Sunday morning musings

Sunday mornings are a special time, a weekly reprieve from plans and commitments, the one time each week when everyone at my house seems to just go with the flow and acknowledge that we have a tiny window of down-time. I’m typically the last to rise, which is only fair, since I’m up and at ’em before everyone else each day during the school and work week.

We float on our own paths toward the kitchen. My son ensconces himself on the couch with the TV on. My husband makes a yummy hot breakfast for the kiddo (today’s feast included french toast and turkey bacon). Husband brews himself a small pot of decaf; I show up afterward and make a big pot of the fully charged stuff.

And then we divvy up the paper. We’re modern creatures and enjoy our technology like good consumers, but we’ve stubbornly clung to our morning delivery of the local newspaper, hot off the press and printed on actual paper (which we diligently recycle after reading). There’s nothing like a cup of coffee and a big fat newspaper on a Sunday morning.

No conflicts in our house — we each grab our favorite sections of the paper, no need to fight or compete. The kid takes the comics, of course, not realizing that he’s lucky that his older siblings no longer live in our house, thereby avoiding the comics wars that used to plague us when we had a house full of kids. Hubby takes the front page — he’s a serious follower of politics and world news — and then moves on to sports, which is the green section in our paper.

Me? No surprise there. Straight to the book review section. I’m happiest when it’s full of fiction reviews, but I tend to read it all. I even take notes occasionally — books to read immediately, books to remember a year or so from now when they’re released in paperback, books to recommend to my daughter. This morning, my smartphone happened to be sitting right next to me, so without delay I navigated to the public library website and put in a request for a title that caught my eye. (I’m request #77 of 77, as it turns out — we’ll see if I still have any interest by the time it becomes available).

I love to read the “Grabbers” feature –“a selection of first sentences from new books” — you never know what will be there, but they’re always fun. I check out the literary guide to see which authors will be speaking locally this week.

And on the last page, I pore through the bestsellers list. I can’t help feeling a little glimmer of civic pride, product of my previously confessed book snobbery, when I compare the lists. Each week, the paper includes both local bestsellers, based on data collected from sales from local independent booksellers, and national bestsellers, based on “computer-processed reports from bookstores and wholesalers throughout the United States”. Here’s what I learned this week:

Both locally and national, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is #1 (and I’m request #300-something at the library — it’ll be a looooong wait for this one). From there, the lists diverge. Locally, bestsellers include A Hologram For The King by Dave Eggers, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. There’s not a title listed that makes you think “supermarket shelf” or “airport rack”. (I told you already, I am a book snob.) Looking at the national list, I see Debby Macomber, Emily Giffin, Dean Koontz, Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, and Danielle Steel. Clearly, lots of people enjoy these authors, but mass-market bestsellers do not equate with works of literature.

My to-read list now a few titles longer, I’m ready to move on to the news sections, business, travel, the arts, and yes, the comics. Sunday morning ritual completed once more, it’s time to face the day, plan our plans, and get out of the house. Maybe we’ll even manage to find sunshine within driving distance of home.

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone, wherever it may take you. And read some good stuff along the way.

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