
Way back, a year ago, some cosmic switch was thrown and we got the never-before idea that we could build a house. Susanka’s famous house bible quickly became our constant reference companion; so much that after admiring her work for months and papering it with Post-It notes – natural light window here? – we convinced ourselves that hey, we already knew all this stuff, and jeez, her plans were crazy expensive to produce, and in the end we started calling it “The Not So Cheap House.”
Still it’s a must-read for anyone interested in houses – I suppose familiarity just can’t help but breed contempt. Of course, she’s a household name and I’m just a blogger shelving her books. But whatever.
Marathoning for Mortals John Bingham, Jenny Hadfield
Yeah, well, this was the year Josie and I were going to train for a marathon together…but she hated getting up early…and my mind was on the house…and our dog Cleo is a spastic runner. Her favorite game is to grab the leash in her mouth, cut wildly across my path, then drag me through the park by my ankles. Clearly, we are but mortals.
Possession AS Byatt
If you like intricate, hypnotic and truly complicated fiction, Possession is for you. I’ll bet I’ve read the novel a dozen times, but this year, I just picked up small sections whenever I needed a shot of comforting and familiar. What’s your “comfort” read?
Food Lover’s Guide to Paris Patricia Wells
Because we were going to Paris this year. But then we built a house.
How to Meditate: A Guide to Self-Discovery Lawrence LeShan
Let me just say that this book was clear, practical, and really, really good. But here is what I discovered about monkey mind me: I can’t get past two or three “oms” without thinking about dinner. I’m not usually a self-help girl, but someone I know recommended it, someone so deeply peaceful and spiritual and unlike myself that she would never worry about, say, the microwave sticking out a very annoying half inch past the cabinetry.
Anyway, I was sure it would help me de-stress while Greg and I debated like OCD poster children over window cranks and wood stains and grout colors. But it was not to be.