Friday, April 4, 2014

Just Books. Lots of Them.

I buzzed Tiny's hair this week, and as the light brown fuzz tumbled off on the Oklahoma wind, I couldn't help but think of Sarah, Plain and Tall, the scene where Sarah cuts Caleb's hair and tells him that the birds will use it to line their nests. You see, that's what the best books do. They take something ordinary (in this case, my valiant fight against Tiny's cradle crap) and interject beauty into it.

I admit that I don't always read the best books. Sometimes I read really dumb ones like the fantasy novel I read this week which contained this poorly thought out line: "he tasted of richness and warmth." Really? Explain that one to me…. But that's the risk you run when you read free Kindle books. And lately, I've been reading a lot of free Kindle books. Some days this goes better than others.

For instance, I was on a Jean Webster kick last week and read Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy, both of which I fantastically enjoyed, but because I was cheap and lazy (and was reading free Kindle books--this is getting repetitive),  the hilariously awesome original illustrations that are actually necessary to complement the writing were.not.included. I saw red. Philistines! How could they have destroyed Judy Abbott's utterly expressive works of art! (I was rereading Daddy-Long-Legs so I knew what I was missing, most notably, the drawing of Judy looking like a rabbit with the mumps after getting her tonsils removed--another mental image I will never be able to do without).

I also hurt my brain (reading free Kindle books--can we abbreviate this to RFKB?) by sampling some sci-fi literature that insisted on making up a completely new vocabulary for half of the proper nouns and a good deal of the verbs and not explaining what any of the new words meant until at least half way through the novel. It was like reading in another language. Context keys were king.

But, in the long run, RFKB is probably a better use of my nursing time than rotting my brains out watching TV or risking dropping my computer on the twins by surfing the Internet. So, RFKB it is. Today, I reacquainted myself with George MacDonald's The Light Princess, so it's not all bad.

Here's the question now: if everyone you knew was RFKBing, would you RFKB too?

And, to get back to the original topic of this post, what are those books that have transformed the way you see yourself by imprinting certain scenes on your mind until real life seems only an echo of something you have read before?

One last thing, if this face asked you to stop RFKBing and eat cake with it, would you? Because I totally would.

Picture courtesy of my awesome friend Angela.
Taken prior to the buzzing.
Which according to Tiny turned him into a bumblebee.
Buzz. Get it.
He's punning at two.


  1. He's so cute. Great photo, Angela--it's moments like these when you realize how much better photos are when they are not taken with your phone. Also, sorry about helping with your RFKB addiction, and I would totally rather eat cake with Timby than do almost anything else.

  2. love it! I envy you for having four kids and still finding time to read ... even free book or any books:):)