Portable Magic: February 2015


BookPeople1

Books are a uniquely portable magic.

—Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Here’s the plan:

  • Read fifty books in 2015. I won’t count a book I don’t finish.
  • With a few exceptions, most are written by women and published in 2014 or 2015.
  • On the first day of the month, I’ll post the last month’s list. I’ll also post on Goodreads where you can find a short synopsis of every book. See the link to my Goodreads account in the side column.
  • I’m a reader, not a critic. So, no reviews. But, I’m happy to share in the comments and learn what you think, too.

Here’s what I read in February:

  1. The One and Only by Emily Giffin
  2. The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
  3. Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich
  4. One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
  5. Personal by Lee Child

All of these books came from the San Antonio Public Library.  They are shelved in the New Book or Express Collections.

Total books read so far in 2015: 14

 

Portable Magic: January 2015

 

BookPeople1

Books are a uniquely portable magic.

—Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Here’s the plan:

  • Read fifty books in 2015. I won’t count a book I don’t finish.
  • With a few exceptions, most are written by women and published in 2014 or 2015.
  • On the first day of the month, I’ll post the last month’s list. I’ll also post on Goodreads where you can find a short synopsis of every book. See the link to my Goodreads account in the side column.
  • I’m a reader, not a critic. So, no reviews. But, I’m happy to share in the comments and learn what you think, too.

Here’s what I read in January:

  1. Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
  2. Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  3. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
  4. Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
  5. After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman
  6. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
  7. Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead
  8. Festive in Death by J.D. Robb
  9. The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank

All of these books came from the San Antonio Public Library. The J.D. Robb titles are digital reads. The others are shelved in the New Book or Express Collections.

The God Box

God Box

I found the chocolate tin in my dead brother’s kitchen. Packed to the top with Hershey’s, I couldn’t judge its age, but I knew it had been a while since the chocolatier packaged the powder in metal. I tossed the old spices and a rancid bottle of olive oil, but after emptying its contents, the cocoa container made it into the box of saves. It’s been sitting on my desk ever since–no good for pencils or markers. The opening isn’t wide enough, and it has that nifty lid. I don’t want to lose it.

I have a hard time letting go. Old sundry containers aside, I’m not a hoarder of objects. But I will admit to being a hoarder of memories. Of worries. Of past loves. The act weighs me down at times, and it drives my family crazy. My favorite poem is Robert Frost’s “Wild Grapes.” The final lines are my answer to anyone, sick of my rumination, who utters “Fogetaboutit.”

The mind–is not the heart,

I may yet live as I know others live,

To wish in vain to let go with the mind–

Of cares, at night, to sleep; but nothing tells me

That I need to learn to let go with the heart.

To be honest, picking up my metaphorical foot to move in a new direction stymies me. Forward momentum is my modus operandi. A twist to the left or right is difficult.

This week I read Anne Lamott’s, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. It’s a little book, only 102 pages, but if you’ve read Bird by Bird, you know she packs wisdom between every word. Lamott classifies prayer into three categories: help, thanks, and wow. Eureka! I was thunderstruck by my own whiney simplicity. I began classifying my own internal dialogue. Guess which category won by a landslide? Psalms 121:1 says, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.It’s great to pray, but maybe I’ve been staring at the horizon a little longer than the psalmist intended.

Not to worry. Lamott suggests a tool. She calls it a God box. Take any physical container. She admits to using her car’s glove compartment. Write the worry on a scrap of paper, shove it in the box, and close the lid.

Finally, I have a use for my brother’s cocoa tin. Now, when I can’t let go, I scribble my request on a Post-It and put it in the box. When the thought pops up again, I’m reminded. The worry is hermetically sealed, surrounded by the scent of chocolate.

The Trouble With Fate

Found in the wild in San Antonio, TX, The Trouble With Fate, a new novel by Leigh Evans.

The Trouble With Fate1

The clever log line says, “Meet Hedi Peacock. She’s half Fae. Half Were. And all Trouble…”

The Trouble With Fate2

I took Hedi home.

The Trouble With Fate3

I couldn’t put the book down. Hedi’s adventures kept me up all weekend!

New York Times best-selling author Darynda Jones says, “What a delicious read! Chock-full of fun twists and sexy diversions, one of them named Robson. Leigh Evans is definitely one to watch. Get this book! You will not be disappointed!”

The Trouble With Fate is published by St. Martin’s. It’s available at Amazon, click here. And Barnes and Noble, click here. Go. Buy. It. Now.