Reading a Book is Something I Enjoy
Reading, An Absorbing Pastime
I like reading a book in my spare time, it's something I've done for years.
I've been reading since quite a young age and won a couple of prizes for Reading at Junior School.
The type of books I read has changed over the years but I still enjoy a good novel.
Occasionally I read magazines and I do more online reading these days especially here on Hubpages. I also like to read autobiographies and biographies as well as other books on religion, psychology and how-to books.
I've included in this writing some information about myself and my other interests, though only briefly.
I am currently reading a book which I will write about and mention a few others that I've read. Do you you enjoy reading too? I'm sure you do. Many here on Hubpages are avid readers.
'About Me' - A Brief Outline
Reading a book is something I enjoy but first I'll say something 'about me'. I'll be turning 57 this year (2013) in September and think I'm fortunate to have reached this age, although some would probably say I'm still a spring chicken; at least that's what they said when I turned 50.
I had a happy childhood growing up in a quite a large house in the suburbs of my home town; I have a brother and two sisters, my parents looked after us well. I spent quite a lot of my childhood at home outside playing in the garden or the next door neighbours garden and later, when my father had a tennis court constructed in our back yard, I spent quite a lot of time playing tennis.
Both my parents read a lot; I probably developed an interest in reading through them. My 93 year old mother is still alive and she is still a keen reader.
Some of my other interests are: family, walking, day hikes, oil painting & art, internet, some gardening, TV, movies, swimming in the sea, psychology and Christianity.
A Book I'm Reading
I'm reading a book written by a South African author by the name of Dalene Matthee, it's called 'The Mulberry Forest.' Dalene wrote thirteen books in her lifetime; she was born in 1938 and passed away in 2005.
Two of her well known books are 'Fiela's Child' and 'Circles in a Forest,' both of which were made into movies, which I've seen. She was known to have done extensive research for her books and went to the areas about which she wrote to gather information from various sources such as people, and to explore and research the habitat in these places.
The Mulberry Forest is set in the beautiful but sometimes daunting forests that surround the small coastal town of Knysna in South Africa. A woodcutter and his daughter are living peacefully in a part of the forest known as Gouna when a group of Italian silk farmers arrive to supposedly grow mulberry trees and breed silkworms so as to produce silk for commercial purposes.
The woodcutter is apposed to them settling in what he deems to be his area, even though he's living there illegally. However he does help them with moving their tents to safer ground when it rains, and cuts wood for them. The daughter of one Italian couple have misplaced their daughter in Cape Town; somehow she didn't board the ship that sailed to Knysna in time. The woodcutter does much investigation into this matter and attempts to press the authorities to get her onto a ship to travel to Knysna to be with her parents again.
The silk farmers are not very successful in their attempt to grow mulberry trees for their silkworms to live off. They have a difficult time living in the tents with the rain and cold and are afraid of the dense forest.
He also gets involved in trying to get the silk farmers to travel back to Italy by ship. The book is set in the late 1800's and communication between government and the authorities concerned is slow. At times it seems as if nothing is being done about the plight of the silk farmers, while the woodcutter fears that his daughter who is starting to mature, might get involved with one of the men that are living in the area.
Visiting The Forest
Some years ago I spent a couple of days in Knysna (The town and area in which the book I'm reading is based on) and drove up into the forest and walked about there. There are a few quaint old houses in the area; the forest is lush and many trees grow there, some of them are massive. Many are stinkwood and yellow-wood trees that are used to make furniture and other wooden items.
In the book 'The Mulberry Forest' Dalene Matthee writes about the elephants known as 'big feet' that roamed freely in the area. The woodcutter is afraid of these elephants as they can easily trample and kill a man. He does not like the idea of shooting an elephant but nevertheless takes a gun with him when he hears news of them having been seen nearby. Apparently there are still a few elephants in the Knysna forests but they are rarely seen.
Returning to the book; a ship had left from Cape Town on its way to Port Elizabeth. It was carrying passengers who would disembark at Knysna which was on its intended route. The young girl who had gone missing was said to be on board the ship. Unfortunate news reached Knysna that the ship had sunk near Cape Town and there were not many survivors.
The woodcutter, known as Silas Migal teaches the Italians to cut wood to build houses. A sawmill is to be constructed between their new dwellings. He finds out that his daughter is pregnant; although he is devastated by the news at first, he becomes more accepting of the situation when he finds out who the man involved is. The man in question is Josafat Stander, it's someone he knows; he lives in the forest area too.
He is eventually told that he must leave his dwelling place or face imprisonment. He refuses to move and is summonsed to court. The court finds him guilty and he is imprisoned, however he manages to escape and goes to live near a marsh where lilies grow. The book doesn't say what happened to him but goes on to mention that only one of the Italians returned to Italy. Many of them moved to Cape Town. Some continued to live in the Gouna area where they later passed away.
I have a tendency to like books that involve adventure, nature and the struggles that people often have in these stories. I also like books about human nature and those that cover a variety of topics.
A while back I read two autobiographies of well known musicians, one by Eric Clapton and the other by David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. They both went through a lot of good and bad times in their lives but have straightened themselves out. Their lives were tumultuous at times, not an easy path to walk.
I read a biography about The Beatles who did a lot of their early gigs in a bar in Germany. They seemed to have the amazing ability to produce numerous songs and a number of albums. They were also quite controversial at times.
Reading has sometimes filled the empty spaces in my life and continues to do so; when there isn't much else going on a good book keeps me happily enchanted.
A Book Available from Amazon - The Mulberry Forest, by Dalene Matthee
A fascinating book by a well known South African author
I have reviewed the book in the article itself
Take a read of the review of the book in this article, consider purchasing the book from Amazon.
Some More About Me
Things haven't always been easy for me. Although I had a good childhood, later when I had been out of school a few years my health started to bother me. I worked in an office for a number of years but was dogged by health problems at times.
As an infant I had chronic eczema and then it started to bother me again as a teenager and has been a problem since then. I also developed depression and suffered with it for may years and still get it at times. At age 50 I developed irritable bowel syndrome which lasted for 3 years and then intermittently for another 2 years. I still have problems with it for a month or two sometimes. However I don't want to harp on my problems too much, I'm a lot better now than in the past.
At the age of 40 I became a Christian, having been a believer years before and then wandering away from it for a while. I believe it has helped me a lot; I attend a Methodist church and a small group.
Questions to answer and comments to make
Have you read any of Dalene Matthee's books?
One of Matthee's Books
A good read and is also a movie