In the beginning...

...there were The Flyaways, a family who traveled in their miraculous flying machine having daring adventures with Goldilocks and Cinderella. The first in the 3-book series by Alice Dale Hardy was published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1925 and copies are almost extinct. Few people remember Ma and Pa, Tommy and Susie Flyaway now.

I became acquainted with them on my grandfather's lap, my dear Grandpa Baker who read and read and read to me every evening for as many years as I can remember. I would hold my breath as each chapter ending neared, hoping he would not stop. I would keep begging for "just one more" chapter until his voice got so hoarse I would have to run to his room to get his throat lozenges.

Over the years we covered all of Uncle Wiggly and Honey Bunch, the Bobbsey Twins, the Five Little Peppers, the Wind in the Willow series, some of them more than once. He read to me until long after I could read everything for myself, until I was into Beverly Gray, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I was safe and happy snuggled up on the couch with him and that feeling has never left me. I still read and read and read, and it still makes me feel safe and happy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Not Enough Time

I am reading three books at once, not an unusual occurance - one in the living room, bedroom, car. Plus the half dozen poetry tomes I keep handy for casual pickup - Lucille Clifton, Mark Strand, Charles Simic and Billy Collins included. Luckily I work in a library. There is no better place for me, except perhaps the beach at Key West, but even there, I would be reading.

Yesterday I finished a Richard Stevenson novel about Albany P.I. Donald Strachey. It was a kick to read because of the Albany setting, altho not as good as older ones.

I just started Rain Gods from an old friend, James Lee Burke. I met Burke in NYC many years ago, soon after sending him a fan letter about his Black Cherry Blues, which features the best detective I have encountered since John MacDonald died and we lost Travis McGee. Before he got famous, Burke answered his own fan mail and I was blown away to get a letter from him, then met him at Murder, Ink.

Also on my plate is Where the Dead Lay from a new author find named David Levien, who I expect to read a lot of.

Already reading those two, I had to crack open another one I had been waiting for (interlibrary loan is a marvelous thing) - the newest of Stephanie Plum adventures, which I consume like popcorn at the movies. Janet Evanovich can make me laugh out loud.

It is a good reading day.