From “de Muck” to Diagon Alley

Do y’all know about this? I stumbled across the PBS television series on my iPad. I really don’t watch shows on my “devices” but I was on the couch…. so I pushed the button…. and wow, I was entranced. The series aired on PBS stations in eight parts but now you can stream the whole thing at once. If you love books you won’t be able to stop watching this documentary that “explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s best loved novels.” Each segment features celebrities, authors and book lovers across the country telling how, we as readers, are affected by these stories.

Check it out, find the 100 Book List and watch the show here:

Andra gave me a stack of books to read while recovering from the ankle break. This book was on the list! I’ve never heard of the book and it’s good to be motivated to read outside of your comfort authors sometimes. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was written in 1936 and is the story of Janie, a black woman who strives to find her own place in life. The setting is the Everglades, referred to as the Muck, because the whole southern tip of Florida was a muddy, fertile swamp. The heart of the book is a love story between Janie and her third husband, but many view the book as a feminist novel and regard it as a masterpiece. Hard to read at times because Zora Hurston wrote the speaking between characters in idiomatic dialogue, I was challenged by the writing but engaged in Janie’s struggle and triumph and enjoyed the book. Check mark on The List!

Next up, something completely different. I’ve always said I’d read the Harry Potter series… some day. There are three books on the shelf left from my children’s collection. This is also out of my usual reading genre and I haven’t seen any of the movies. I’m on chapter six and still interested to discover why adults read the books for themselves. While I’m silently reading, the voice inside my head is reading aloud to my grandchildren. I’m also thinking about what I’m going to read next as a reward for checking two books off the list! I still have Kate Burkholder mysteries to fall back on for some porch reading recreation.

Isn’t summer reading the best. Just a warning– if you do check out The Great American Read, and I really hope you will– and tell me what you’re reading — be cautious in joining the FaceBook page. Book lovers are crazy committed posters and it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex. Someone will ask for suggestions on a good novel set in Africa, for example. Seriously, 300 people will answer with their favorite and exactly what makes the choice so great. It’s intoxicating and I have scraps of paper all over the place with list upon list and I’ve worn out my pencil. Sigh. Never enough hours in the day or days in summer on the porch.

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  1. Lynne Laino says

    I’m so sorry I missed saying hello to you at Guild yesterday. You were sitting at the next table over and I spotted you from the side.
    Your first book has been on my list of “want to reads” so thanks so much. I’ll check out the FB page of the books because now I’m curious.
    I have to tell you that I absolutely loved Harry Potter’s first book and read it well ahead of my boys. How I cam upon it was from Rosie O’Donnell’s very frist talk show. She had a copy of it and talked about how she was reading a children’s book so I was intrigued. I am not a fan of science fiction or fantasy per se but I was completely sucked into Harry’s world. I thought it was enchanting and whimsical and full of wonder from the very first page. I think one of my favorite parts of each book and movies is the beginning of each one and Harry’s struggles with the awful and terrible Dursley’s who are (not) caring for him and how he outwits them. He is so vulnerable in the first book, completely unaware of his abilities and powers. Growing up I loved Pippi Longstockings and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle so maybe there’s a connection.
    I stopped enjoying the Potter books after book three and didn’t continue on with the books or movies after that.
    If you like historical Fiction, I just finished As Bright As Heaven and I loved it.
    Are you doing PT for you ankle?

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