It’s been one year. On the daily, I still think “I have to call Mom and tell her…” and then suffer through the gut punch that of remembering you are gone.
I still think about how we used to talk for hours about books. It hit me hard this week because one of our shared favorite authors, Adriana Trigiani, had a new book come out. Normally, you and I would have been doing a countdown to publication day. I did stop, look up, and say “don’t forget to preorder The Good Left Undone so we can start reading it together” last week. In the past I would have devoured the book so we could talk about it. To be honest, I haven’t even started reading it. I just can’t bring myself to start yet. I promise to start reading it next week. I can’t thank you enough for instilling a love of reading in me.
The year of firsts without you is over. First holidays without you. First time I was sick (yep, Covid) without calling you for advice. First Easter without a lamb cake. First Mother’s day without you. I think you get the picture. I know we all miss you and love you, Mom.
When you read advanced reader copies and post reviews, sometimes you get into a funk. Lately, even though I’ve been offered some good books to read, I have not been inspired by anything. Sometimes the best reads are recommended by your mom!
First, let me tell you about my mother. She is the one who shared her love of good books with me when I was a child. I have many happy memories of her reading to me and my three brothers when we were kids. A favorite of ours was the Poky Little Puppy. So many times my wonderful mother would fall asleep reading this book to us. All these years later, I still get sleepy and start to nod off when I see this cover.
So, my mom and I often talk about books we are reading, we want to read, or we have read. As we talk about them, our to be read piles grow exponentially. Some of the authors we have shared with each other – Preston & Child, Adriana Trigiani, Frederik Backman, Richard Adams – and so many more. The latest recommendation from my mom, Patricia, was The Tour by Jean Grainger. Mom told me how much she was enjoying the book and I immediately went onto Amazon and downloaded the e-book. I started reading on the evening of October 18, 2020 and finished in the wee hours of October 22, 2020. I devoured this book.
If you enjoyed all of Maeve Binchey’s books, you will love this story of a group of American tourist who are on a bus tour of Ireland. The characters in this story all seem so real. There is the easy-on-the-eyes and warm hearted tour bus driver, the snooty academic, the neglected housewife and her bombastic idiot of a husband, the mysterious Texan, two individuals who came to learn more about their Irish roots, the hot mess of a Mom who drags her antisocial musician son to Ireland to find a new sugar daddy, and the grieving, mousey widow trying to move on. This book is a masterclass in how to take a group of unrelated characters and have them change each others lives. I loved this book and can’t wait to read more in this series (YES!! There are more books in this series). I know I haven’t given many details about the book itself or what happens. I want you all to experience it yourself – no spoilers.
I think one of the reasons that this book resonated with me is the fact that I have been on a bus tour…with my mom. Yes, the same mom that recommended this book. Funny how that worked out, isn’t it?
In the 90s, Mom and I took a bus tour of South Dakota with the St. Joseph’s Indian School. This is a school that my grandmother started donating to when my mom was a child. We saw Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments, which were amazing. Even more amazing, the Black Hills and Badlands National Park. It was an inspiring and fun trip. As the youngest one the bus, I was so inspired by one particular tour member. She was in her 80s and only had one lung…yet she kept up with all of us. I don’t think I could do that NOW!
So, in this Covid-19 world, my suggestion is to do your traveling through books. Pick up The Tour and go on a bus tour of Ireland!!
I hope you all have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.