I have been gone from here much longer than I expected, my dear Gentle Blogging friends. I thought I was handling this year quite well, coping with my knee injury and the death of my friend David. Then my son was hospitalized at the end of April for a skin infection, and I found myself doing what I always do when I am under severe stress: I start reading voraciously. I plunged headlong into so many good books over the past two months, and slowly, as it always does with me, all the emotions I was putting off feeling, started to surface. I'm not sure why it works this way with me, I have just always been so very glad that I can read, and have this outlet. I think reading has kept me sane for many, many times through my life, and this was one more added to the tally. Thank you, books!
So I have been busy reading. I've also been busy in my garden, a tremendous relief and another healing sanctuary for me. I love growing flowers, and spend many happy hours in my garden in our growing months up here in Canada. I was tremendously worried with my torn knee cartilage if I would get in the garden at all this year, and I am thrilled to say I can. It's not always graceful since I can't kneel yet, but I can sort of half lower myself closer to the ground so I can dig holes for planting, and weed. So between my garden and my books, and my family, I am starting to feel much less overwhelmed with everything.
A fairy in my garden.
I was really unable to do anything for about two months, and looking back, I see what a shock it was to me to suddenly be so helpless. I don't do helpless very well. I like being independent and not needing any help, and it was so hard to only be able to go to work and come home by car. No bus. No shopping for groceries or anything else we needed. It forced me to really feel shut in and shut down while I waited for my knee to heal.
What I did find was that I suddenly wanted to read all the good books I'd been saving, now. No more waiting and doling them out to myself once in a while. I decided to read all the latest by my favourite authors, if I had the books already. And since I've been able to take the bus again, since the end of May, a month now, I've been on one long book-buying spree. Every week I've been picking up books. I love it! I feel set free! I can't carry very much, and my knee is nothing like strong enough yet, but it is getting better. I can even do my walks again, and am up to a mile and a half every morning. I love being in nature, and hearing the morning sounds and seeing the green light of day and just being where it's quiet and me alone, is tremendously powerful and healing for me. In every way I can, I've been taking care of me during this horribly long spring, and my family have been wonderful and helping, even the kids, to pick up their belongings since I can't really get to the floor all the time.
I've missed you all. I want to thank you for waiting so patiently for me to come back here. I really want to thank you for all the books you talk about on your blogs, because over the past three months, I've either read or picked up books because you read them first and loved them:
Bybee, because of your post last year - OMG, I just checked, it was 3 years ago!! - because of your post three years ago about this book, I finally, finally found a copy just this week, and picked it up: my very own copy of The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread by Don Robertson. ***It helped that there was a little blurb that Stephen King named him one of his important influences on him. ****It does look really good.
Mariel,(***I think it's you.) because you said once that I should check out this series: Alison Croggan's The Books of Pellinor Series, I now have all four books, having found the last two earlier this week. ***just discovered that Andi at Andilit has read the first one, here.
Kay at Home Girl's Book Blog: because you said that Louise Penny's The Brutal Telling was better than The Murder Stone, for my birthday I read The Brutal Telling. You were right. It was far better than The Murder Stone. Dark, really dark and disturbing and mournful mystery. Thank you!
Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, thank you for talking about Peter Temple. I read The Broken Shore last week, and it was amazing. I ran out and bought the sequel, The Truth, halfway through reading The Broken Shore. I also have to thank you for talking about The Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey last year, because of that post I have started reading the Peter Diamond series from the beginning. I really enjoy this series. I just bought Skeleton Hill, which I think I will have to read out of sequence since I can only get two books in the middle from the library.
I will be reviewing these and others read over the past 7 weeks of silence from me. Someone read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi - Nymeth? why do I think it's you? here, or Bybee, here, or Chris, here - in the past year or so ****2008! three years ago! See? mention books, and sooner or later we find them..... and maybe all of you convinced me I could try it, and I finally did during this month of awesome books I read. It was. Awesome. It made me cry, and laugh, and look at my Turkish and Iranian neighbors in a new light. A Companion To Wolves (amazing! brilliant! and I've felt like a wolf ever since), The Janus Stone (creepy, why does Ruth keep going to the site at dusk and putting herself in danger? love that she's unwed and pregnant), and so many others.
I'm not quite at my count for 50 books half-way through this year, but I'm close - at 45, and trying to convince myself I can read a book a day over the next week so I can catch up. I am going to get to 100 books this year!
Here's hoping that all of your springs has been good to you. I will be coming to visit many of you over the next few weeks to catch up, and say hi. It's good to be back, and talking with you about books.