Art + Books = Bliss
Here’s what I think…. artistic, creative women are very often avid readers! When I get together with kindred-spirits who like to make things and get crafty, we inevitably turn our conversation to what books we’re reading… we can’t help it. One of my favorite things in the world to hear are the words, “Have you read….?” That’s why I want to share “The Art of Reading” with all of you. Here’s how it goes: from time to time (hopefully once a week!) an amazing, talented, creative friend of mine will share with you a little about her art, and a little about her reading. It’s a little sneak peek inside the bookshelves of someone you might like to know! Hopefully, you will be able to add a few books to your “List of Books to Read,” and you will also check out a new blog and see something beautiful and inspiring. Stop by soon for another reader profile, and in the meantime, happy crafting and happy reading!
Let me introduce: Brigid Devney-Rye
Blog or website: Makeitbe.net
What creativity do you share with the world? I love making knitted and felted handbags, and this is the focus of my business. I sell my bags on my website and at the occasional craft fair, but the major part of my business is custom orders. I started knitting just a few years ago and started my business six months later when I realized I had enough knitted handbags and people would pay me for doing what I love.
- Book OR e-reader? E-reader
- Buy OR lend from the library? Lend
- Hardcover OR paperback? Hardcover
- One book at a time OR several? One fiction, one non-fiction
- Skip ahead and read the last page OR be patient and wait? Oh my goodness, I would never skip ahead!
- Abandon a bad book OR stick with it no matter what? Abandon if not enjoying in 50 pages
- Laugh OR cry? cry
How do you acquire the books you read? I get most of my books from the library. I love the library! I always have. I usually request what I want, and I love that feeling of seeing my name on the shelf with the book I have been wanting waiting for me. It’s like a free gift. During the summer when we travel, or when I have run out of something to read, I read books on my Kindle. My Kindle has solved that anxious feeling of “I have nothing to read!”
How do you choose the books you read? I lay in wait for authors I like to publish new books (Harlan Coben, Jodi Picoult, Emily Griffin, Meg Cabot and Mary Higgins Clark among others); I take recommendations from blogs I read—these blogs are lifestyle blogs but bloggers, like crafters, are also readers; I love walking through book stores. I then write down the titles and request them from the library, AND I roam through the library aimlessly and pick up what appeals to me
What book have you read in the past year that stands out to you? The Tale of Halycon Crane was my favorite book of 2011. It is written by Wendy Webb, the promo reads: “A young woman travels alone to a remote island to uncover a past she never knew was hers in this thrilling modern ghost story.” Doesn’t that just sound good?
Do you have a childhood favorite? I loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series, by C.S. Lewis– such an escape and fairytale for bigger kids. (The British television series is really true to the books).
What is one of your early reading memories and why is it special? I loved reading stories with my mom, dad and sisters in the evenings before bedtime. The memories of this time became all the more special because my dad died when I was nine years old.
Who have been your reading role models, mentors, or companions over the years? I grew up with a mom that always had her nose in a book. Reading for fun was part of our daily life and I regretted having to put reading for pleasure on the back seat during college.
Here are my top ten favorite books of all time: I have been keeping a list of books I have read for the last 22 years (I’m 50, so almost half my life). It is impossible for me to choose only 10 books but these are ones that really stand out:
- Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
- The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter
- A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
- The Return of Jonah Gray by Heather Cochran
- Love Walked In by Marissa de los Santos
- The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
- Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
- The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot
- House of Fog and Sand by Andre Dubus III
Do you have a special book that you like to give as a gift to others? I have given Creating a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran out countless of times, it looks like a cute little book but has great advice.
The last book that made me cry…. I just finished wiping the tears from my eyes from reading Home Front by Kristin Hannah. This is a book about a woman who is a mom and a helicopter pilot who is sent to Iraq and returns home changed. I really loved the way this book gave me insight into what war life is like. This is what I love about books, you get to experience all sorts of things without actually doing them. It gives you deep insights into other people.
What is your favorite place to read? I usually read in bed before going to sleep. No matter how late I might get to bed, I can’t fall asleep until I’ve read at least a few pages. Since I do read in bed I am often motivated to go to bed quite early. My daughter usually joins me in bed for a bit before she goes to bed. She’s 14 now and we have been doing this forever, it’s so cozy. But my absolutely favorite place to read is on our boat during the summer. We are fortunate to be able to get away from Phoenix for quite a bit over the summer and spend time on our boat in Canada. When the boat us underway is my favorite time to read, I curl up on the settee in the galley where I have a great view of the ocean, with an ocean breeze coming in and a blanket on my feet I feel truly at peace with my book.