Think about it. I would have to have a pretty good library to house all the books I read. And I promise my house is not that big. So of course I have to find homes for many books. As a matter of fact most of them. You see it is very rare I ever reread a book, re watch a movie or the such. I see the first page or the opening of a show and it all comes flooding back. So no need to do it. As a matter of fact I would not keep 95% of all the movies we own if it was not for College Girl and Dear Hubby. 95% of all the books we have here are theirs too. College Girl has boxes of them in storage even.
Me? No. As a matter of fact I have one shelf on my bookcase that are keepers to me. Ones I will always have. Weather it be my all time favorite copy of Cinderella that I knew from childhood. It took me years to find the same copy after losing it in our house fire. I have two copies of Daddy's Girl since it was a book that was pivotal in my life for healing. After losing that in the same house fire I have kept all the copies I have found of it. Why? Well I have shared it often with other sexual abuse survivors as it helped me heal so well. Then I have a few autographed copies of books that are really there due to that fact alone. My few copies of books by Samuel R. Delaney are also there. Again, replacing my favorite author from fire ravaged time. And a copy of The Prophet by Kihalil Gibran for my all time favorite poem on love and marriage.
"Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."
So with maybe a dozen books residing on my keeper shelf, you must understand that a book has to speak to my soul deep inside to be there. Up until today only one book has made it to that shelf from my reviews (other than some autographed copies). It is The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn that made Emily come to life for me. Today I am adding another book to that shelf, 'To Be Sung Underwater' by Tom McNeal. I finished it this morning with great sadness. Yes, for I had to close the last pages and say goodbye to the characters I had found inside. That was like losing a part of my soul that sings a song as clear as the warbling of a meadowlark. The dictionary says that warbling is to sing or whistle with trills, quavers and melodic embellishments. 'To Be Sung Underwater' did just that with the story of a woman looking from the middle of her life at how she had ended up there. My heart heard the thrill of the love that had been sung in her early life. Hearing the lonesome call later in life trying to see if her soul mate was still out there. And ending in that very so quiet whistle of memories, desire and hope being just beyond reach, like where the dream fades and one wakes up to the reality of the day.
Thus today I will have a new book there. But one that already feels like it has gathered the dust from time. Where the pages are dog eared and yellow from use. That book that has been loved and owned just like the notes on the edges and the underlines to punctuate the best parts. Tom McNeal wrote 'Goodnight Nebraska' and 'What Happened to Tully' which was made into the movie 'Tully'. I hope I have a chance to read these along with many more of the 15 books he has written. I want to thank Blue Dot Literary for sending me this one for review. It has been like having air returned to my soul......it has been as if I could sing underwater.