Back from a bout with the flu, and grateful for the joy of reading: After the chills, the aches, the fever, passed, I was too worn out to write. So I yielded to the pleasure of a reading feast. From my earlier, happy wanderings through book stores, I had a stack of unread books just waiting to be read.
Even though I write books for children, I read anything and everything that I deem well-written. One of my weaknesses is mysteries, and there were a few on hand: Bodies in a Bookshop, a story that takes place in London. The Lost Keats, set in Indiana. (Anything to do with books or dead poets hooks me right away.) A new Cara Black mystery. On another day I'll blog a bit about her mysteries, because reading one of her books is like a free trip to Paris. I also discovered a luminous book, The Speed of Light, by Elizabeth Rozner, which defies genres, but goes into the pile of "must read again".
Next week I will probably start back to work on Granny's Jig, but I'm still enjoying my reading spree. I'm immersed in The Year of the French, by Thomas Flanagan, a novel about an Irish rebellion, aided by the French, that took place in the summer of 1798, fifty years before the Great Famine. It's an earlier period than the one I'm writing about, but it certainly gives the background to the sorrows immigrants would have carried to the New World with them, having listened to the many stories passed on at home.
Meanwhile, despite ten days' confinement to "resting", my little world has been greatly enlarged: Indiana, England, France, Ireland.... Only through reading can one travel so far, go back in time, and have such rich journeys in the space of ten days, without setting a foot outside the door.