The Book Shopaholic

Be warned: Do not enter my home. Not if the thought of seeing stacks and stacks of books, piled three and four feet high, terrifies you.  You see I have a penchant for buying books. Every time I see or read about a book that piques my interest in any way, I have to have it. I think I have a deep down fear that, if I don’t purchase the book, by the time I am ready to read it, it’ll be out of publication.  So, I add it to my pile, because when push comes to shove, the pile’s the thing until I find the time to read.

Which is why, this year for my birthday, I’m putting 20 hours more each week, on my wish list. Yes, I want 20 more hours per week for my birthday!  Please note, that’s in addition to the 168 hours I already get each week. I need the extra 20, and preferably not all in one day.  But attached to the weekend would be perfect. Oh, and I’m not greedy. Heck, I’d take 10.  So, what would I do with this time?

Satisfy my addiction to books. I’d read the books on my to-do list.  Here it is, but again, be warned:  My taste in books runs the gamut.

Adventures By the Book Experience:  How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

My friend, Leah, was the first to recommend this book to me. Then my friend, Susan, who runs the remarkable Adventures By the Book, told me about her upcoming event with Margaret Dilloway, which is set to take place August 26th in San Diego’s Japanese Friendship Garden, complete with a Japanese lunch and intimate conversation with the author.  I, of course, adore the idea of an after-lunch constitutional through the historical Friendship Garden. It all sounds too divine, if you ask me. If you’re in the area, be sure to reserve your spot, by visiting the Adventures By the Book website.

As for the book? I’m already halfway through it, as I love learning about other cultures. Margaret Dilloway’s How to Be an American Housewife, which brings thoughtful insight into the Japanese way of life, is largely set in my neck of the woods, San Diego. It is about Shoko, a Japanese woman who marries an American GI and, as a result, struggles to be a proper, American housewife. It is also about Shoko and her relationship with her decidedly American daughter, Suiko.  Leah calls it “a wonderful story, especially if you like tales of mother-daughter relationships.” She also points out that People magazine gave the book four (out of four) stars! And that’s good enough for me!

Other books that have piqued my interest:

The Creepy:  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The rights for this book, which was released in June, have already been sold to 20th Century Fox to be made into a movie. It is a sinister, spine-chilling tale about a 16-year-old who witnesses his grandfather’s horrifying death and, in searching for the truth, finds himself in an orphanage populated by children with incredible powers, including levitation and invisibility. The book is sprinkled with photos of these children, adding to the realism.  I’m already shaking in my boots.

The New Generation of Nancy Drew’s:  The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley

Move over Nancy Drew! There’s a new girl-sleuth in town and her name is Flavia de Luce. I read the first book in this exciting series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and found Flavia to be quick-witted, clever and cunning, served up on a platter of genuine humor.  She’s a real kick and an empowering sort of girl.

Social History:  At Home by Bill Bryson

Bryson dissects what many of us take for granted, our homes, and sheds light on how our homes came to be how they are today, including the conveniences that seem routine today, but were once considered only for the very rich.  All in all, Bryson has developed a fascinating social history of the home.

The Dog Lovers’ Book:  Dog Sense by John Bradshaw

Now, when it comes to my relationship with my dog, Henry, I know we’re not perfect. There’s room for improvement—Henry tells me that everyday. Bradshaw’s book addresses just that, how we treat our dogs versus how we really should be treating them, showing us, as best he can, life from a dog’s perspective.

The Environment:  The Big Thirst, The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water by Charles Fishman

Our most precious resource can also be the most fascinating. Fishman pours through our strange and complex relationship to water and makes you appreciate just how precious it really is. Water, life’s elixir!

Romantic Fun:  The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman

I actually read this book several summers ago and plan to read it again. It’s so entertaining, right from the very first page, reading like a frothy romantic comedy.  Set in the early sixties, it’s about young love, the Catskills and anti-Semitism.

I have many more books on my list, but I’ll save them for another time. Now, what’s on your reading list?