Ah, August. Usually it’s my last chance for leisurely reading since it marks the end of summer and the start of school.
Not this year.
The loveliest bit about retirement is that summer continues on through and past September. This means that big bag of books from the library will not languish because I will not be planning, grading, or worrying about classroom lessons.
I read in the morning. I read in the afternoon. I read before going to sleep. In between I do stuff like clean, cook, balance Mom’s checkbook, yardwork, write. I play too much Angry Birds Bubble Pop. Hey, no judgment, there are worse time wasters out there. Dr. Who reruns don’t count, either.
I am almost embarrassed when people ask me what I am doing in retirement because my first response is: “reading books.”
It’s more than a retirement activity. It’s absolute sustenance. I fear I might wither without a book in hand.
Here are August’s highlights:
The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett
A fine read that has all the hallmarks of a beloved classic: Medieval setting, regency betrayal, a pipping hero or two, lovable secondary characters. An amazing fight scene and a thrilling, hold-your-breath ending. The three-legged trickster dog clenches the deal.
The biggest question is why is this book not as well known as other adventure tales like The Man in the Iron Mask?
Lives of the Pirates by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt
Krull bio books deftly combine fact, along with some speculations, with a fun factor. Hewitt’s caricatures complement the text well. Krull’s pirate book provides a wide range of famous, infamous, and not so famous pirates. I read this because my mother did a stint as a pirate and I needed inspiration to write her story.
The Art of Holding On and Letting Go by Kristin Lenz
Lenz provides a YA novel about competition rock climbing with authentic characters and laces the plot with issues ranging from family relationships to dating to introspective self-discovery. The additional literary and music references definitely add to the story.
Only three, you wonder?
August was an interesting month in that I read nine books. That part isn’t so interesting. What I found interesting, perplexing is the better word, is that I started nine books that I didn’t finish. Nine! Am I getting picky or choosing the wrong books?
Do you stick with a book once started or is there a definite standard for a DNF (did not finish)?