Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Autumn brings change

When I was young, I welcomed the start of autumn more than any other season. It meant new shoes and notebooks, colors and grasses dying back, and the daylight slipping away into night. Autumn still is my favorite time of year, as I find myself pulling on a sweater for warmth and searching for just the right book in which to lose myself.

I too am changing with the season, as far as reading preferences go. No longer do I want the quick light reads of summer; books that are easily picked up and set down as you carve out of few minutes to read between outdoor activities, vacations and muggy nights. No, autumn demands books with depth; tomes that draw the reader in and offers a respite. Animals begin their task and order of hibernation, preparing for months of quiet sleep. Ahhh...sounds blissful, huh?

So, what to read on this cold November night? I look forward to starting the latest E.L. Doctorow book, Homer and Langley (Random House). Although a novel, I like historical fiction. The lives of New York's fabled Collyer brothers will intrigue and hold my interest, much like Doctorow's Ragtime and City of God.

Then there are the well-noted titles that remain on "my list": The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Diaz; People of the Book, by the impeccable Geraldine Brooks; Out Stealing Horses by Petterson (I tried this in the summer; it's definitely a winter book); The Book Thief by Zusak...I am afraid my list goes on. I am never short of books to read, but find myself quite particular about the mood and timing of my choices.

Some people say they will read whatever they can get their hands on. I tend to be more selective. Perhaps that leads me back to my thoughts on autumn and books. As a child we gathered by the fire on cool fall evenings and my father read the poetry of Robert Service and James Whitcomb Riley to my siblings and me. I can see the leaves falling outside the farmhouse window, watch the corn stalks die back after harvesting, hear the cattle settling in the barn...yes, autumn is about change, but perhaps more than not, it remains the same.

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