The Pleasure of Reading (Part I)

When I was a toddler, my mother put a drop of honey on a page of one of my cloth books and told me to lick it off, hoping that I would make the association between reading and sweetness. It’s been a long time since I’ve licked my books, but the pleasure of reading remains. I have photos of my mother reading to me as a youngster, but I don’t need them to remember the books:

The Goops and How to Be Them

The Story About Ping

The Little House

Paddle to the Sea

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street

Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Babar the Elephant

and of course, the Little Golden Books like this one . . . 


And so many more!

Just before my mom remarried, the first thing my soon-to-be new dad brought me as a gift was a book about cars. I was 7 and I’ve never forgotten.

What are some of the books you remember with pleasure from your childhood?
(To be continued)



What I’m Reading Now (Continued)

It was a warm, early spring day at the farm and perfect to sit outside and read.

Russian River-Coastal-20130210-00072I don’t often have unbroken stretches when we’re in Sebastopol and, in part, that’s what I enjoy about town living where everything is at hand and it’s easy to distract myself with errands, meetings or outings.   But at the farm, nothing is at hand.  The closest supermarket is a 45-minute drive and there’s no need to jump up every few minutes to silence the dachshunds that break into ear-splitting barking duets whenever a pupil arrives for a guitar lesson at the home of our nearest neighbor.  When we first moved to Sebastopol, we had gotten out of the habit of silencing these sweet but raucous brothers, but a few visits from our guitar-teaching neighbor and one from the Sebastopol police were all we needed.  Now, at their first outdoor bark, I’m up and out the back door calling Oni and Taro back into the house.


But I wasn’t in town.  I was at the farm, happily reading Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor’s wonderful book, My Beloved World.  I was completely absorbed in her memoir.




My Beloved World

Justice Sotomayor’s story is compelling, lively and straight-forward.  She pulls back the curtain on her life and reveals herself as a flawed, driven, but compassionate woman.  Whether writing about her childhood, her diabetes, her education, her marriage/divorce, or her legal career, Sotomayor’s prose is clear and lively and she destroys any lingering stereotype of the stuffy, closeted jurist. My Beloved World is packed with insight into New York’s Puerto Rican community, the American legal system, prejudice and injustice, and what it means to be a bright and determined Latina in what has long been a white-man’s world. Regardless of what draws you to it, her Beloved World is worth knowing.