On Richness and Reading

October 11th, 2012 § 7,348

I know when some people dream about being rich, they dream about owning swanky cars, carrying expensive purses, throwing lavish parties in the house of their dreams.

When I think about being rich, sometimes I fantasize about having an open tab at a grocery store. But mostly, I just think about being able to buy all the books I want off of Amazon.com, and possessing the time to actually read them all.

I love books.

I love owning them.

I love underlining in them.

I love giving the good ones away to people I care about in moments that matter.

I’m not at a place in my life where I’m rich enough to buy all the books I’d like—and I probably never will be—but I will say that finishing college has afforded me more time to read for pleasure since I-can’t-remember-when.

Here’s a quick run-down of a few of the books that’ve made me especially wealthy these past six months.

Blood, Bones, & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef: Good golly, I devoured this book! Admittedly, I love food writing. And I have a severe weakness for memoirs. Hamilton’s book is a hearty portion of both, and she’s a fantastically gifted writer to boot.

My Korean Deli: Risking it All for a Convenience Store: Seeing as I just disclosed my love for memoirs, this book was a delight. Not one to change your life or buy in bulk, but one to pick up when you want a real story cluttered with colorful characters who are learning about risk and relationship the hard, sometimes humorous way.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life: No one can put words on a page that have me laughing out loud more often than Anne Lamott. Her reflections on writing are as honest as they are helpful to any and all humans who have ever tried to create something. Glad to have finally gotten this one under my belt.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures: This book came highly recommended to me, and it was a gritty, difficult, thought-provoking read. For anyone with an informal interest in medical anthropology, or for those who’ve ever wondered about the intersection of culture, health, and healing, this book is a must-read.

The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection: If I’ve read anything in this season that has so excited me, that has plucked at my heart strings, that has brought me ridiculously close to stopping a stranger buying onions in the produce aisle, it would be this book. After reading Supper of the Lamb, I have a gigantic crush on Robert Farrar Capon—never mind that he’s 87-years-old—and I’d bet a meal around a table you will too. Part cookbook, part theological rumination, I can scarcely believe how many times his wit had me laughing out loud, while the richness of his reflection clubbed me right over the heart. I love this book!

 

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