Today I pulled up an old file titled “Favorite Books.”
My computer says this file was “Created Saturday, April 8, 2006 at 9:43 a.m.” I scan the list and am immediately disappointed to see what’s missing — no Beloved, no The Liar’s Club, no A Thousand Acres?
I feel even worse about what’s there. I mean, Pope Joan was an enjoyable story to read, but an all-time favorite? No way.
April 8, 2006. 9:43 a.m. A Saturday.
I’m living in Minnesota. I’m living in Minnesota, where I’ve lived for 12 years, and I don’t have a clue, not one iota of an inkling, that in 9 months I’ll be living in California.
A month earlier, to escape the long winter, I’d visited a friend in the south of France. I took this photo looking down from Eze Village.
A month from now, I’ll be reading Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety. I remember this because while I’m reading it my best friend and I will begin our irreparable break up. A split that will leave me more hurt, and hurt longer, than any romantic breakup I’ve ever had. This was my bookshelf in April 2006. A photo of me and my friend is just left of center. Her head leans toward mine. We are so small, so blurry.
On April 8, 2006 at 9:43 a.m., this is where I was. Today, 5 years on, more than 1/2 these books would not make my list. I am no longer that person. Where were you 5 years ago?
Ordinary People Pillars of the Earth Joy Luck Club The Kitchen God’s Wife Seabiscuit Prince of Tides The Poisonwood Bible The Pianist Outlander Night Trinity Exodus The Godfather The Handmaid’s Tale The Kite Runner The Kiss Bastard Out of Carolina Angela’s Ashes Into Thin Air The Color of Water Pope Joan Lonesome Dove Terms of Endearment A Map of The World The Hours Sophie’s Choice Smilla’s Sense of Snow