Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I feel the need, the need to read

I love to read.

I have always loved to read. When I was a kid, I read all, and I mean all, the time. I read when I ate. I read before I went to bed and after I went to bed. I read while I was watching television. I likely remain the only student in the history of Baker Elementary to get recess detention as a punishment for reading (apparently hiding my Babysitter's Club series #8 book, Boy Crazy Stacy, under my math book and reading while I was supposed to be working was not okay.)(Yes, I know I'm a freak for remembering what book it was that got me in trouble in the 6th grade. It was traumatic--I had never gotten detention before.). I read any time I rode anywhere in a car. The unfortunate result of that was that when I turned 16 and got my driver's license I had no idea how to get ANYWHERE because I never paid attention when I was a passenger. I got teased a lot for that.

I majored in English in college. I enjoyed it, though it annoyed me to have to tear apart a book to try to find what an author was "really" trying to say. I always wanted to meet one of these authors and have them tell me that they just thought it was a cool story, so they wrote it.

Few things in life delight me more than a really good book. That's why it is such a BUMMER that I have not read a really good book in a really long time. I can't even use the excuse that I don't have enough time--I could definitely squeeze some reading into my day, though it would cut into my Spider Solitaire time. The problem is that books are EXPENSIVE. Well, you say! Just go to the library, you silly girl! I do. I have. About a million times. The problem is, the library just throws all the fiction books into one giant section. At Barnes and Noble, I can go to their featured books table and instantly find 10 books I want to read. At the library, it takes me an hour to peer my way through one aisle, sifting through the Westerns and Romances to find the good stuff. Who has the time for that? And inevitably the book I want is in hardback, and I am way too clumsy to read hardbacks. So, most of the time I am without a book to read.

I don't mean to imply that I never read. I get People Magazine in my mailbox every Friday, and it is usually devoured before I go to bed that night. We also get Reader's Digest, and I make pretty quick work of it too. (Mock not--there's some good stuff in there, and the funny stories people send in are great.) (Okay, I just read that last sentence. Go ahead and mock.) Also the newspaper semi-regularly. And of course, there are the legions of books I read with the kids. Why, just last night we read:

Skippyjon Jones in Outer Spice
Hippos Go Berserk
The Care and Feeding of Rabbits (no, we don't have a rabbit and we aren't getting one. Ethan wanted to know why rabbits eat carrots, and his sister got him the book at the library. It did not answer his question.)

I have to fix this problem! I need grown up books to read. I think what I need to do is make a list of books I'd like to read and take it to the library--maybe if there are enough on the list I can find a few in paperback. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Because it seems appropriate, here's a list of some of my favorite books:

Time Traveler's Wife (#1. If I could only read one book for the rest of my life, this would be it.)
Poisonwood Bible
Memoirs of a Geisha
Kite Runner
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Anything by John Irving; A Prayer for Owen Meany is genius
The Devil in the White City
The Handmaid's Tale
All 3 Stieg Larsson books
Anything by Edward Rutherfurd; New York is my favorite
The Harry Potter series
Velvet Elvis (I'm not usually a nonfiction fan, but this book changed the way I view my faith)

Okay! What am I missing out on? What do I need to read RIGHT NOW? And if you own it, can I borrow it?


Anonymous said...

I haven't read it yet, but I hear the Hunger Games is good. However it's really popular now, so you might have to wait at the library for a while. also as an adult I enjoyed the Percy Jackson books. I recommend those too.

Anonymous said...

John Grisham's The Broker
The Shack
any Tony Hillerman book

and my all time fav is To Kill A Mockingbird. I've read it at least 10 times.

Velvet Elvis...I might have to get that one....

Anonymous said...

I was going to suggest the Hunger Games also. It's an
addicting series like Harry Potter. I actually purchased this book today so yes you can borrow it.

I'm reading True Religion...excellent so far
I have the new Nicolas Sparks book
Crazy Love is awesome
Blue Like Jazz
I have a Karen Kingsbury series that is great so far.

I buy books but don't have time to read them...so take your pick!


Mandy said...

I would have recommended the Stieg Larsson books. I was unprepared for the language but the story is fabulous.

Matt said...

Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay are three of the best books I've ever read!

Jennifer said...

Janet Evanovich books are highly entertaining and addictive. I never thought I'd ever want to read one, but I got bored and read the first one and was hooked. I think I read all 20 or so in about 2 months.

Does your library do holds? I know at the CALS libraries, you can go online, reserve a book and just go in, grab it from a reserve shelf and go. I can be in and out of the library in 2 minutes.

Melanie said...

Have you read any of Tracy Chevalier's books (my faves are Girl with a Pearl Earring--better than the movie; it was kinda slow--and The Lady and the Unicorn). In these two stories, she takes real life artwork and creates a fictional story behind how it came to be; pretty clever i thought and the stories are good.

Tony Hillerman is also good if you like mysteries (my mom's read them all and she's not a big reader).

For you they'd be a quick read, but the Elm Creek Quilt Series by Jennifer Chiaverini is really good. I read the first three and just yeseterday got a 4th from the library.

Do y'all have a Half Price Books up there? They're a Great new and used book store and we have lots of them in dfw (kinda like Books a Million but w/used books too). If you come across something popular you want but don't want to pay too much for it I'll gladly take a look for you down here and mail it up to you if you'd like me to. All paperbacks are halfprice...thus the name.

You could use amazon.com to check out our suggestions to see if you're interested in any of them.

Katrenia said...

First, get a nook. One of the best purchases I've ever made. If you choose to purchase a new book, it's cheaper in the digital version than in hardback. You can also borrow e-books from the library and download = no trip. You can also borrow some e-books from other nook users for free. Plus there are a ton of free or really inexpensive books already out there.

Second, look for your library books online before you go and request what you want. They will email you when they have it in stock. I like to look up books on bn.com, then cross-reference to the library and make my requests. (I prefer Fayetteville over Springdale for this.)

Third, my recommendations. You would love any book by Jen Lancaster, and yes I have them all if you want to borrow. She is sarcastically funny and you will laugh out loud.

This summer I also read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, loved it, but don't own it. Also enjoyed A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff and Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis, but only have those digital.

I also read books by Janet Evanovich (only the Stephanie Plum ones, have the first few, also LOL funny), Jennifer Weiner (have several), Nora Roberts / J.D. Robb (have several), Laurie Notaro (have them all). Plus the standard John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks.

You should come out for a visit and raid my shelves. :o)

Katrenia said...

And one more thought - buy used via half.com. Or trade books with other folks via paperbackswap.com. I use both sites with great success.

Aidan and Zachary said...

I think you know all of my favorites, but I'll throw a list out there anyway.
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Sex God by Rob Bell (I may like it even better that V.E., but it's close.
Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore- enlightening, entertaining, GREAT!
If you like Hunger Games, you might also like the Uglies series. Another distopia sci fi with a female protaganist. More teen oriented that hunger games, but interesting and good.