cultivate (kuhl - tuh - veyt)
v. 1) develop 2) nurture

graft (grahft)
n. 1) transplant 2) bud 3) union

Monday, September 10, 2018

Beauty is in the Eye of the Bookholder

There’s something anticipative about wrapping my hands around the spine and fore edge of a novel. It beckons the senses and stirs the soul. The possibilities are boundless. The weight of the volume whispers of uncharted lands, adventures that beckon; of elation, agony, redemption, beauty. Anything can be extracted from the pages.

Despite my hearty tribute, I’ve always struggled to read books that challenge me, books with substance. I wanted to be someone who read books that stuck to my ribs, but I always gravitated toward...fluff. Instead of decadent twelve course meals on delicate bone China, I was settling for sketchy potluck appetizers on flimsy paper plates. You know the ones I mean. Toasted salmonella puffs with a hint of E. coli merengue plated with a tangy botulism reduction which rapidly saturates the 1-ply plate. Check please.

This year I wanted to feast. No more bland fare that’s been sitting out too long. The goal: fifty-two books in one year, consisting only of books I’ve either never read or never finished. My list is comprised of a smorgasbord of genres that would lead you to assume the curator was a hyperactive toddler hopped up on a dozen Pixy Stix and released unsupervised in a bookstore for a shopping spree. I won’t even attempt to explain why I’ve chosen the books I’ve chosen for this year. Accept the method, folks.

It’s Week 37 and I’ve completed thirty-one titles. Perhaps I won’t meet my reading goal, but I’ve already succeeded in something far superior to arbitrary quotas; I’ve proven to myself that I am most capable of digesting quite the literary meal. I’ve dined on the theological eloquence of Lewis, the worlds imagined by Tolkien, and the cry for social justice of Dickens. I’ve sunk my teeth into the battles between men, and the gods who interfered. I’ve wandered through the well-worn paths of Prince Edward Island and come face-to-face with IT. I’ve cried despite knowing the fate allotted to Beth and Charlotte alike. I’ve cringed through dystopian landscapes, and nodded along to uplifting prose.

In short, my palette is greatly expanded, and I’m left, not uncomfortably stuffed as one who gorged until pained, but rather as one whose appetite has merely been fanned into flame. Each entrée merely whets the appetite for the next literary flavor.

Yes, I think I shall peruse the menu a bit more. What’s your recommendation?

Turning a Page,



  1. Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Middlemarch by George Eliot. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Grey is the Color of Hope by Irina Ratushinskaya. Let me know if you've already read any of these.

    1. I knew you would not disappoint. Of course, I know of some of these, but I've not read them. Les Miserables is on my priority list for 2019. I welcome further book recommendations from you!

  2. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


Please comment, but play nice.