Looking for answers to life's questions

As I’ve often mentioned in passing, books are my PASSION! I like many things but books are what keep me moving through life. My lifelong fantasy (get your minds out of there) had been to own a book store with a coffee/tea/gift shop included. I asked Barnes and Nobles if I could just put a cot in the back room and help out for free. They weren’t having any of it. I actually asked several. Working a job is no longer an option so I just hang out there for HOURS.

Books fall off the shelf at me. I will wander the aisles of books until one literally falls forward at me. No joke. Inevitably, it’s something I need to read. My search of it all has been for many things. Mostly, it’s a spiritual search. I know I’m not alone here, just most of us are reluctant to speak or write about it. Jean at “Seeking Life” has challenged me to open up. I’ll let her know when the courage finds me. You know the phrase, talk about anything except religion or politics. Well, I’m mum entirely on politics and religion is like skating on thin ice in spring.

Easy to grasp and lots of reference marks

Easy to grasp and lots of reference marks

I’m not religious in the traditional sense anymore. I am very deeply spiritual. I’ve had an inordinate number of unusual spiritual experiences in my life that sent me down a very meandering path. I think my reading reflects that.

Along with very eclectic interests, a large number of my books are on writing. Since college was not an option, I have tried to self-educate as there are many fine writers who have some wonderful books to teach those willing to learn. I even learn from Mike over at Eye Dancers. His novel is geared toward adolescent boys but I found it written well enough to keep me intrigued to the end.

I don’t just read most of my books. If they are any good, I absorb them. I’ve got little markers in many and some require highlighting for repeat reading. I found “Writing Is My Drink” wonderfully written, and quite helpful. Now I’m going to read Theo Nestor’s memoir. I can hardly wait to read “Sleeping Single in a King Sized Bed”.

Writing is my Drink did jump off the shelf. It now has lots of reference tabs.

Writing is my Drink did jump off the shelf. It now has lots of reference tabs.

Novels are rare for me but I just finished one and am working on the second recommended by Jackie at “To Breathe is to Write”. Jackie is a wonderful writer herself so I trusted her and downloaded Maddie Cochere’s new mystery, “Murder Under Construction”. It was funny, easy to get into with a perfect flow. One of those books you like to read before bedtime to relax. I’ll let you know about the next one after I’ve read it. I need books like this because so much of my reading can be a bit heavy at times. “Living the Course in Miracles” was much easier than the Course itself and helped make sense of it.

Then, of course, I must have writing, quilting and miscellaneous magazines to stir up my creativity. I could go to the library to read these, but they would not like me tearing out the pages I want to keep. So the books and magazines are insulation in my apartment. I hope they don’t crash through the floor. Are there any questions as to why I don’t get more done? My apartment looks like a cyclone hit with craft stuff on every surface looking for a new home but that’s another post entirely. The work will always wait for a book to be read.

The M. S. Living is a loan from my German  friend. No, I can't read it all yet.

The M. S. Living is a loan from my German friend. No, I can’t read it all yet.

I saw a sign on Facebook that said “The most unattractive thing you can say to me is that you don’t read.”

What are you reading that you feel excited about? Do books fall off the shelf at you demanding to be read? Isn’t it fun to wonder what’s going to fall next?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of my Next Read" (25)

  1. Thank you so much for the shout out Marlene. I’m glad you enjoyed Maddie’s book. It’s lighthearted and fun.

    As for books falling at my feet or tumbling off shelves, can’t say that has happened, but for some reason I get drawn to certain books. So maybe it’s the same thing. Thanks again and a wonderful post. 🙂

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    • Thanks fro reading Jackie. I loved Maddie’s book. I thought the books couldn’t do the falling off the shelf thing when I went to Amazon for so many but I will often find a book that I have not looked at in my shopping cart that is one I need to read. Let me tell you, that was spooky. I think there is a force with me that moves things I need to pay attention to. But that’s another story and I should get busy and write it. You have been a great help to me and I love your mystery writing.You are very good and I will continue to read your work.

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  2. Marlene, I need to take a look at some of the writing b
    ooks that you mentioned. I go through spurts and spells reading…I’ve been feeling a need to get some reading done. It always seems to be a passive accomplishment.

