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Posts tagged “reading

Just My Luck

I recently (last week) finished my 26th John Grisham book.  I love him.  He is my all-time favorite author and I get so enthralled with his story-telling that once I’m reading one of his books, it’s all I want to do.  I’m completely wrapped up in his tales.

A few weeks ago I zipped through two of his big hardcovers and when I was finished them both, I realized they were the last of Grisham’s that I had.  Ack!  I went through the list of books and thought I had read The Broker, but it turns out I had not.  So, I put a few people on the lookout for it.

The Broker

Two days later, I went on a Saturday adventure with BFF Spanky to a Community Yard Sale several towns over (one I don’t think I actually knew existed).  I told her the name of the book I was looking for, in case we happened to stumble upon a yard with books for sale.

The first yard we stopped at, Spanky veered to the right where there was baby gear set up (she nailed herself an outdoor playpen with a cover), and I veered to the left to a few tables set up with boxes on top.  Turns out, the boxes were full of books.  The very first box I looked in and the very first book I saw was John Grisham’s The Broker.  I kid you not.  The.very.first.book!!  Of course, I grabbed it…and paid my .30 cents and could not have been more elated!!  I did not buy another thing that day, I felt complete.

Of course, I plowed through that book too (I swear my TV has not been on in weeks!) and when I finished it in nearly record time, I once again felt sad because it was the last John Grisham book in my collection.  I picked up an biography and am nearly finished it, and yesterday I stopped at the book store and grabbed two new Grisham books.  Ahh, life is good again.

~Cheers


Enchanted

If there’s one thing I love in this crazy, busy, mixed up world, it’s a good book.
I love everything about them.  I love the way they feel, the texture, the smell – especially old, beat up novels with their eerie history.  I
It is my dream in life to have a huge parlor-like room with walls lined from floor to ceiling with books upon books upon books.
Shelves

My friend Cheri has somewhat accomplished this dream.  I am forever envious.  

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted or needed a book on the go. Something to keep me occupied and keep my mind at work.  Something to comfort. Something to take me away from this place and experience an adventure inside my head.
I think my love affair with the written word started from birth!  I assume my mother read to me then.  And I can remember being very young and my mom always reading to us; me and my brother.  She would read us bedtime stories – shorts from Dr. Seuss to novels such as The Wizard of Oz, promising a new chapter the next night – and she would read to us while waiting for medical appointments.  And she would take us, countless times, to second-hand bookstores where would slink around quietly, and load up on books.
I remember getting hooked on Archie comics when I was 5 or 6.  Fumbling through each story (asking my mother over and over how to pronounce “Veronica”).  I couldn’t get enough of those short little stories.  Zip, zip, zip. And another book was finished.  Eventually I moved on to bigger books, although Cinderella was always my favorite, I needed more….I needed chapters!  And so the affair grew.  And it has continued to grow.
Years ago when I lived in the City I worked very late hours.  I would come home and read to (attempt to) unwind, instead, I would get wrapped up in a story that would take me into the early hours of the morning.  Lost Girls by Andrew Pyper was a book that I had wanted and was gifted to me by my spectacular sister-in-law.  That book kept my mind so busy late at night. It was scary as hell and kept me up with fear, yet I continued to read it.  I was enthralled.

When I injured my back several years ago and was down and out and barely able to walk, books kept me sane and busy.  And when I first started working out, books are what kept me going.  I’d jump on the elliptical with a novel and boom!  Just like that an hour (or sometimes two!) would be gone.

When I read, when I’m really involved in a story, something happens to me.  I’m transported to another place.  Page by page and chapter by chapter I find myself getting deeper into the world I’m reading about.  As if I’m there.  As if I’m the character. There are days when I want to do nothing but read because I’m so obsessed with the story.  That’s what happens when I read Grisham.  And it’s what’s happening now with the current book I’m reading (The Witch of Belladonna Bay by Suzanne Palmieri).  This book has enchanted me.  Like you wouldn’t believe.  I cannot get enough of it.
Witch-of-Belladonna-Bay

*sigh* My new best friend…my summer escape.

That was the same for me the first time I read Jaws and when I read Grisham’s The Rainmaker.  And last year, when I finally finished studying for my Nutrition exam, with Andrew Pyper’s The Guardians.  Those books enchanted me.  I read them all in just a matter of a few days.  Like those books, The Witch of Belladonna Bay is constantly on my mind.  It’s like it’s seeped into my soul.  All I want to do is sit in the sun or snuggle in my bed and get lost in this other world.  (Thankfully my BFF is on vacation this week so I’m able to read in the sun during my lunch break.  I’m such a dork!)
Maybe this quaint little story about witches is itself enchanted.  Who knows?  But it’s got me hooked.
I get so lost in these worlds it’s like I’m watching a movie – or living in it.  I’m a very vivid reader and the words become so picturesque and move along easily and colorfully.  It’s better than TV.  Television never calls to me like a good book does.
I have already zipped through 5 books since the start of this summer (I think that’s a record for me), and I can’t wait to start a new one.  The only thing, however, is that when I get really involved with a book – like I am right now – I’m always sad at the end…when it’s over.  When the adventure concludes.  There have been many books that have made me cry and many books that I’ve cried at the finality of the ending.  I find no shame in that.  I’m a sensitive being and when one becomes so involved in a story – whether it be real, written, or televised – there is no shame in feeling the sorrow in the loss of what seems to have become a good friend, or in the experience itself.
I’m looking forward to finishing TWOBB in the next day or so, but I have a feeling that I have become so wrapped up in, not only the words themselves, but in the emotion this story carries, that I will, at some point before its end, bawl like a baby.
And once that moment is over, I will move on to the next adventure and become enchanted all over again.
~Cheers

SandyLand Stories

The other night I finished what was, I think, my 23rd John Grisham book.  And although I’d picked up three more of his on the weekend, I couldn’t wait to delve into Drew Barrymore’s Wildflower.

