Books I'm Currently Reading (or re-reading)
Like many people, I read several books at once. Normally, I’m reading at least one non-fiction book, a new fiction book I’ve never read before, and a much-loved book from my keeper shelf that reminds me why I love to write and why certain books touch readers not just for the moment they’re reading but for many years after the book has been closed on the final chapter.
The non-fiction book I’ve just started reading: Practical Handbook of Veterinary Homeopathy: Healing Our Companion Animals from the Inside Out by Wendy Thacher Jensen, D.V.M. Because my dog Fred has chronic foot pain that several veterinarians have been unable to correctly diagnose or treat, on the advice of a knowledgeable client, I’ve been looking into homeopathy. When this book was sent to me for a review, it seemed like a sign from the Universe, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. I’ve already read several books on the subject, and most are so esoteric or unnecessarily detailed as to be inaccessible to the average reader who hasn’t been trained on the subject. This book immediately drew me in with its conversational, approachable style. Filled with real-life stories of the author’s clients and backed up with lists of reference materials for those readers who want to learn more, this book is one I know will eventually retire to live a long and happy life on my keeper shelf.
The fiction book I’m re-reading: A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith. This is one of those books whose characters will live in your heart long after you’ve put the book down. It’s tender, sexy, southern, and it tells a compelling story of the treacherous pathways between one side of the tracks and the other. On my keeper shelf, this book has the mark of an unputdownable book: It has clearly been dropped into the bathtub.
A memoir I’m re-reading: The World is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved by Trebbe Johnson. This book delves into the compelling connections that draw battle lines and love lines between ourselves, those we love, and those whose magnetic allure has the power to reel us in and reveal our unrealized potential. These people and possibilities can lift us out of the mundane and rip us up by the roots. Whether the seductive allure of the untapped unknown destroys our foundation or builds upon it depends on whether we have the courage to look these troublemaking possibilities in the face with honesty and integrity. A fantastic book I recommend for reading and re-reading.
The fiction book I’m currently reading for the first time: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I love books that are steeped-in and colored-by the dark muddy waters of the Deep South. I was talking about this book with a fellow writer, and she didn’t love it because she didn’t have the patience to read the detailed descriptions of the setting, the murky bogs, the mosquito-infested swamps, and the sucking quicksand of the past that can drag the unwary under before they know they’ve stepped wrong into a mud-patch that goes down forever. If you don’t like reading about a lush landscape sliced-through with sharp slivers of backstory, you might not love this one. But so far, I do. I think that maybe this book didn’t call to my fellow writer friend because she isn’t from “around here.” But it is (so far) especially compelling to me because I grew up surrounded by the mystery of deep woods and even deeper swamps. Because it took me back to a time when I was free enough to embrace the danger and mystery of an unknown wild, and fearless enough to call it mine.
Books on the Keeper Shelf
I loved this book by JoAnn Sky. Santa's Dog is a rhyming read-aloud children's book your kids will love. It's a sweet, touching story with bright, whimsical illustrations.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
This fantastic book is expertly told from a dog's point of view. A completely enthralling book from the first page to the last.