Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm a reading junkie.

One thing I enjoy about my job is perusing all the books that come in and out throughout the day. Often I'll snag a book I've never heard of, but piques my interest (usually after checking amazon for reviews). Last Thursday night I'd just finished up the book I'd been reading and was waiting on others to be returned. The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale stopped in my grasp, the intriguing black cover with splashes of golds and reds and greens catching my eye. Tucked inside my bag, the book traveled home with me and I started to read.

Set in England during the late 1700s, the book tells the story of Agnes Trussel (don't you love the last name?). Finding herself pregnant (not exactly raped, but not exactly consenting either...she seemed more naive than anything), she takes on unexpected escape after stealing some money. In London, she searches for a place to work and lands in a pyrotechnic workshop. She learns to grind and mix chemicals and assemble a variety of fireworks. Her master is a solemn, middle-aged man seeking to make the best fireworks, but also seeking the elusive combinations of chemicals to create color. They strike up a companionable working relationship and Agnes eagerly laps up all the knowledge her master will share with her. The 350-pages cover the 9 months of Agnes's pregnancy and her desperate plans to make herself an acceptable woman in a culture where unwed pregnancy is scorned. I thought I knew how the story would turn out; I didn't. It's an interesting, beautiful story. I admit to not following all the chemical combinations discussed, but I did ponder the amazing amount research that went into writing the book.

Now, here's why I'm such a reading junkie...Last night we turned the light out at 10 and sighed inwardly because I really wanted to keep reading, I saw the conclusion of the story within my grasp. I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't go back to sleep because our room was so stuffy. When I moved out to the couch, I actually thought about turning on the light and reading; instead I went back to sleep. At 8, I cracked open the book and started reading. 9:15 rolled around too quickly and it was on to showering and breakfasting and off to work. I snatched 15 minutes of reading on my break, but wanted more. When I got off work at 3 I called Jeremy (he had today off) and told him I thought I'd stop at Starbucks and get an iced tea and read. I literally couldn't wait until I got home. I knew I would get caught up in supper and such and I had to finish the book first, so I could concentrate on other matters. I bought iced tea and settled into a soft chair outside of Starbucks and read until I closed the cover. Now I could get on with my grocery shopping and the rest of the what the evening would require of me. I was peaceful once again.

I'm hopeless in the face of a good story.


Lana Joy said...

I love this about you, Steph. Not many people in the world could understand this, but you know I do (and several of your other friends, I presume). I'm impressed.

liz nelson said...

that book sound really intriguing. i may have to look for it at work.:)

Jeremy said...

You didn't tell me it was this interesting. Hiding secrets are we?

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