The Company of Women
Last night I flew in on a 8:00 pm flight from the Oakland Airport (California) back to Los Angeles, where I live. It was a great weekend. I've got family up there. People that I love dearly. I was raised in a beautiful, old two story house with my big rambunctious family of five brothers and one sister.
When I was a little girl, we had one television for the entire family. Today, everyone tends to have their own television. There's no need to compromise on what show to watch. Back then, age ruled out, which meant that when my father was around, he'd get to decide and we all could join him or go do something else. When I got tired of watching Bonanza , The Rifle Man and McHale's Navy, I'd get up and go find a book. I was happy to escape all the guy shows. My mother was older than my father, but she was usually not watching television. She spent a lot of time sewing and preparing meals not only for her children, but also any of our numerous friends who just might happen to stop by at dinner time.
I loved finding a place away from my brother's raucous banter. I relished a cozy spot under the large sprawling tree in the backyard and enjoying escapades of the heroines. I never read children's books. I read whatever was available. In our house that meant Danielle Steele, Sidney Sheldon and lots of Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe. It was an eclectic mix. Nothing was off limits.
If I wanted stories about adventurous women, books never failed to deliver. Although, as an English Literature major at UCLA, we seldom read books penned by females. What a shame.
Even today, the joy of immersing myself in a good book is a gift that I gladly receive. In the chaos of the world, a well told story provides respite.
What books did you read as you were growing up and how did books shape the person you are today?