Our favorite places to be in summertime are in a berry patch, picking raspberries or blueberries, and at the library, picking out books. Last summer, hanging out in the berry patch, I starting thinking about how similar it was to being at the library. Thankfully, our library is air-conditioned and bug-free. But it brings that same sense of adventure, that same expectation that we’ll come across something wonderful today. Just as we love to bring home our berry harvests and make something delicious, we love to bring home our library harvests and savor them all week long.
For a long time, I’ve wanted to commemorate these library harvests, and especially keep track of which books from a given trip rise to the top for me and my kids (currently 3 and 7). It’s often a surprise to me which books become their temporary favorites – which ones must be renewed and read over and over again before finally returning them. Sometimes it is beautiful illustrations that capture them. Sometimes it is rich, playful language. Sometimes it is a theme that echoes issues they’ve encountered in their own lives. As a person who loves lists, I want to keep track of the gems we discover.
As a writer, I also like to keep track of the books and authors that inspire me. Whether it’s inventive language, a unique twist on an old theme, or an unexpected plot turn, I’ve found myself searching for a way to explore and think more deeply about the books that appeal to me, and why.
I hope that this blog will be a place where I can both explore stories — the ones we love, and why — and explore story — the creative act of making a story. And if we share an occasional recipe for berry muffins along the way, all the better.