In my semi-retirement, when I am not eating or thinking about eating or making lists of things I’d like to be eating, I find I am catching up on things I was never able to get around to while I had a job.
Things I just didn’t have the time to do.
So now, when I wake up early in the morning, I reach for my journal before blogging on my laptop, which lets me filter thoughts and feelings a little bit better between my brain and the Internet.
I went snowshoeing not once but twice this past week and felt unhurried, able to take in the stillness and silence of the snowy woods and not have to worry about missing a call or coming up with some piece of content for work.
And I’ve also been reading a lot more during my unemployment. I finished two books I had started in the New Year — Still Writing, by Dani Shapiro and The Goldfinch, by Dona Tartt — and am determined to finish Middlemarch by the end of the month.
If it kills me.
And while I probably should be doing things like updating my LinkedIn profile and finding useful ways to utilize Pinterest for my blog, I found myself playing for a while on Goodreads yesterday instead.
Do you know that site? I am pretty late to the Goodreads party, since there are already about 20 million users who can make lists of books they’d like to read and rate and review books they’ve already read. So after I spent about an hour cruising through categories like “Popular book club books” and “Most read,” adding books I’d read to my shelf and marking the ones on my wish list, I quickly amassed over 100 titles.
It was like taking a walk down memory lane. I got to wave at some of the YA books I’ve been loving lately (The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park), books from my childhood (Charlotte’s Web) and books my children and I snuggled up to read over and over when they were young and yummy (Where the Sidewalk Ends).
And then I realized that it would be fun to see what was sitting on the shelves of other readers who I know, but was pretty limited as I had but one “friend” on Goodreads — my 19-year-old daughter. Out of 20 million users, that seemed kind of sad (even though she is excellent company).
So I tried to “friend” my real-life friend and voracious reader Susan, and quickly realized after Susan accepted my request and saw what was on her bookshelf, that I had indeed friended the wrong Susan.
My Susan definitely wasn’t currently reading Read Happiness: The Power of Meditation. She’s my Anglophile friend who leans more towards the World War II European experience than crunchy chewy self-help tomes.
So then I thought, why don’t I use my blog to try to make friends on Goodreads?
And so here I am.
I’d love to know what you’re reading (and listening to, too). What’s kept you sitting in your driveway or staying up way past your bedtime?
Let’s be friends. I think you can find me using the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for my own quick reviews, I was hesitant to get involved with the new Donna Tartt book, I’d heard mixed things about The Goldfinch, but I ended up loving it and have thought of the characters often since I finished it last week and had discussions about who should play Boris and Theo if it’s ever made into a movie.
And for someone who generally can’t even remember what happened on an episode of “True Detective” or “House of Cards” the minute the credits start to roll, that is impressive.
And I also fell head-over-heels in love with Ann Patchett after reading her collection of essays last month called This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. It’s made me want to read every piece of her fiction (aside from Bel Canto, which I read years ago) and make a pilgrimage to her bookstore in Nashville.
I legit want to stalk her (in a very friendly, non-threatening way).
Anyway, go friend me on Goodreads so I can see what’s on your virtual bookshelf and we can compare notes.
Maybe it will inspire me to crank through Middlemarch and move on.