I haven’t chatted with you lately about my latest reads.
Thanks to my mom’s book club, I just finished the epic, non-fiction Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Absolutely wonderful. Even though you already know the ending (they win the gold), it doesn’t matter. (Much like watching Titanic and still crying as if you are finding out the boat sinks for the first time). Worth it!
Currently, I am reading Stories of My Life by Katherine Paterson. Katherine Paterson was my favorite childhood storyteller, she still is. Fun fact: I happened to be in the very English department office that Ms. Paterson was in when she received the news that she had been awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Lifetime Achievement Award. She had taken the call while at Calvin College in my professor’s office (Gary Schmidt, who also happens to also be an award-winning Newbery author). He swore he would never get rid of his phone. I never forgot that.
Even if you have no idea who she is, Ms. Paterson’s memoir is sweet and endearing, like reading a cup of cinnamony hot chocolate. She writes from her heart, showing through her stories exactly the type of person she is – truly amazing. Here is a quote that I love from her introduction:
Another lesson I’ve learned along the way is that there are no truly original ideas. There are no truly original plots. As the writer of Ecclesiastes said three thousand years or so ago: ‘There is no new thing under the sun.’ Except you. Except me. Every individual is new and unique, so we may be stuck with the same old plots, but because a new person is telling the story, bringing his or her singular life to bear on the story, it is fresh and new. So the only excuse I have for daring to write is that no one else in the world would be able to tell the stories that only I can tell.
~Katherine Paterson, from Stories of My Life (p. 8).