My husband claims that I don’t understand the purpose of a book tour (which is evidently to tout my own book). Recently, during the course of sixteen days, I traveled through seven states, visiting 13 bookstores. During that time I bought books. (Of course.) How could I not? Each store was a unique experience. Moreover, it was a chance to talk about we were each reading. The clerks had amazing recommendations and it was impossible not to follow up on their suggestions. One of my first purchases was The Lives of the Great Gardeners. It is a lovely surprise. Four to six pages on individual gardeners throughout the ages – from Le Notre and Thomas Jefferson to contemporary designers. Matthew Beaumont’s Night Walking promises to be a journey though London. The Art of American Still Life was purchased at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, one of two books accompanying a charming exhibit. The Sound of a Wild Snail is a marvelous tale of patience and harmony. Rising Tide was a favorite recommendation in Arkansas where much of the subject – a terrible flood – took place. My mother’s family is from the region and I recognized many of the names and small towns. I will dive in soon for a full read. Some are new authors and titles to me. Others feel like old friends – most particularly Louise Penny, Ian Rankin, Charles Todd and Charles Cumming. These books have climbed to the top of my to-be-read list (I’m 25% of the way through…. Todd’s Racing the Devil lived up to and beyond expectation). The Warlock and the Wolf was a gift from the author who attended one of my book signings. Many thanks for the thoughtful gesture. I confess to purchasing Michael Connelly’s The Crossing at the airport to get me through the first terminal wait. But it made the trip with me, so counts as part of the haul. Like many people, I fall into reading habits and this was an opportunity to branch out. I’m curious – have you branched out in your reading selection recently?