Following a trail of books

I own a lot of books.  Most of them are paper and bindings, but some of them are stashed on a plain old Kindle.  I love to read.

Only, for a year, maybe longer, I hardly read at all because my concentration failed me.  During the months while my husband was interviewing for a job and then after he accepted the job and moved, it was all I could do just to read a few blogs on my phone.  The magazines stacked up, unread.  I couldn’t make it through a novel.  I just couldn’t follow along.  Reading became impossible.

But now we’ve been in this house almost a year.  I’m starting to settle in.  I picked up a book not long ago, a book I’d heard about directly from the author, Stephanie Kallos.  I was lucky enough to hear her speak at a conference.  She passed around a photograph of a grand piano in a field.  A tornado had picked up that piano and deposited it in that unlikely place.

And that photograph inspired her to write Sing Them Home.  And so when I looked at my bookshelf, that’s the book I picked out to read.

When I finished it, I read the thank-yous she posted in the back.  She mentioned Sue Monk Kidd by name.  So, I followed that trail and located the book, Traveling with Pomegranates, on my shelf.  I bought it new because I love memoirs and I like Sue Monk Kidd’s “voice.”

So, that’s what I read.

Sue Monk Kidd described in that memoir how she came to write The Secret Life of Bees, which prompted me to find my copy and begin reading it when I finished the memoir.

Now I am halfway through The Secret Life of Bees.  I think when I’m done I will read her Mermaid book, unless I find some other trail to follow.

Do you do this?  Choose books as they point you to another book in some way?  I also like to read all the books a particular author has written, in chronological order, although sometimes that gets tricky.

What are you reading?  How do you choose what to read next?

5 thoughts on “Following a trail of books

  1. Yes, I follow book trails all the time. I have several friends/family members who ask me to post what I’m reading on Facebook…they like book trails, too! 🙂 And when we first moved to Michigan I suffered from lack of focus, too…too much going on, too much sensory overload. But we’ve been here 15 months now and I’m back to reading again, too. Right now I’m reading Joanna Trollope’s “The Daughters-in-Law”. She is one of my all-time favorite Brit authors, right up there with Maeve Binchy. I ordered several books on Amazon the other day and they’re shipped and on their way. I ordered her newest one, “The Soldier’s Wife” and it will be shipped soon; the release date is around the 12th. I’m on hiatus from taking care of my grandsons until August 1st so I plan on doing a LOT of reading between now and then. And speaking of book trails, I’m going to go take a look at “Sing Them Home”.


  2. I still have a stack of memoirs you sent me before your move. LOVED everyone of them.
    Presently I’m reading Mary Chesnut’s Civil War Diary. Lately I’ve been in a history mood.


  3. Love to read. Finished reading The Secret Life of Bees on Memorial Day after reading your blog a few weeks ago when you were looking for your copy. I had received a copy for Christmas a couple years ago but had never gotten around to it. …I love book trails and would be interested to know what some of your favorite reads have been. Although I read a lot of biographies and classic fiction, a couple of my favorite authors are Leonora Pruner and James Scott Bell.


  4. Oh! And I just bought Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. It was a recommendation from J. Piper’s son. Can’t wait until my students finish this quarter and we have break!


  5. I don’t follow book trails. I re-read some books. I find an author I like (Edith Pargeter), then read most everything they’ve written, sometimes.
    By the way, I liked Susan Howatch’s Starbridge series, and you may, too.

    I read books about faith (Frederica Mathewes-Green) or disability, periodically.
    I read books my book club chooses, which I almost always dislike, but I like the women in the club. 🙂

    Right now, I’m reading the lastest in the Maisie Post-WW1 mystery series. They open a chapter of history I wasn’t previously familiar with. Not great, but very good.

    Also reading Alan Jacob’s The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, which is giving me great ideas for future reading. (He was at FFW four years ago, with his book on SIN!)

    Like you, I have had times of great stress where I’ve been unable to focus enough to read a book through. During times of lesser stress, reading helps give a break from it, and alleviate it.


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