Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved my books. One of my favorite photos of myself, in fact, I was maybe 9- or 10-years-old, sitting on the ferry to Block Island: pink polo shirt, khaki shorts, white knee socks, grubby sneakers; my dirty blonde, banged hair, pulled back in a barrette to reveal my face, which was fiercely concentrating on the book in my lap. I was oblivious to the camera.
It was in Block Island’s small bookshop—maybe on that trip—that I discovered the Sweet Valley High series. This launched my years-long obsession with Jessica and Elizabeth and their cool high school friends (a prelude to my devotion to Felicity and Carrie and their crews?); a phase post-Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume, pre-Stephen King and V.C. Andrews.
Although I still love books, I don’t spend as much time in bookstores as I did in New York (I lived three blocks from the Strand; it was nearly impossible not to regularly drop in to “browse” and walk out with four titles I had to fit somewhere on my bookshelves). Here, I am trying to live lighter and not accumulate as much. A visit to Village Voice or Shakespeare & Co or Galignani is just too tempting. But every once in awhile, I can’t help myself.
Oh! So! Many! Books! And so pretty!
It took all of my willpower to only buy one book this weekend: Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris. I have a strange, personal connection to Bard and her memoir, and I’ve heard many wonderful things about the book. I am happy to have it.
Two others that I recently read about are Molly Ringwald’s memoir, illustrated by Ruben Toledo, and chockfull of insights about aging and inner beauty. Sounds like a winner.
And Aimee Bender’s latest about a girl with the power to taste the emotions of the person who’s prepared her food. What a delicious concept!
What are you reading these days?