What are you reading?

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Suess

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. Bookstores and libraries are two of my favourite places but when I was recently asked who my favourite author is, I couldn’t answer. I had to be honest and say that I don’t have one. There are simply too many to choose from!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my favourite novel is The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller and the nonfiction book that has impacted me most is Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn.

As Dr. Suess so wisely mentions, books can take us places we might never go. I’m presently in the middle of reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Katherine Boo, which has carried me into the slums of present day Mumbai, India. Next on my list is The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs. Recommended by my blogging friend, Donloree, the book chronicles Jackson’s experience reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica from A to Z!

My taste in reading is somewhat eclectic and perhaps a bit academic. I don’t care for fantasy, mysteries or thrillers. I’m not averse to romance but I don’t like what I call “fluff” (syrupy, predictable, “happy ever after” stories) nor do I care for the highly erotic. Fifty Shades of Grey is not on my reading list. Though our bookshelves contain a very sizable collection of westerns, those are Richard’s and I’ve never had a desire to read them.

So what do I like to read? First on my list would probably be realistic fiction, true to life human interest stories like the book I’m presently reading. I also enjoy historical fiction, stories that take me back in time. Biographies, autobiographies and other non-fiction books that introduce me to the lives of interesting people in interesting places are also high on my list.

Though I’ll never read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica, I have read the Bible from cover to cover several times. I consider it the essential guidebook for this journey called life and I read from it almost every day. For reading purposes, I much prefer a chronological Bible that puts the historical narrative in the order that it happened. The version that I’m currently reading is a New King James chronological study Bible that contains lots of notes, articles, timelines and other graphics that give insight into the life and customs of Bible times. They contain information on everything from agriculture to architecture, food and drink to government, and marriage and family to science and worship. I’m thinking that it’s going to take me a long time to get through this one but it’s definitely fascinating.

As a teenager, I went through a science fiction phase but that genre no longer captures my interest and as a long time teacher of upper elementary school, I’ve read a lot of juvenile fiction, some of it very good. Perhaps some of my most entertaining reading these days is sharing children’s books with my grandchildren!

I was disappointed to discover that though I had plenty of time to read while recovering from last month’s surgery, for the first couple of weeks I wasn’t able to focus well enough to escape into a good book! The after effects of seven hours of anesthetic plus the amount of pain medication that I was using left my poor head a bit addled! Fortunately, that has worn off and I’m reading again. We’re off to Edmonton to start my radiation treatments the day after tomorrow and I’ll be taking several books with me.

What do you like to read? Do you have a favourite author?



10 thoughts on “What are you reading?

  1. I have most recently read:
    “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce; this was for book club and it put me to sleep 4 times. I couldn’t fault the writing. It is a “finding oneself after retirement” story.
    “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. It was a page turner and I did not fall asleep while reading. A story written in letters to a friend- which I could relate to.

    My favourite authors are probably Louise Penny and Ian Rankin. I generally like books with dead bodies in them .

  2. My favourite books have been ‘children’s’ literature – LM Montgomery, Tolkein, CS Lewis, JK Rowling – and mysteries – Agatha Christie, Kathy Reichs, Ian Rankin – and Jane Austin, Charlotte Bronte, historic novels, Kenneth Follet (I read his spy novels 30 years ago, too), and…
    Uh, yeah. Not too much heavy, grown-up stuff, I haven’t got the emotional reserves for that at this stage in my life, aside from the bible. I did love Bridges of Madison County, though.
    And I’m with you, 50 Shades didn’t interest me. Reading about sex hasn’t interested me since… well, since before I was having sex…
    I find I am reading lots of how-to things, since I have so many hobbies, like watercolours, dogs, birdwatching, drama, etc…
    All the best next week, read lots of great stuff!

    • I love Children’s Lit! I grew up on Lucy Maud Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott as well as Enid Blyton’s adventure books and Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series. As a teacher, I loved reading to my Language Arts classes. A few favourites were Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia, Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain and, of course, The Hobbit.

  3. We have a chronological Bible at home as well – I haven’t started reading it yet, but it definitely looks interesting! I currently just read from the NIV in the mornings. 🙂 My book reading project has paused to due to epic schedules at our house, but hopefully when I travel in July I can catch up!

    I am also a HUGE fan of ‘Children’s Lit’ – YA literature is some of my favorites. 🙂

    • For years I read only the NIV but recently I’ve been trying other versions. I wasn’t sure how well I’d like the New King James but so far I’m finding it okay. I’m still reading in Genesis though, where the stories are very familiar, so we’ll see how it goes when I get into some of the tougher stuff.

  4. I also happen to be reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers. On the side. One of my favorite apps (sites) is Goodreads,, where I keep track of all the books I want to read, and all the books I have read. And can see what my friends are reading also.

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