by Mary Anne Duggan
A long-distance lover might whisper over the phone line, “What are you wearing?” But I find the question, “What are you reading?” so much more intriguing. Thus, this week’s Write 6X6 prompt about our current literary delights really “lit” me up.
Someone once said, “I like to carry a book with me at all times in case nothing happens.” I feel the same way, and that is why I always have a book (or several) well within reach.
Lately I have three types of books going at any one time: 1) An audiobook for long car rides to GCC, 2) A non-fiction book to read in stolen moments throughout the day, and 3) A good, juicy novel. Here is what I’m reading now in each category:
Audiobook – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
When I visit my daughter who lives on the Upper West Side in New York City, I always stop by the Strand independent bookstore on Columbus Avenue. It was there that I stumbled upon Sapiens last month, and I thought it might enrich my learning of evolutionary psychology. It turns out what I don’t know about the history of our species is a lot, and I am so grateful to have found this book.
(Speaking of New York bookstores, I highly recommend the documentary The Booksellers available on Amazon Prime.)
Nonfiction – When Memory Comes by Saul Friedländer
Very soon I will be embarking on an educational delegation to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and prospects for global peace in the future. A dear colleague loaned me several books to help me prepare for the trip, and When Memory Comes is one of them. Friedländer’s memoir that spans from being hid as a child from the Nazis in World War II to living in the newly-created state of Israel as an adult is gripping throughout.
Fiction – The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
I always have one glorious novel on my bedside. When I spoke with my doctor just this week about having difficulty sleeping, he said that old saw, “Mary, the bed is only for two things.” Well, if I have to choose only two things for the bed . . .
Seriously, I’m not giving up reading in bed (or the other two things). The book I am reading now is a “Shannon Pick.” My niece Shannon has impeccable taste in books, TV, and movies, so when she makes a recommendation, I take note. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a fiction book based on interviews with a real Holocaust survivor. I don’t count it as a full-on historical record, but it is a well-written and enlightening story. It is at once dreamy and heartbreakingly tragic.
I’m off now to snuggle up with a good book (and not sleep)!