What I’m Reading….

I used to read all the time – I loved to read books of all kinds!!! But, as time went on, I got “busy” and my reading habits changed. I went back to school and earned three degrees back to back going to school full time while working full time – by the time I got done with that, I was so sick of reading for that purpose, I didn’t care if I ever read a book again! But, I tried several times to get back into reading for pleasure – I really wanted to read something I would enjoy reading. I found, though, that I had a hard time focusing on what I was trying to read – I would suddenly realize that I had just finished “reading” several pages, but had no clue what-so-ever what I just read!!! My attempts to get back into reading for pleasure failed! I read business related books and articles for work all the time, but that isn’t reading for pleasure!

I also used to love going to book stores – big box book stores and little quaint book stores! I could spend hours and hours in a Barnes and Nobles – browsing the books, sitting in their comfy chairs reading the first chapter or two of a proposed book to see if it grabs my attention, and looking for gifts for friends and family! But – with no book store in Sanford and the lengthy drive to Cary or Fayetteville to get to one and the lack of time and attention span to devote to reading for pleasure, I don’t do that much anymore.

But – I am still drawn to book stores and books when I come across them. So, while on my layover in Baltimore yesterday on my return trip from Mom’s, I had a lot of time to kill. I had a great lunch at a seafood restaurant in the terminal (can’t go to MD without having some crab!) and wandered through the Border’s book store. I spent quite a while there looking for a book that would catch my attention and look like it just might give me something to read for pleasure again!

I found the book The Gathering, by Anne Enright. Anne Enright is an Irish author who has several awards for her writing. This book, in particular, was the winner of the Man Booker Prize of 2007. I sat at the gate and began reading it and, so far, it is wonderful…….I made it through the first 5 chapters and am totally intrigued!!! I think I found it — the book that will hold my attention and provide me with a pleasurable read!!!

The Gathering is a story told in the narrative by a character named Veronica Hegarty – one of 12 children of a very large Irish family, all of whom are now adults and are gathering together for the funeral of one of the brothers – Liam. I have already discovered that Liam had some emotional issues and committed suicide by walking out into the sea and drowned himself. I have also already discovered that emotional issues are likely something that runs rampant in this family – although I haven’t discovered why, yet (the synopsis on the book jacket implies long kept family secrets and betrayals as the culprit).

I am generally drawn to anything with Irish tones – I have some Irish blood in me and am fascinated by the culture. Another thing that struck me very early in the book – the main character, Veronica, had a grandmother named Ada — I also had a grandmother named Ada!!! She talks about how beautiful her granny Ada was – my grandma Ada was also a very beautiful young woman!!! Go figure!!!

Here is what the book jacket has to say:

“A dazzling writer of international stature, Anne Enright is one of Ireland’s most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering, a moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family haunted by the past. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, who drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him – something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations, she shows how memories warp and secrets fester. As in all Enright’s work, her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction, and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light.”

If this does truly end up being a success for me, I think I just may look up some of the other works of Ms. Enright!!!

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