Today is the start of a new year and the start of my first blog, Weekends@Peet’s, named after the warm and inviting coffee shop in Lexington, MA that I frequent on weekend mornings. I have been considering blogging about books for months, and New Year’s Day strikes me as an appropriate time to start. Maybe blogging is a resolution I will actually keep in 2018.
A light coating of snow had fallen yesterday and, as I stepped outside around 8:30 a.m., ice crunched under my boots and the air smelled of wood burning. It was -1 degrees when I arrived in Lexington Center and a thick frost coated Peet’s windows, with only four or five of the regulars having straggled in. I struggle with insomnia, so I had awakened on this holiday morning at 6:20 a.m., the time my alarm clock buzzes during the work week. After staying up a wee bit too late last night, only a large extra-hot latte could fortify me enough to write today.
One of the things I love about Peet’s is the sense of community it provides. Retirees, young mothers pushing babies in strollers, and cyclists fresh off the Lexington bike path (at least in warmer weather) all wend their way in for coffee, scones, and conversation. Many of the patrons are avid readers, so I oftentimes notice someone engrossed in a book and have to fight the temptation to ask his or her opinion of it. If you are a writer, or an aspiring writer like me, it is a great place to escape to when the walls of your usual writing space–in my case, a spare bedroom–feel like they are conspiring to shut out any original ideas.
I ordered a latte ground from Ethiopian Super Natural beans and, just before the cashier held out her hand for my card, I requested a pecan roll (an act of spontaneity that doomed my just-made dieting resolution). The coffee tasted like blueberries and counteracted the temperature, which rivaled that of Siberia during a cold snap. I chose a seat far from the frigid blasts coming in every time the front door opened and sat down to make my plans for this blog.
So, what will I be blogging about? Books. Nothing more. I am passionate about great storytelling and want to share my thoughts on fiction that worked, or didn’t work, for me. I hope to learn how to write better from analyzing the books that I am reading.
What type of books do I love? Everything from high-brow literature to bestsellers. I devour the Brontes and Dostoevsky and have a weakness for English tea cozies and police procedurals. I am amazed at the great books coming out of Hachette/ Ireland. (If you haven’t read Tana French’s The Trespasser or The Secret Place or Susan Stairs’ The Boy Between, please do.) I love the scratchy feel of unread pages between my fingers (or the cool touch of an eBook on my Kindle), adore a character who doesn’t do what I expect, and long for endings that surprise me. Wonderful dialogue is like a conversation overheard and never forgotten.
Where will I start? With Andrew Michael Hurley’s Devil’s Day. I’m seventy-five pages in and the book already reads like one I will find memorable.
So, here’s to discovering great books in 2018. Maybe this blogging resolution really is one that I’ll keep.