One of my favorite poems is “The Reading Mother” by Strickland Gillilan (1869-1954). You know, the one that ends with the lines “You may have tangible wealth untold /Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold /Richer than I you can never be / I had a Mother who read to me.”
Growing up, ours was not a house filled to the rafters with books – unless they were in my bedroom. My parents weren’t avid readers and to this day, my mother is probably good for reading two – maybe three – books a year. I don’t remember my Dad reading anything other than two newspapers a day or the latest issue of Popular Mechanics. So I’m not quite sure, exactly, where my love of reading came from. Make no mistake, though … my brother and I were definitely encouraged to read.
We were taken to the library often, and I distinctly remember my mom co-signing for my first library card and encouraging me to write a fan letter to author Carolyn Haywood (pictured at left).
I also remember one library book that apparently made an impression on my mom, because she was glued to every word. As if it was yesterday, I remember sitting on the sofa with my mom in our Northeast Philadelphia twin rancher home, asking non-stop if I could read her book. I’ve never been able to find it since. It was about a boy named Gideon – I’m pretty sure his name was Gideon, or maybe something close – who may or may not have had some learning challenges. A beige cover is in my mind. Ring any bells, anyone? This would have occurred in the mid 1970s.
Anyway, with this being the Mother’s Day edition of The Sunday Salon, I wanted to give a special Mother’s Day thank you to my mom for teaching me how to read at age 3, taking me to the library, and still – as a reader of this blog – always encouraging my love of reading and writing.
As for other reading updates this week, I finished Cathy Marie Buchanan’s debut novel, The Day the Falls Stood Still. What a captivating read! It’s a historical fiction novel, usually not my genre of choice, but this one had so many great reviews from other book bloggers that I had to get it at the library. I’ll have a full review up this week or so.
For last night’s dinner, I made a fried rice recipe based on one from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything,
so it seemed appropriate that his book, Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating
was the one I selected as my current read.
Our diet is basically a flexitarian one, with the kids and I eating chicken a few times a week and The Husband staying to a vegetarian diet. We could do better, though, and the staggering statistics presented in Food Matters
(and the recipes!) will be a good motivator.
Also on tap for this week are two other library books that are due back this week (with no more renewals), Morning Drive: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking
by Michael Smerconish (who I am a big fan of) and True Believer
by Virginia Euwer Wolff, which is the second in the young adult Make Lemonade
trilogy.(See my review of Make Lemonade here
– which also holds the distinction for being the most searched on topic on this blog.) It’s also a good Mother’s Day themed book, because it deals with how it truly takes a villiage to raise a child and the choices we make as mothers and those who care for kids.
Hope your reading week is a good one, and if you’re celebrating Mother’s Day, I wish you a wonderful day!
I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a Mother who read to me.
Thanks for sharing this post!