since may of this year, i have become obsessed with shells and the mollusks of the sea. it came over me suddenly, and was the direct consequence of reading THE LITTLE BOOK OF SHELLS: GEMS OF NATURE.

the course of my life shifted, and i was set down a slightly altered path from where i was going before. i saw the world changing. i did not anticipate being able to comb the beach or plumb the tide pools for treasure, but found myself there before the end of the month, by happy chance, by stroke of fate.

i found myself walking miles along the coast with my dear cousin, whom i had not seen since the death of our grandmother some five or six years ago, and we poked at crabs and pored over the rocks of morro bay. one day we will meet again in florida, i expect, and do it all over again.

my own collection of shells has exploded — my bookshelves are lined with them. i have filled the pages of my notebook with drawings and excerpts from the many other seashell books i have greedily consumed since GEMS OF NATURE. full reviews coming soon.

but i have not forgotten my beloved horror, and there are some major books in other genres coming out in september that i anxiously await (a jane austen biography through her wardrobe by the brilliant paula byrne, a new haruki murakami novel — he is a genre unto himself — …)

my entire summer is already set up for reading. i have the books near at hand in a tidy pile. i cannot wait. for books, for shells, for glorious sunshine.