On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Read, read, read

Every New Year's Eve I make the same resolution: Read 50 years in the coming year. One year, a particularly difficult time of turmoil and depression, I stayed home a lot and outdid myself, totaling 66 completed books by the end of it. Fifty books, one book a week, seems like a respectable number to me. It isn't paltry, like a book every now and again, and it isn't anything to crow about as my book-a-day friends have the edge on that. But 50 is respectable, that's the best I can say.

I always begin January with a book in hand and am usually up to 10 by the end of March. That means that I'm a bit behind by then, but poking along at a steady clip. Then there's usually a slump. And every year, about now, usually in November, I'm assessing the damage of lost time and thinking about how, once again, I'm gonna fall short of basic respectability if I don't get a move on.

That's where I am now. I'm suddenly looking at all the 200 page rapid reads I've allowed to collect dust, and suddenly they look like they might be the answer if I'm to meet my goal by the end of 2010. Last week I read two novels. One was a library book, Lily King's, THE ENGLISH TEACHER, which I loved once I got into it. A bookish isolate, distrustful in the aftermath of trauma, enters marriage in mid-life and finds the going rough. That's all I'm going to say about that one.

A few days ago I finally read THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold. It's a best seller for good reason. Stretching our understanding of connections beyond the grave and in daily life, we are eventually bound up with one another in the way bones are bound by muscle and sinew. It's an eerie novel, a page-turner, and one I'm glad I read.

Today I'm halfway through a modern classic, Achebe Chinua's, THINGS FALL APART. Having never traveled to Nigeria, I know nothing of tribal life. The only Nigerians I've known were totally urban and hardworking university students in this country. Because I'm only at the halfway point, I don't know the ending (and wouldn't tell you if I did), but I'm enjoying the reading so far.

I haven't given up on my 2010 reading resolution. But, if I am to reach it, I am going to have to keep hustling and turning pages pretty rapidly for the next six weeks. Which means I'll draw and zentangle less, a sacrifice that I may not be able to maintain. But, but, but, I so want to reach that goal of respectability!


  1. That's just it! To read a book a zentangle or something else, has to go. We still have only 24 hours in a day same as last year and the year before that....
    I think you are one busy woman who gets a lot done even if it isn't 52 whole books read by the end of the year. The books you just reviewed sound pretty good!


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