“Let me show you,” said one of my college professors many years ago, “how difficult it is to learn to read.” She assigned every letter in the alphabet a random symbol, an arbitrary shape that replaced the shape of the letter we knew. And then she showed us short words of these symbols.
“Dad,” someone in the audience read. “Cat,” another said as the next word appeared.
When she put up a whole sentence, I read it perfectly, and unknowingly, out loud. “Very good,” she said from her podium, peering over her glasses at me in the back.
But, it wasn’t very good. It was completely natural. I have never known a day when I could not read.
I have never known a time that I didn’t seek a book for enjoyment, for comfort, for meaning. When I was in Europe as a child in the summer of 1969, I had only one book with me. It was Charlotte’s Web, and I read it over and over from June to August.
When I was dragged to a frat party in 1983 so my roommate could see the guy she wanted to date, I found a copy of Anna Karenina and read it behind a closed door until the man whom I would later marry came in and found me.
I am not a professor. I am not a professional reviewer. I am a lover of books.
I share that love with you here.
Links to my reviews on publisher or author websites:
Simon and Schuster:
- Darkness in Summer by Takeshi Kaiko
- The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov
- Fidelity by Susan Glaspell
- The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
- A Darcy Christmas by Carolyn Eberhart, Sharon Lathan, Amanda Grange
- Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer
- Mah Jongg: The Art of The Game by Greg Swain
Institut Ramon Llull:
- Barcelona Shadows by Marc Pastor
The Complete Review:
- The Lost Button by Irene Rozdobudko
Old Harbor Press:
- Silk Road by Claire Sydenham
Stone Bridge Press:
- The Name of The Flower by Kuniko Mukoda
Oh! A mystery of mono no aware by Todd Shimuda
Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman
Sand to Stone and Back Again by Tony Kuyper
A Floating Life by Tad Crawford
A Vision of Angels by Timothy Jay Smith
The Boys in The Boat by Daniel James Brown
A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan
The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
The Late Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow
Swoon by Betsy Prioleau
Barcelona Shadows by Marc Pastor
Crossing The Bridge of Sighs by Susan Ashley Michael
Midsummer by Carole Giangrande
Writers’ Bloc (praising Clairefontaine notebooks)