Books

“the time has come,”
the walrus said,
“to talk of many things–
of shoes, of ships, of sealing wax,
of cabbages, and kings.
And why the sea is boiling hot,
and whether pigs have wings!”

-Lewis Carroll, but I remember it from ‘Harriet the Spy’

Did you ever read this book? I loved it as a kid. I’ve been thinking of re-reading it, to reacquaint myself with the girl who writes EVERYTHING down in her notebook (and this was BEFORE the internet/blogging/Facebook era and it was still considered creepy and rude). That, and the Wayside School series (like this and this), the Ramona books, and several others. Of course, there’s the fear that maybe they won’t be as good as when I loved them as a child, the way that some movies have disappointed me as an adult.

But reading as an adult has been it’s own rewarding experience as well. I more easily comprehend inclinations and thought processes, empathize with emotions, and follow the plot than when I was a child. Some things haven’t changed, however–I still enjoy it as much as ever. I’ve been on a reading binge lately. Since I sit in front of the computer 40 hours a week, when I go home I try hard not to turn on my desktop unless jon and I will be watching something off netflix. I’ve found more time in the evenings to do what I truly enjoy–immerse myself in another world.

Here’s what I’ve been enjoying lately:

(Rereading) the Lorien Legacies series
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
Bonk by Mary Roach (WOW.)
Blink, and The Tipping Point, both by Malcolm Gladwell
The Town That Food Saved by Ben Hewitt
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TO EVERYONE)

That’s the last few months or so. But if I’m being honest here, I start a lot of books, but finishing them is another story (ha! pun!). My mother once told me that if she can’t get into a book by the first few chapters, she doesn’t bother, because she wasted a lot of time when she was younger reading boring books and she’s not into that anymore. I agree with her whole-heartedly–there are billions of books in the world, and probably millions of those that I would enjoy reading. So I don’t feel guilty. I’ve discarded several books this last month that just didn’t sit well with me. They were boring, or I didn’t like the overall environment, or I didn’t like the point-of-view.  It’s like my friend Deidre says, there’s plenty of sad in this world. why would you want to borrow someone else’s?

not that there aren’t plenty of good lessons to be learned from sorrow, it’s just that i’m not interested in bringing negativity into my evening source of comfort. When I read, I am totally in that world. I carry those characters around with me for days (literally and figuratively). The mood of my dreams is set by the imagery I’m feeding it–and a presidential vampire-killer was not giving me happy dreams, I assure you. I’m not looking for easy bubblegum–I’m looking for lovely magic, really. I like to enter the world of dragons fighting Napoleon, two dueling magicians that can’t help but fall in love, or of teenage alien superheroes (MUCH cooler than it sounds). I enjoy the idea of gods living among humans and fighting amongst themselves for belief, or a retelling of the classic Jane Eyre. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Have you had much time for reading lately? What book are you into right now? Any recommendations?

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