Some Stories Stay with You

Some stories stay with you. You don’t want them to end. Instead, you want to find the next novel and satisfy your need for a good book.

Some Stories Stay with You

This desire to read has been with me since I sat enthralled by the Dick and Jane primers in grade one. As a Florida girl, I longed to jump in a pile of autumn leaves and build a snowman. But, alas, Florida offered temperate weather without clearly defined seasons. More importantly, the illustrations and descriptions in books brought the desire for a different life as I became an adult.

The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Mason, is one of those stories. I invite you to read my review on Goodreads as a segway into a deeper discussion of Mr. Mason’s writing. Unfortunately, although I checked the spoiler box, I’m not convinced I revealed too much.

About Reading Styles

Do you find an author you like and then read their books until you finish all or get bored? What attracts you to that first book?

I saw Daniel Mason’s The Winter Soldier in the highlighted book display at my local library. The book jacket intrigued me as I picked it up and read the synopsis. Since I’m a lover of historical fiction, the time frame of World War I sold me along with the recommendation of Anthony Doerr.

Usually, I hunt for the next book from a favored author. However, this time the jacket called from the library stacks as I hunted for one of my mother’s favorite authors of Amish romance novels. Instantly, I recalled my desire to read The Piano Tuner and checked it out.

Borrow or Buy

As a writer, I usually buy books. Similarly, I support local garden centers over big-box stores whenever I can. But, conversely, I help my local public library too. It may seem like I’m hurting published authors, but by making books available to everyone, authors benefit too.

In Conclusion

Why do some stories stay with you? It’s simple. The author has created a world for escape. Additionally, they wove in one central, lovable character.

Today’s world seems overloaded with electronic storms of information. So I invite you to take a breather and visit your local public library or bookstore to find the story that stays with you.

Sweet Scent Memories Still Exist

This week I was reading two novels that mentioned sweet scent memories. They were extra special because I have the same memory, my father’s Old Spice after shave. Yet, as sweet as this memory is, there is a sweeter one. The aroma of cherry pipe tobacco smoke.

First Seeds of a Memory

At just two weeks old, I didn’t retain full memories, but these early weeks were when my bond with my father formed. It was the time between Christmas and New Year’s, when I imagine Dad had received the special cherry pipe tobacco as a Christmas gift, perhaps from my mother.

Mom was dealing with two baby girls in diapers and asked for help from her husband, my father. Although he put in long days as a farmer, an orange grove caretaker, he was happy to help with me. I was an easy baby; no colic, no difficulty taking a bottle.

I have a visual memory of a photo of my tiny self, propped on my father’s thighs as he holds my bottle in one hand and cradles his pipe in the other, smoke tendrils winding heavenward. He’s dressed in a white Hane’s t-shirt and still has on his work pants as he props himself against the wall behind the master bed.

How Specific is Scent Memory?

Sweet scent memories are very specific for me. I don’t care for all pipe smoke, only cherry pipe tobacco will do. How specific are your scent memories? I’ll bet they are very specific too. Is it cinnamon raisin bread baking, whole wheat or white bread in the oven?

Do you take action to expose yourself to your sweet scent memory? I sure did. Near the end of my Dad’s life he still occasionally smoked a pipe. He preferred Captain Jack in the gold pouch. And I always bought his preference, but I’d pick up a bag of cherry tobacco, hold it close to my face and take a big breath in. I think it brought me back to my two-week old self, securely cradled in my Dad’s lap, my tummy full of nourishment.

Books That Take You Down Memory Lane

The two books that stirred my memories this week were Tiger Drive by Teri Case and Stillwater by Mary Jo Hazard. Tiger Drive depicted a very different life than my own, but I identified with seventeen-year-old Carrie in many ways. Teri built her characters fully, giving me plenty of reason to care about the Sloan family. I highly recommend it.

Stillwater took place in a small town in upstate New York, during the approximate time of my childhood. The twelve-year-old characters in Stillwater spent a lot of time in activities my sister, cousins, and I enjoyed; playing in clubhouses or trees, riding our bicycles, and listening in on grown-up conversations. Both these books took me on a trip down my own memory lane. And isn’t that what books should do? They allow your own sweet scent memories to waft in and around the words on the page.

Are you reading a book that stirs your memories? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below or email me. Better yet, signup for my newsletter and we can have a weekly conversation.

Onto the next book,

Preparing for a Trip – What I’m Reading

This past week, I’ve been preparing for a trip. I’m busy pulling everything together including the books I’ll want to read.

A part of my travel plans for the summer involved finalizing my Global Entry pass with an interview. After nearly 3 months from my application, I was able to complete the process and use my pass ID.

Travel and a Global Entry pass

I heartily suggest you get one if you are planning any international travel. The cool thing is it includes TSA Pre status. At least I won’t have to worry about standing in a long line at Orlando International Airport this week. Here’s the link to the online information to start your application:

What I’m Reading

When I’m traveling I love using my Kindle. I share book titles with my husband who is an avid reader of mystery and suspense. Currently I’m reading Greg Iles Cemetery Road. I’ll also load The Quiet Game by Iles, Book 1 in his Penn Cage Series before I leave the unlimited Internet I enjoy at home.


Do you read books in order by date for a fiction author? I sure do!

I read fiction for fun, but honestly most of my reading is non-fiction, including memoir, which is the genre I write in. As a life-long student, I’m always reading something that is instructional whether for my work or my life. Here are two of these books I’m reading.

Be the Gateway by Dan Blank and Shimmering Images, A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir by Lisa Dale Norton.