The Library of Mom

My mother loved to read. It wasn’t unusual for her to read an entire book in one day, but she preferred something really meaty. One time I was going to the library and she asked me to bring her some books. I protested that I didn’t know what she liked or what she’d already read, but she said it didn’t matter, she would read anything. “The bigger the better” was the only guidance she offered. I don’t remember what I grabbed off the shelf, but she was delighted.

This made it hard to choose something when I saw that the next Reading Challenge was “a book your mom likes.”

I read the entire Whiteoaks of Jalna series on her recommendation when I was a teenager, beginning with The Building of Jalna and finishing with Centenary at Jalna. When she passed away, I discovered that somewhere along the way she had acquired the full set in paperback. Since I had always intended to read them again some day, I took them home and added them to my own library.

I decided to re-enter the world of Jalna in 2011, but reading the books in the order they were written, rather than chronologically. I’ve only gotten through the first three (so much to read, so little time…) but I think it was a good decision, as I don’t have a sense of “this happened, then that.” After all, when we make friends with someone, we don’t learn their life story from start to finish, do we? However, I didn’t feel that reading another Jalna book would be a satisfying challenge.

Some of Mom’s other books I brought home are shown in the above photo. I’d only read a couple by Maeve Binchy, but I really liked them and wanted to read more. I read the Kathleen Norris novels when I was younger. I don’t think I’ll ever read them again, but I like to have them.

There was really only one possibility: Delderfield. She loved his writing and had many of his books, but I could never get into them, even though my sister also enjoyed them very much. Maybe it’s the fine print and lack of space between paragraphs that make it just so hard to read.

Pages from A Horseman Riding By by R.F. Delderfield

See what I mean?

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been very diligent about getting rid of things that I really have no use for, so I decided to just do read A Horseman Riding By, once and for all. It took me an entire month to get through Volume 1: Long Summer Day, but it was good, and I will be going on to read Volumes 2 and 3. Not right away though, as I want to get started on the next challenge!

2015 Reading Challenge

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