Even though I have so many books to get to on my own bookshelf, I went to the library to take a photo for the camera club’s theme of “pathways” because I feel books offer up pathways to the world; I ended up coming home with 3 books. Maybe after I’ve played catch up for a while after going so many years without making the time to read novels I’ll get to some newer titles- or at least throw some in now and then.
I read Sue Monk Kidd‘s book The Invention of Wings a few years ago and liked her style of writing. I picked up The Secret Life of Bees. I don’t recall language I don’t like to read the first time and was disappointed to read it in this one. That really changes my view on a book and usually, I’ll put it down the second time I read the Lord’s name taken in vain. Since it was one character, the dad in the book, I kept reading because other than that I do like her style. One line that is sadly truer today is about skin pigment dividing people.
“June made a pffff sound with her lips while August shook her head, and it washed over me for the first time in my life just how much importance the world had ascribed to skin pigment, how lately is seemed that skin pigment was the sun and everything else in the universe was the orbiting planets.”
I just don’t get it. We are all human beings and I don’t like being judged by my skin color any more than someone of browner skin likes being judged by theirs. One thing about well-read library books is people have written in them for some reason. Someone underlined a curse word page after page, and someone else made a correction where Kidd wrote Rosaleen instead of the correct name August and it seems underlined just for me, still grieving and wishing I could turn back time that day we lost Trinity “Regrets don’t help anything, you know that.”
John Grisham is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy is lawyer themed books and even a few of his others. Just not about sports, as that is not my thing. I truly wish he’d number his darn books and write the series they were in on the cover and description. I spend entirely too much time trying to make sure I don’t read one out of order! I’m kind of surprised an editor didn’t catch the repeated sentence about “legal papers every inmate is allowed to keep in his cell” on page 60 then again on page 70. This book really seems to mention whether the person is black, brown or white. I don’t care what color their skin is. Maybe I’m just noticing it more with all more as the nation seems to grow more and more segregated instead of us all just being one race- the human race.
I had intended to read at least one how-to photo book from my own sagging bookshelf on photography but picked up a story instead by Lynsey Addario titled It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. I don’t remember where I saw this to add it to my list of books to read, and again I didn’t read the blurb so I didn’t know she was a conflict photographer. If it was just about a photographer shooting the same stuff I like to shoot it probably wouldn’t have been as interesting. It was a real eye-opener to the photos that come out of war zones. I will hopefully never look at an image from a war zone the same way again after learning what could be at stake to capture those images. I opened to the prelude and was hooked. Part of me wanted to grab my camera and take off to new worlds (without fear of kidnapping, but with running water and a bed), the other part wanted no part of Addario’s world as a conflict photographer. I don’t have a whole lot in common with her other than the love of seeing new things as a photographer, being female, marrying someone who was a friend first, and the humbling loss of independence and pain during shoulder recovery. Her line that she pushes herself close to is so far past my comfort or fear line. I did find myself interested from cover to cover and don’t feel like you’d have to be a fellow photographer to enjoy this book.
Speaking of covers, I can’t help but look at them. I mean you’re supposed to and typically other than word of mouth or reading books by a favorite author the cover is what grabs a reader attention to want to read more.
I know I may not be looking at the same cover you are on any given title. My first choice of these would be Grisham’s mysterious, textured and simple cover. I like the simplicity and colors of Addario’s but with the text being right aligned and the photo being centered with her looking to the right, without space to the right kinda bugs me, as does the power lines that would be off the picture if she was moved to the left. I think it would’ve been a stronger cover to off-center her to the left under the space created with the right aligned text. Kidd’s cover fits her book with the centered subjects of honey, a bee, and black Mary but the painted style with the glossy gold sticker under the title is my least favorite of these 3.
A local writer, Steve Brown who I met through the local writers’ group has passed away. I had to admire him sticking to his guns about doing book signings and no social media. Even though I haven’t read any of his books yet I recommended them to Paula, a friend and fellow photographer who loves Charleston. I wish there were more hours in the day to read as much as I’d like to.
If we like the same kind of books I’d love to hear your recommendations ~