Category Archives: Nostalgia

The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb

From the look of this blog, you’d think I hadn’t read a book in months.  Other than Toddler books, you would be mostly right!  However, when I was home in the US this summer, my Mom recommended this book, “The Last Time I Was Me.”  The title looked rather depressing.  Kind of like the story of someone having a nervous breakdown…and, what do you know?  It WAS!

However, it was much much more.  First, the majority of the story takes place in northern Oregon.  I am pretty critical of authors who write about Oregon because I “check to make sure they got it right.”  And Cathy Lamb does get it right.  So, the setting itself was nostalgic in many ways.

And the story was riveting.  I forsook parenting and sleep to FINISH the book before coming back to Japan (it was a library book, and Jun had Grammy and Grandpa to play with her!) 

I am attracted to novels that deal with emotional or psychological struggles in a healthy and mature way.  I learn so much more from the novel format than I ever do or will from a textbook.  That’s how my brain and heart work.

This is a great story of healing, new life, hope, true friendship and love.  Give it a read!


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A Painted House by John Grisham

Oh so many years ago a friend forced me to borrow her latest John Grisham lawyer novel.  I protested and protested, but ended up bringing it home.  And have read 99% of what he has written since.  Often I have been impressed.  Sometimes disappointed.  A Painted House is a keeper.

This book is completely unrelated to lawyering.  It talks about life on a cotton farm a long time ago.  It talks about perspectives, dreams, reality, community, relationships, classes of people, and life.

Through the thick and the thin, the author keeps a sense of humor that has made this one of the few books I’ve read again.

I think this will become one of my summer reading novels, year in and year out.

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Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Well, this book nearly meets my criteria.  I could do with a little more dialogue, as sleep deprivation makes it kind of hard to concentrate for extended pages of description.

However, the era is right up my alley.  Summer, 1928.  The boy is 12 years old.  The town has front porches, lawns, huge trees, ice-cream trucks.

This is totally a setting from my childhood – NOT!  So why is it so nostalgic?  Beats me.  But it had me daydreaming about my own summers and the summer memories my baby girl will have.  So far her experiences are so so different from mine, that I struggle to remember that things that are so strange to me, will be her “normal”.  I guess it is the contents of life rather than the outer form that are most important. 

So, I am savoring each page and am thankful for the short chapters so I can put it down to make supper and rock that sweet baby to sleep.

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