Drew-Barrymore-Wildflower

As you may know, I love Drew Barrymore. She is my all-time favorite actress; since the first time I saw her in E.T., I fell in love with her – with her spirit and her spunkiness, and I have since followed her career.  The ups and downs. The stints in institutions and rehabs, the bad movies, the badass moves.  I have followed the 90’s wild child and doted on her for years.

David-Letterman-Drew-Barrymore

The original wild child and my not-yet-met best friend (Drew flashing David Letterman in the mid-90’s)

And so, I have been waiting since I received this book for my birthday in October to read it but, 1. I had shit-tons of studying to do to prepare my nutrition exam and 2. I’m kind of addicted to John Grisham’s storytelling and am always anticipating completing one of his books so that I can immediately begin another.  This time, though, I forfeited Grisham to finally read Drew’s book.

And I am so glad I did. I started reading it Friday night, and now, Sunday, I am almost through it. This book is not an autobiography, although it is autobiographical in a sense.  It is a telling of some of Drew’s personal stories and memories.  It’s lovely.  And this book has made me miss writing.
This afternoon I was reading one of the “chapters” titled Flossy.  Flossy was Drew’s rescue dog which she had for nearly 20 years.  I remember reading about when Drew first adopted Flossy. I remember hearing about her in interview and seeing her in the background in magazine spreads featuring Drew.  And this story told the lifeline of this dog, this sweet companion to Drew, a lost soul longing for a friend who would be her lifelong mate and confidant.  And this story told of the demise of Flossy and Drew’s beautiful tribute to her once she passed (sorry, no spoilers! You’ll have to read the book.), and there I am, sitting in the gorgeous long-awaited sunshine, bawling my eyes out at the telling of the loss of this life love.  With tears streaming down my face and wiping my snotty nose on my arm, I was so completely moved by this memory.
Although I am a little bias because I still believe Ms. Barrymore and I should be best friends (squad goals), I will admit that she is not the best writer in the world. I even found a few grammatical errors *gasp*, but she’s a good writer.  And she’s a great storyteller; one that can clearly move me to tears – or laughter.
And so, being inspired by these stories, these little collections, I am committing myself back to my writing.  I am going to begin telling chapters of my life, albeit through this little blog, and I will share with you tales of my adventures, my reflections, my wisdom, my stupidity, and tales of just…my life.
I am not going to commit to writing every day or every week because life – work, teaching, mating, adventures – comes first.  And I like to live my adventures before sharing them.
But stay tuned….the first one will be right up.
~Sandy

Break Time with Andrew Pyper

Since the start of the new year I’ve been taking course – so, in addition to my full-time job, my side job of personal training and teaching boot camp, taking fitness classes, and spending time with my man (oh, and of course, shoveling snow.  LET’S not forget that little doozy – it’s certainly been keeping me occupied, to say the least), I’ve had my head buried in course books, doing mini-quizzes, participating in webinars, and trying to complete each chapter module before my big class last weekend.

I was elated last Sunday morning to wake up and not have to study.  Unfortunately, I still have tons of work to do in preparing for my exam, which is going to be excruciating, so I decided I was going to take a little “me” time and read….a real book.  Not a manual.

For the last three years I’ve been reading nothing but John Grisham novels.  I love him.  He is by far my favorite author.  I get so caught up in his books that I just want to gobble them up all.  But this time around I decided to step outside my comfort zone and go back to an old friend:  Andrew Pyper.

I’d read Lost Girls years and years ago.  And it scared the crapola out of me. I’d love to read it again but I’m not ready to take that step yet. Lost Girls is one of several contributing factors as to why I hate the water.  Why I find lakes especially eerie….and why, the summer after I’d read it (and Jaws and Orca) I’d nearly killed my roommate while in the midst of a freak-out during our boating mishap (something I was coaxed into against my better judgement) and caused a bit of a scene on at lakeside.

Although Lost Girls scared me, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book, which is why I picked up another Andrew Pyper hardcover several years ago and put it on the list. I’ve been trying to get through each and every Grisham book I have but this time I just decided to go ahead and read the damn book.  The Guardians.

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

Well let me tell you.  This book played out like a movie in my head.  It was so good – I was completely enthralled with it.  I read and read and read and suddenly it was finished.

It was a great and easy read.  Thrilling, spooky, a little sad.  Of course, the night I finished it I had to sleep with the lights on – no word of a lie – but that’s what a good book does, right?  It wraps you up, entices you, makes you believe things you wouldn’t normally be suckered into believing.  It welcomes you into a whole other world where you want to spend all your time.  And then it’s over and you move on to something else.

I loaned The Guardians to a friend last night and I hope she takes advantage of it and reads it.  And, although I’m about to get started on a new John Grisham book I hope that if you’re a reader (or even if you’re not) and you want to add a little adventure and a little spooky to your days, definitely check out one of Pyper’s books.

Cheers.

PS.  You can read a synopsis for The Guardians here and Lost Girls here.