Such an Adventure!

I haven’t been to the library in months. Even though it’s been closed because of The Bob, for a awhile I was able to get books by appointment. That was an interesting experience — they’d come to the door and hand the requested books to me, then quickly pull back inside as if we were doing some sort of undercover deal. Real spy stuff.

Then, even though we still hadn’t had a single case of The Bob in town, they completely closed the library. So I read all my emergency books — a hundred or so paperbacks I’d collected that I wasn’t particularly interested in reading — and then I started in on my emergency emergency stash. First I got caught in the spokes of The Wheel of Time, reading and rereading and rerereading all fourteen volumes comprising four million words. More recently, I’ve been reading books I had on my Nook, including a whole bunch of Clive Cussler books, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and aother books I had been eschewing.

The library has been open for about a month now. The hours were shortened considerably, and the number of patrons severely limited, so I kept up with my Nook stash so as not to add to the confusion. Besides, there was that wonky knee thing.

Today I ran an errand (walked, actually), which was rare for me this year. Although I’ve been doing well walking just to walk, I’ve been hesitant about carrying things. I had come out of the store with my few items and was thinking that it was about time I checked in with the library when I heard, “We miss you at the library.” There stood one of the smiling librarians. We talked for a few minutes, then, considering that a sign, I teased her that she’d shamed me into it, and I headed for the library.

Oh, so amazing! Books! A building full of books! A place where you can walk in empty-handed and walk out with a satchel full of books. Wow! What an experience!

They told me about an upcoming reading contest. I reminded them — jokingly — that I’d won the last contest, but The Bob had kept me from my prize. This contest will be fairer. For every five books read, your name is put in a pot, and at the end of the contest, they will draw a name. It’s the only way to give someone else a chance. Otherwise they might just as well forget the contest and simply hand me a prize. I’m being a bit facetious here with my tone, though this really is the truth of the matter.

I have no idea if any of the books I lugged home will be worth reading, but they are BOOKS! Real books made with real paper.

Such an adventure!

I might have to try this again sometime.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

An Insular Life

When I started with the internet, blogging first then signing up for various networking platforms, I had no patience for people who posted about the minutiae of their lives. I especially didn’t care what they ate — it didn’t seem to have any relevance in the grand scheme of a thoughtful literary life, and it certainly had nothing to do with my objective of making a name for myself as an author.

Well, here I am, a dozen or so years later, writing about my latest meal. In my defense, with the isolation, meals are basically the only thing I do of any value. And generally, if I stick to a healthy diet, my meals are boring. Salads get tiresome, as does any sort of vegetable eaten regularly for any length of time, and trying to find healthy proteins is a lost cause.

Today I decided to put some effort into making something different. (It was either this or ordering a pizza I really do not need). It might not look like much, but this spinach mushroom quiche alternative (baked eggs without a crust) turned out to be quite good.

I’m continuing to wean myself away from the computer, which leaves me with little to do but read. Since I finished my emergency stash of books, and since my email to the library with a list of books for me to pick up curbside resulted in no action, I’m in emergency-emergency mode — immersed in The Wheel of Time, a 4,000,000 word literary work that I’ve read many times before. The best thing I can say about it (besides its length — no need to look for books to read for a long time!) is that it has to be the quintessential good vs evil story. Or more accurately — sort of good some of the time vs, mostly evil all of the time.

It’s exhausting, not just the constant conflicts between the good and evil, the good and good, and evil and evil, but the sheer amount of activity. All the characters are always on the move, traveling from one part of their world to another, on foot, by horse, or by ship.

And the food they eat is even less interesting than what I generally eat — so often, they are on short rations of porridge, cheese, dried meat, and crusty rolls or bread sometimes flecked with weevils. (I must admit, though, that bread or rolls hot from the oven does sound wonderful. Minus the weevils, of course.)

I’m getting to the point where I can’t imagine a different life, though I don’t know if that is a good thing or a not-so-good thing. But it is what I have, at least for now.

And anyway, even if I couldn’t find anything more relevant in the grand scheme of things than my insular life to write about, at least I’m still writing every day.

That’s something to the good. At least, I hope it is.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Looking for Book Recommendations

The library here is closed until further notice, but luckily for me, they will take orders for books, and I can pick them up at a designated time. (This is so cloak and daggerish, it really tickles my funny bone.)

I do have an emergency stash of books (and an emergency e-stash for when my paper books are gone), but this cloak and dagger service might not be available for long, so I want to make use of it while I can and save my stash. The problem is there are only a few specific novels I want to read, so normally, I just peruse the shelves, grabbing any book with a title that catches my eye and a blurb that sounds interesting.

With the library closed, I cannot do that. Nor can I order any of the novels on my short list since all those would need to come from another library, and I’m not sure if inter-library loan is available during this time.

So, do you have any suggestions of books for me to order from the library? Or an author to research? They have to be traditionally published books (and authors) since for the most part, those are the sorts of books this library has.

Thanks for your help!

And no, this isn’t my library. Would that it were! It’s the library in a monastery in Prague.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.