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    • I read every evening before bed. Get a lot of grief when family calls and I’m in bed at 7:30 or 8. I’m really reading. Books are in my car, purse along with notebooks. My purse is like lifting an extra 10 pounds and I have it on my walks. This last book by Theo Nester was great. Check out her blog on Wrdpress.

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  3. I certainly share your love of bookstores. Although I’ve been avoiding buying anything new since we’re in this condo with little extra space. I have a lot of books in storage which I hope aren’t ruined by moisture or mice.

    The last thing I bought at a bookstore was a Ukelele. It wasn’t expensive so I knew it wouldn’t be any fine instrument or anything but in fact it couldn’t be tuned so I had to take it back. I’ve been wanting one for a while. I have a guitar but a ukelele seems more portable. So I’m putting it on my shopping list 😀 I’m envisioning braids in my hair, maybe a couple of daisies tucked in, barefoot and strumming my ukelele in the sunshine. It’s good to have a backup career incase this retirement thing doesn’t pan out, LOL xoK

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    • Thanks so much for reading. I have a hard time too as I have many boxes of books still in storage. I looked at a nice townhouse and turned it down because there was nowhere to put bookshelves. The realtor thought I was nuts. Obviously not a reader or crafter. I worry about the moisture too since I am in Portland and it’s always wet here. So far, so good. Found my scrapbooking paper, stamps, dec scissors and so much more. It’s all in the floor of the dining room. China cabinet is almost full. If the dishes have to go to have more books, so be it. I only get books I plan to keep. Novels are a trade in item or kindled. I donate many.
      I can just envision you in braids, in a flouncy dress with a daisy braid strumming away at a beach for loose change. Hehehe. But you are no longer retired. Or is the scrapbooking gig just a front for playtime? If B&N would hire me, I’d be there in a heartbeat. First I have to stay upright. Giggle, giggle. Oops. 🙂

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      • Congratulations on getting all your crafty gear ready to rip. I just finished a work project Thursday and took time yesterday to re-group in the Boom-room. I generally make one ‘H.E. double-hockey-stick’ of a mess…hehe

        I think with a part-time job I should claim to be semi-retired 😀 That sounds impressive, HA. As for strumming for beach change, I guess I should get my butt to the coast, no beaches on these prairies. I wonder if cows would care to listen, still they don’t have pockets for that change I need to keep me in the semiretirement mode…..snort.

        I hope your able to recover sufficiently to enjoy what you love most. If it’s just a quiet life with books and crafts, that’s alright….works for me 😀 Stay inspired my dear, xox K

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      • Thanks Kelly. I wish I could say all is in order but that’s still yet to come. I have floor space again and some semblance of order. Funny how much more I accomplished when I was working part time. I think we use our time more wisely. I still have a lot left to find in the garage but I’m taking it in chunks. I have writing to do and charity quilts are waiting. Why do we do these things to ourselves???? A quiet life is my lot for now. Strumming on the beach could be fun though. Strumming on a prairie for the cows, not as inspiring.:)

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      • Hurray for finding all your gear!

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      • Most of it anyway. There are still a half dozen or more boxes to go through. I’ll definitely be ready for the next move. Yay!

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  4. Marlene – This is such a nice piece. I wish my books would fall off the shelf at Barnes & Nobel, but the store does not stock print on demand books. Since Apple Pie and Strudel Girls, I’ve learned a lot about writing, and today I finished the first draft (actually the 3rd) of my seventh book

    Oh, and a craft room — yeah, I’ve got one, too. It’s just as disheveled as yours, but that’s what we crafters do best, huh?

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    • Thanks for reading Barb. I see why things have been a bit quiet on your end too. Writing a book takes all your energy. Wish you great success with it. This one will be your lucky charm. I don’t have a craft room per se in this apartment. Sewing room doubles as guest room and office supply warehouse. Crafts will now be in the dining room space since I have no table or chairs. I have my cutting table in the dining room and the ironing board. As you can guess, my apt is one big work space. Books insulate 2 walls in the living room and one in the bedroom. There is no spare space. I even have stuff stored between the tub and sink. All very orderly…sort of. Right now, I’m going through the crafts and deciding what will stay and what will wander off to other regions. I’ve found card stock, stationary and scrapbook paper. 4 years in storage. Gone through boxes of photos and filled up a trash bin. My last move will be lighter. I agree about crafters. I need some organization but you can’t be creative without some mess so I let it go. If you come to see me, you are welcome anytime. If you come to see my home, make an appointment. I only clean for company. Life is good and MESSY. 🙂 I’m wishing you wonderful things.

