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I think I have too many good books around right now.  A big problem, I know.  But somehow because I have so many books, I end up not reading any of them.  Or I pick one up and I start it, but I get distracted wondering if this is the best choice to read right now – with so many books to read and not that much free time, maybe I should be reading a better book instead of this one?  It’s not terribly sensical, but it’s a fact of my life right now.  I’m hoping that I can get around it this weekend by bringing just a few books on the train with me, but I suspect the plan won’t work.  The books are all short and the train rides are long, so if I’m really into the books I’ll need a lot of them to keep me reading.  And if I have a lot of them…I’m unlikely to read any of them.  It’s just how it seems to go with me.  I’m thinking I might need to develop a kind of personal author study to keep me focused and to narrow down the possible books I’m choosing from.  Perhaps it’s time to catch up on Ann M. Martin’s post-BSC work or to read more of Kate DiCamillo.  I did love Because of Winn-Dixie.  The author I seem to be gravitating towards, though, is Madeline L’Engle.  Considering how many times I’ve gone on L’Engle kicks over the years I was stunned to find so many of her books that I’ve never even heard of.  I do love her families, and the realness of her characters’ emotions.  She’s not afraid to let her characters be smart, but neither is she afraid to let them be insecure, petty, and anxious.  In the end, though, it usually turns out all right – the characters’ relationships are stronger than any one person’s flaws and they always come through for each other.  Her books don’t necessarily have happy endings, but they have good endings, and that’s part of what makes me go back to her time and again.  And, again, her families.  In L’Engle’s books, families matter, love matters, but no one has to be perfect to be worthy of love.  It was an incredibly comforting message as a child and remains one as an adult.  Her books say, in essence, I can be me and even when I’m sometimes someone that I don’t like, I will be loved by these people just as I love them.  It’s real, it’s reciprocal, and it’s not sappy sweet.  One can almost feel the rock-solid foundation [time]

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