If you know me at all, you would wonder why the statement “I read a book” would come with an exclamation mark. My family knows me as a reader, my friends know me as a reader, my colleagues know me as a reader. Even my students know I love reading. But as I’ve heard from others, during the pandemic, I have had long periods where I just didn’t read much. Not only that, but I didn’t have the same passion, the same “just one more chapter” feeling that has kept me reading late into the night so many times. I wasn’t reading with moments of laughing out loud or tearing up or thinking “what a great sentence, I need to write that down.”
This past week, though, “I read a book!” Consumed it in two days. Read into the wee hours, until I could not keep my eyes open another minute. I read a book, and I truly enjoyed the reading. I am going to share the book and some things I liked about it, but really the point here is more about the joy of reading. How sad it is to lose it, even for just awhile. The thrill and the deep satisfaction of experiencing it.
The book I just finished reading is Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses by Josephine Caminos Oria. It is a story filled with the crazy complications and simple love found in family life- including family ghosts. It is a fascinating glimpse into cultures- Argentine and the culinary world. Translanguaging throughout introduces many delightful Spanish sayings. (I think if I retain even a couple, using them would greatly increase my fluency in Spanish!) Some wonderful recipes are included, and the usual “number of servings” feature has a twist that is so much fun to read. The author’s realizations about family, love, and life are unique, yet familiar, inspiring reflection and connections to your own as you read.
I hope you, too, will have a reading experience that makes you exclaim, “I read a book!” When you do, be sure to share in a Slice!