I first started keeping track of the books that I read in 1997 when I was already in my ’40s. These early records are incomplete, and some of the brief comments are laughable. But, inspired by JoAnn of Lakeside Musing who has shared her older journals in a series that she has named Pages from the Past, I’d like to share my journals with you. Herewith, a small sample from February through June, 1998. My record-keeping was thin on the ground!
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (Non-fiction, Autobiography)
Written when she was 22; includes various letters she sent as a girl and young woman. I was prompted to read by seeing a performance of Miracle Workerat Theatre Aquarius.
It’s really remarkable what this girl learned. In future I’d like to read the books she wrote later in life.
[2016 notes: I’ve known about Helen Keller all my life – well, at least since I saw the Patty Duke version of The Miracle Worker when I was eight years old. Keller was an incredible woman.
The Ragged Way People Fall Out of Love by Elizabeth Cox (Fiction, Southern USA)
Realistic, but not earth-shattering. I read the last half of the book while I was coming off Effexor [an anti-depressant] and perhaps I was not in a condition to grasp the story. Everything seemed strange.
How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto (Fiction, Women’s)
A good, quick read. I thought sometimes that the sections of “instructions” were overdone and too ethereal. But the stories of the people pieced together in this small town were fascinating.
[2016 notes: I remember little of this book, but it was made into a 1995 movie with Winona Ryder, Anne Bancroft, Claire Danes, Ellen Burstyn and Maya Angelou. I don’t think I saw the movie.]
Dogs Never Lie About Love) by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Non-fiction, Animals)
This was really interesting for the first half-dozen chapters, then it seemed to become a lot of padding and unsupported theories. In the end, no one really knows what dogs think or feel – we are limited by being able to think only in human terms. This I knew before I read the book!
[2016 notes: I had a spurt of rating my books around this time, and I see that I gave this only 2 stars out of 5.]
That’s all for the first half of 1998. Does anything interest you?
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