Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 23: My Favorite Book

I've had a book in my hands for as long as I can remember.  Wait, strike that: for longer than I can remember.  My memory is not very good.  But I know that I've been reading since age two and it's probably one of my favorite pastimes.  In fact, I know that I am either too depressed or too busy (or both) when I can't find the energy to read.  (This has happened a lot in the past two years, so I've slowed down with reading, but I recently ordered the latest Sarah Vowell book so I know I'll have a good read soon.)  It is why when I got to today's task in the Thirty Day Challenge that I thought (like most other days), how am I supposed to answer this?

I could just point you to my version of the top 100 fiction books to read.  That might give you some indication of the books that I like.  But maybe this post requires more specifics?  What kind of categories should I use?  There are just too many good books!  My years as a humanities major, a language arts teacher, and a social studies teacher did not prepare me to narrow my book choice to one, and so I'll provide a variety.

Favorite children's book: When I was young, one of my favorite books was Possum Magic.  It didn't matter that I was a bit too old for picture books, I loved this story.  I still have a copy.

In my library there are a few shelves devoted to books and literature for children and young adults.  There are few things I love more.  Several years ago I wrote a children's book and sent it away to a few places for publication but was unsuccessful in that attempt.  My family tells me that the story is good, but can you really take the opinions of family?  A friend reminds me that people like Stephen King had numerous books rejected before finding success.  So perhaps I should try, try, try again.  In my mind's eye, the illustrations to my story would be bright and colorful, like in another children's book that I adore: Weslandia.
My mother-in-law first told me about this book because it reminded her of Honey.  Perhaps that's a reason why I love it.  But I think it's adorable and I make sure that it's a part of baby shower gifts because every kid needs this book.

An excellent biography:
When I was in high school I had the biggest crush on a long-dead historical figure: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.  He was an intellectual, brilliant, and he ended up rising through the ranks of the military in the Civil War (even though he, like many, would've preferred to stay out of the war altogether). 

Alice Rains Trulock wrote In the Hands of Providence and I read it cover to cover several times while in high school.  When the film Gettysburg came out (1993?), I transferred at least part of my crush to Jeff Daniels, who played Chamberlain.  (Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I learned that this role was far different than Jeff Daniels' usual roles!)

A good piece of literature:
I've read a few (not many) pieces of Russian literature.  Most of it is very hard to slog through, in my opinion, but I loved The Master and Margarita.

 A book that I carried with me through many moves:
Honey and I met in high school.  That year, we were both involved in the production of Much Ado About Nothing -- me as Benedict, Honey as Leonato.  (For the record, we were in a small community -- neither one of us has a thespian bone in our body.) 

This is my favorite Shakespeare play, not just because we have fun memories but because it is so funny. 

A great non-fiction book (about a sad topic):
I tend to enjoy nonfiction books written by journalists, probably because they are used to writing in a way that makes people want to read.  They tend to be good storytellers, it's just that the stories happen to be true (most of the time).
Adam Hochschild has written a number of books about different events in history and all of his books are very readable and informative.

An addictive series:
A friend of mine gave me Diana Gabaldon's book Outlander one year so that I would have something to read on the plane.  What an obsession that started! 
Outlander is the first -- and shortest -- book in a series that is set in Scotland & and US in the 18th & 20th centuries.  So good!

A feel-good read:
Anything by Alexander McCall Smith is, in my mind, a feel good read.  I love his writing style and his stories. 
My bookshelves in the library that Honey and I built are filled with books.  And I've given away boxes and boxes of books. 

Still, the bookshelves barely hold everything.  Books are definitely one of my obsessions.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the nice comment on my blog--and thank you for the book recommendations! I am always looking for something great to read and your post just reminded me that I got an email from the library saying that the hold I had placed on Outlander was available for pickup . . . like 5 days ago! I hope it's still there because I'm so excited to read it!

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda


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