On Tuesday morning, I awoke early, fixed myself a cup of coffee, and turned on the TV to watch some mindless morning news. The channel was already set on a PBS station, and one of those early morning Annenberg classes was on–a literature class focusing on the works of Isak Dinesen. She was being interviewed. I was immediately riveted to the television, entranced by her presence and by everything she was saying. I’ve been fascinated with Isak Dinesen for a long time. I read her Seven Gothic Tales many years ago, and loved the movie version of Out of Africa, starring Meryl Streep, which I have seen many times. But I’ve never read the book, although it’s been sitting on my shelf for years and years. So that’s what I’m reading now–Out of Africa.
There are a lot of books on that “To Be Read” shelf. The most ambitious and the most daunting is the 11-volume set of Will and Ariel Durant’s The Story of Civilization. My Dad gave it to me for Christmas many years ago, and I’ve read parts of it, using it as a reference for things I needed to know at different times, but I’ve never read the entire series. And then there’s a whole potpourri of other books that I would like to read but haven’t chosen to do so yet. They all sit waiting patiently for me, many of them for years and years.