I’ve spent the past two hours listening to the rain and creating my Amazon wish list. I usually e-mail myself titles of books that I want to read, so instead of having them build up in my e-mail box, I created a wish list to keep them organized and to remind myself that I need to find more time to turn off the computer at night and read all the books I’ve been saying I want to read.
In looking at my wish list, I realize that the books are almost all nonfiction and that they reflect similar topics: mothers and daughters, food, and diversity. I often write about these topics and want to read more about them to help develop my understanding of how they play out in my life and the lives of others.
I like reading books about other people’s lives, perhaps because I’m a journalist. By nature of my profession, I look at the world as an ever-evolving story. Oddball characters, random roadside spottings and all things novel make me wonder what stories are lurking in the background.
I’ve found that seeing these types of stories played out in memoirs, and reading about real-life people, can make you realize that as far out as your own struggles might seem, you’re not as abnormal or as alone as you might think.
The memoir I’m reading right now, “Mother of My Mother” by Hope Edelman, has been having that effect on me. It’s about the bond between generations of women — grandmothers, mothers and daughters — and how that bond helps shape women’s identities. I’ve been able to relate to a lot of what the book says about loss and, in particular, the ways in which grandmas help fill the void that stems from maternal loss. The next memoir I’m planning to read is Mark Matousek’s “The Boy He Let Behind.”
If you have recommedations of books that I should add to my list, let me know. Though I love nonfiction, I like a good novel every now and then, too.