Wednesday, July 26, 2006

For the love of reading

My mother instilled in all of her four children the love of reading. I can't recall a time when my mom didn't have a book with her. In high school I would bring home assigned books for English class, and she would read them too. She would also read most of the library books I brought home. Her love of reading was contagious.

Now that I'm grown with three children of my own to raise, my time for reading has considerably lessened. In fact, in the last five years I haven't had much chance to read for pleasure at all. The most reading I've done is a magazine article over breakfast, or to consult a reference book on pregnancy or child-rearing. I read children's books to my babies, and they have developed quite a love for reading themselves. In fact, Miss Girlie belongs to a monthly book discussion group at our local library. But I missed being swept away by a good novel.

Then when visiting in Chicago, I asked my niece Stephanie about her favorite book, The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue. She said she loved the story and offered to let me read it. I was skeptical of the time involved, but I got so interested in the beautiful story that I finished the book in no time. It's about a young woman who dies suddenly but her spirit lingers on earth looking for answers. I would definitely recommend this book. 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Then my hunger for reading surfaced again. I picked up Lost and Foundby Carolyn Parkhurst. I'm a reality TV-show junky, and this story is set behind the scenes of a fictional TV show similar to The Amazing Race. I liked the behind the scenes look, and it was a quick read, but there are some morality and sexuality issues in this book that prevent me from recommending it to, well, my mother. If rating it by stars, I'd have to give it, oh a 1 1/2 out of 5.

That's two books I've finished so far this year. Now I'm a quarter of the way through Wicked by Gregory Maguire, which I'm surprisingly finding quite enjoyable. It's surprising because it is based on the character of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz, a movie that truly freaked me out as a kid. The witch was so scary to me as to be psychologically scarring. I wouldn't have sought out this book on my own, but it's on the reading list for our library's adult discussion group. I requested the book for the discussion, but it didn't arrive until after the meeting had been held. I almost refused it when they called to say they had a copy on hold for me, but I checked it out anyway, and I'm glad I did. The author has several books on the "real" story behind fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White. I've already requested his version of Cinderella, called Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.

And now I've compiled a list of books that I would like to read before the year is over. Included in this list is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Being Committed by Anna Maxted (recommended by my sister A.), The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (I want to read it because I enjoyed the movie SO much), Knit One Kill Two by Maggie Sefton (which was a gift from my Secret Pal), and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

A lofty goal, to be sure. Since I'm in charge, I can adjust the dates accordingly. But it's good to have a goal, don't you think?

It's nice getting lost inside a book again.

Congratulations to Jennifer for winning the movie line contest from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Funny movie; I enjoyed it. Different from the TV series, but same writers, you could tell. Well done, Jennifer!

The next movie line up for consideration is:

"My, my, my, my, what a mess."

(Which is pretty much what the Count says every day when he comes home from work- ha!)

Good luck to all.


Jennifer said...

I love the Time Traveller's Wife! And Wicked is a fantastic read. Lovely Bones was just a tad disturbing for me. Great book list!

msubulldog said...

My college roommate just recommended The Time Traveller's Wife, too. It's on my loooong list! :)

Tim said...

The Fugitive is the answer to the movie line. A movie I haven't seen in a looooong time.