"Cold Tangerines"

I never seem to be able to read one book at a time. I think it's partly because I have such a large stack of books waiting to be read. I also have books waiting to be read on my Kindle. Sometimes I am reading up to four books at one time. I have recently finished several books and I have been enjoying reading "Spoken From the Heart" by Laura Bush (on my Kindle). I started it on the plane as we headed for Jamaica two weeks ago. And I was halfway through it by the time we got home. I had planned to finish it before I started anything new.

But the night we got home from Jamaica, I had a delivery waiting for me. It was in Amazon packaging. I knew my most recent purchases had been Kindle books. I opened it. I looked at the book and the invoice and saw that I was in Jamaica when it was purchased. And I was feeling curious about why I got this book when I suddenly discovered the gift note underneath the book. Someone bought this book for me because, she said, while reading it she kept thinking "Shari would love this."

The title of the book is "Cold Tangerines." The author is Shauna Niequist.

I wrote her an email to thank her and told her that as soon as I finished the book I was currently reading, I would read the one she sent, and let her know if I liked it. But the other night I wanted to read in my bathtub, so I needed a "real" book. (I have dropped books in the tub before and don't want to risk the demise of my Kindle.) I decided to read "Cold Tangerines."

At first glance, this book didn't look like one I would buy for myself. And I was a little curious about what kind of book this particular person thought I would love. I think it was that specific curiosity that made me want to read it sooner rather than later.

I didn't connect with the author right off the bat. But I kept reading. And I realized that I was liking this person more and more with each chapter. Not because our lives were similar, but because I related to her as a writer. I loved the way she described the "therapy" of writing...

"When I write, I can see things that I can't otherwise see, and I can feel things that I can't otherwise feel. Things make sense, in flashes and glimpses, in me and around me. They unravel themselves and line-up into black and white rows, and those rows nourish me, sliding down my throat like a noodle...."

And...

"Life reveals itself to me like a scroll unfurling, and I write about it. I struggle against myself, and I write about it. I feel afraid and crazy, and I write about it...."

And...

"I have had my vision, and I thought it would come in a flash, a bright beam of knowing. But it has come to me with a fight. It has come to me the hard way, through tears and fog and fear and chaos, and now has landed in the palm of my hand like a firefly."

I wanted to say to her, "Wow. You too? I thought it was just me."

I am not quite halfway through the book. But I can tell it won't take me long to finish. Although it isn't a book I would have been drawn to by the cover or the description, I'm enjoying it. And I'm enjoying getting to know Shauna. I love to read other people's details.

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