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  5. There are so many ways to win my heart (yes, I am easily won over), and one of the best is to say that I challenge you! You flatter me, Marlene! I do hope you find your voice once you have a firm understanding of your spirit. I have a feeling there is much there to hear ❤

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    • Thanks for reading Jean. You are so very brave and a very good writer. I always enjoy reading your posts. I know what I feel but not the best way to express it. Working on it though. I’m a little bit out there for an old lady.

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  6. I am not ready to discuss religion on my blog but was happy to see Jean explore her feelings after which Kathy at Smart Living 365 wrote an article on the myths of religion. It’s funny how certain subjects pop up at the same time.

    I have started Maddie’s book as well and find it a fun and engaging story. I recently finished Garbage Land, talk about eye opening, and now need some thing lined up to read when I finish Maddie’s book.

    I am stunned when one tells me they don’t read. How can you live without reading? I don’t care if it’s fiction or non-fiction, it’s the best way to broaden your knowledge.

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    • Thanks for reading Lois. I was last married to a man that only read mechanical manuals. Not a book in the lot. Thought it was a waste. You can imagine how much fun he had being married to me.: )
      No, opposites didn’t attract. Ours was a relationship of practicality. We got married for the children, mine and his. If I only have 2 nickles to rub together, I will always spend it supporting writers before eating. So much has gone digital and all that work is not supporting them well.

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      • Marlene, I am struggling with a balance between my beliefs of using as little resources as possible and wanting good books to read. Much of what I want to read isn’t available in my library, I have bought books which when done have donated to the library but it doesn’t help me to find a new one.

        I get the need to buy books over food. I often wish I didn’t need to eat to live because food isn’t all that important to me, but books are.

        I’ve been with men who don’t read and it just boggles my mind. Fortunately, for the most part they were mindful of my need to have time to read while they had their hobbies, but mechanical manuals doesn’t sound like fun reading.

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      • I understand your frustration. That’s why I stand in a place of balance. I make a conscious choice not to be wasteful or destructive. But my belief is that things are here for us to use with as much consideration for the overall good as possible. I could go on and on but this isn’t the time or place. Maybe one day, I can be articulate enough to share what I’ve learned.

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      • I look forward to hearing about your insight, Marlene.

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      • Working on the courage and the wording. How to explain????

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  7. I’ve been in a book club for many years, so I find that I read more eclectic books since we vote on what we’ll read for the year.

    I’ve loved the last two books, both fiction. The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Fault in our Stars.

    On the subject of writing, I’ve enjoyed Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within) and Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird).

    Do you have a Goodreads account, Marlene? It allows you to track the books you’ve read and the ones you hope to read one day.

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    • Thanks Alys, I’ve read all of Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamott. Never heard of Goodreads but my daughter helped me create an excell spreadsheet for all all my books. It’s quite extensive. I have well over 100 books on writing alone. I really have no business in a bookstore ever again but there is so much good stuff out there. I will check out Goodreads. Did a lot of audible in the beginning of this illness because I could not read or watch TV. I still listen mostly to TV. Thanks for the recommendations. Like I said, when I read fiction, these days it must be light. Even the mysteries have to be somewhat humorous. My tabs on excel are also very eclectic. I have to admit, I’m nuts for quantum physics as it pertains to the Universe. I love (trying) to understand science too. I’ll learn from anywhere. You’ve been an excellent teacher too. Thank you so much. Hugs, M

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  8. willowmarie said:

    hi Marlene- I’m reading (studying really) ‘Anam Cara” by John O’Donohue. I think you’d really like it.

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    • Thanks Willowmarie. I have it in one of my boxes to still be unearthed from the garage. Trying to find where I can put more bookshelves. Slowly but surely we my daughter and I are working our way through the boxes. Maybe I can toss most of the dishes and put books in there. 🙂 I love John O’Donohue. Have a couple of his books.

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