Sunday, March 6, 2011

Great Books

I'm not a consistently avid reader.  I LOVE books, though, so when I read, I do it like everything else in my life...I dive in, don't look back, and typically don't come up for air until the last page.   I'm an impatient reader.  I have on occasion skimmed through the details just to get to the good parts.  And with one book, I actually read the last chapter first because I couldn't stand it.  (It's a good thing I can't do that in real life, or I would miss a lot of great details!)  Sometimes, like with this current binge, I barely put one book down before starting another one.  

While I was en route to Vegas last weekend, I started this book...
I borrowed it from The Cruise Director who recently had to read two Holocaust related books for her history class.  It was compelling, tragic, and inspiring all at the same time.  Even though it was an account of the author's experience during the Holocaust, she is mostly optimistic and hopeful throughout the entire book.  I loved it.  It was impossible to put down, and the minute I finished the last page, I ran to The Cruise Director's room and rummaged through her stuff to find the other book...
...and then when I was rearranging book shelf items the other night, I found this one...
...and then I received the book I ordered earlier this week from Amazon...
So that's three books that I currently have going all at the same time.  It's not my preferred way to read, but I've done it before.  

In college, it was Jane Austen.  I read Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.  (To this day, P&P is the one and only book I can read over and over again and love it as if it's the first time I've read it.) 
In 2006, I went on a Jodi Picoult binge after discovering Vanishing Acts.  After finishing it in 2 days, I followed with My Sister's Keeper, Salem Falls, The Pact and my favorite...Plain Truth.  It was a Jodi Picoult summer for me.

Then there was the Twilight series...I think that was the first complete series that I actually BOUGHT within a week of their release dates.  I'm a library girl.  There are very few books that I commit to purchase before I've actually read them.  (And I ended up selling them all on eBay afterward because they weren't the kinds of books I wanted my impressionable teenage girls discovering in their own home!)  I don't like to read a series one at a time like that.  My preference would be to read them all in one sitting...or at least over the course of a few weeks.  (I'm not very patient, so waiting a year for the next book to be released is next to impossible!  Breaking Dawn was the book that I read the end of first because I couldn't wait.  And that one was SO unbearably long, can you really blame me?)

Other memorable books...

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
all those Marguerite Henry horse books
all the Little House on the Prairie books

Caine River by Lalita Tademy
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley 
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
1776 by David McCullough 
everything by Nicholas Sparks!!

Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson
The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis 
To Draw Closer to God by Henry B Eyring (life changing!)
Because He First Loved Us by Henry B Eyring

OK...this is starting to become an impossible that Music Post I wrote awhile ago.   There's no possible way to include every book that has touched my heart over the last 40 years.   I am grateful to be delving into books again, though.  It's been a bit of a drought for awhile.  I look forward to the next few weeks of enlightenment.


  1. "Parallel Journeys" is great - I actually meant to mention that to you when we were at B&N and were talking about Holocaust books, but I got distracted. I read it as part of a six week Teaching American History federal grant program a few years ago. However, I could NOT get into "The Book Thief," no matter how much I tried. :(

    About the "Hunger Games" trilogy - my ultimate determination of a NO recommendation was not because of "immorality," but rather because of the extreme violence, lack of hope, inhumanity, and overall depression that permeates the books. The final one, "Mokingjay," is the most violent.

    I just devoured a series this weekend - the first title is "Life As We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Also QUITE depressing, but compelling. Made me want to go crazy with food storage!

    Now, please tell me that you have read ALL six books in the Anne of Green Gables series...? It is absolutely wonderful to see Anne ("spelled with an 'e'") grow up!

    P&P is simply the best book every written... "It is a truth universally acknowledged..." I was quite the Austen devotee as an undergrad lit major, and took a fantastic senior seminar with an eminent Austen scholar (Andrew Wright) where we spent four hours every Friday afternoon one spring eating fancy cookies, drinking lemonade, and talking all things JA. Heaven!

    WONDERFUL post!

  2. Interesting thoughts on The Hunger Games. I still have not read the series, but the lack of hope was exactly what my mother in law disliked about them. And yes, I've read all the Anne books. I'll have to find the Susan Beth Pfeffer books as soon as I'm off my Holocaust kick.