Wednesday, December 9, 2009

from generation to generation

There are a few people that I consistently go to for book recommendations. They have similar taste to mine and virtually every book they recommend, I read and enjoy, with few exceptions.

One of my main book gurus is actually my grandmother, whom we affectionately call, Nana. Today Nana turns 80.

Nana has been a lifelong reader and book-lover, and somewhere along the line of my life, we connected about the books we like and have never looked back.

She claims that my love of books comes from her, and at 80 years old, I don’t argue with her.

So for her birthday, I will buy her a gift card to borders, barnes and noble or joseph beth and watch her eyes light up.

She’s told me many times that there’s nothing like free money to a bookstore. For girls like us, it’s like a child in a colorful candy store. Similar to my feeling of wandering through my favorite yarn shop or a chef strolling the aisles of a gourmet grocery, we love books like others love food or yarn or beads or tools or gadgets.

So, although she has the money to buy herself all the books she could ever want, I will honor her today and celebrate our shared love of story.

I’ve recorded before my love for books, so I won’t digress, except to say that although we have quite a substantial age difference, our taste in books is frighteningly similar, save the courtroom dramas and murder mysteries she peppers into her reading list on occasion.

If she gives me a book, which is often, there is a 99.9% chance that I will like it. She’s turned me on to authors, genres and topics that I would have never known I liked.

So now, as I read Someone Knows My Name, by Lawrence Hill, I stick with it because it has come from a very respectable book critic.

Yes, it is long, and slow and detailed, but it has come with a lofty recommendation from a well-loved reader-relative from whom I wouldn’t expect to like this subject matter - and so I keep reading.

It’s the story of Aminata Diallo, who was torn from her African village as a child. In a story that spans six decades, three continents and an encyclopedia full of world history, Aminata’s story is both dangerous and endearing.

And although I am still on the pages detailing her childhood, I am slowly being drawn into the pages of her history.

And when I am finally done with this hefty read, I will turn to my nightstand and decide between the other books that have come from my most beloved reading companion.

Happy Birthday Nana.

I love you dearly and cherish this special tie that binds us.


CitricSugar said...

The world of words and ideas is truly a special thing to share.

Happy Birthday to your Nana! (Which, if I'm lucky enough to be a grandmother someday, is what I want to called.)

Sweet post.

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