A Good Read

The travel list seemed to be quite popular and I had a lot of responses, so I thought maybe I would continue with another similar format post about books. Sometimes it is hard to find a good book, or know what to pick in a sea of titles. Maybe this will help you discover a new book to read. We can share and expand our reading lists.

My scaled down book shelf in China

I love to read, but it was not always the case. My parents regularly bought us books and read to us every night, but I was not a reader. I loved books, the pictures and stories where I could imagine the stories and they would come to life. Slowly I began to read on my own and the love of books took on a new form. I remember weekends going to the library and finding something to take home and read. I loved sitting in the quiet rows with the shelves of books towering above me. The smell and sounds of only pages turning, or the soft murmured whispers was very peaceful. I would return home with a small stack of books that I would pile beside my bed. Each night I would read and hopefully before the due date I was ready to return to the library and get a fresh batch of books.

Often my dad would come home from his shift work and my light would be on. Sometimes I would be asleep with a book in my hand, but occasionally I would still be awake and reading. I would be so interested in the story that I lost track of time. What a great feeling to get so caught up in a book that you lose track of time and you become lost in the pages.

Some of my favourites as a kid was the Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown series. Trying to solve the mysteries and be as clever as the main characters. A friend had me read some of the Wizard of Oz. I loved the movie, but who knew there were other books in the series? I remember the two of us as recess reading quickly to finish our books before library time, so we could get the next book. Very young I loved fairy tales and the whole idea of Happily Ever After…

Getting book orders in school was like Christmas. Our excitement when we came in from recess and the little paper copies were on our desks was the highlight of any day. Everyone would quickly look through the thin paper pages and make a list of what we hoped our parents would buy. When the orders came in and the book, or if we were lucky a little pile of books, sat on our desks we couldn’t wait until home time to read them. The book Isle of the Blue Dolphins was one such purchase when I was about 10. It quickly became one of my favourites and I read that book over and over again.

In Canada I had a small library. I have numerous novels and picture books for the students I teach. I love getting new stories and books and sharing with them. A small portion of those books have made it to China and I share with my students here. One thing about international students, they are big readers. We try to squeeze in reading in our busy schedule as much as possible. I started reading to the class at snack time and now they ask for me to read everyday. It is a disappointment when we are short on time. I display a picture of each book we have read and last year I filled 2 rows on a hanging clothesline. My class this year’s goal is to fill a third line.

I also have a library of books for myself. My dream one day is to have a built-in book-case, the length of a wall, filled with books from floor to ceiling. I love the look of books. For this reason I was against the new devices that allow you to download and read books electronically. The smell, feel, weight and look of books would be lost on a computer screen. After filling a suitcase with books this summer to read throughout this school year I am starting to think it may make life easier, or at least lighter.

OK now to the list… Some of my recent reads include:

Agatha Christie – Destination Unknown. Not her typical style and it was also published under a different title and author. It is about a woman who takes on a dead woman’s identity to help the police track a hidden operative.

Rosamund Pilcher – Shell Seekers. Each chapter is written about once person and their thoughts, experiences or perspectives. Most people are connected by family. It goes back in time in places, during world war ll. It was something different from what I usually read, but it was interesting. Thanks to Mary for suggesting it.

Lillian Jackson  Braun – The Cat Who… This is a mystery series and I read 2 of the books, so far. Not as great as Agatha Christie, but still interesting.

Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – the title and cover intrigued me. Sometimes the best books ‘call’ to you this way 🙂 It was about a young autistic boy who finds his neighbour’s dog dead. The story is about him trying to find out what happened. Along the way it explores his life and how people react to him. The point of view and understanding of someone with autism was really well done.

Lisa See -Shanghai Girls. I am not finished this book yet, but so far I am finding it really interesting. It is historical fiction when the second world war was about to begin and what 2 sisters went through to escape. There is a few bits that are pretty graphic, so I skipped over them.

So what are you reading? Any good suggestions?

Stay tuned for more

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5 thoughts on “A Good Read

  1. Freda Goulet

    What a great idea this blog is…I, too, love to read, always have. When I was little I was told to turn out the light, so I read by moonlight or a flashlight! No wonder I have worn glasses since an early age!!
    I read all of the “Anne ” books, Five Little Peppers, Nancy Drew. I think I have read all of Catharine Cookson and Maeve Binchy books over the years. I tend to read historical fiction set in Britain…am drawn to the British monarchs. I think I lived at Henry VIII’s court in another lifetime!
    When I feel like reading a mystery I read Dean Koontz or Partica Cornwell, or Mary Higgins Clark.. Ken Follett is good too…The Key to Rebecca being one of my favorites written by him. I like Penny Vincenzi’s books…because she often writes trilogies. When I am reading a good book I don’t want it to end, so trilogies are favorites. I like our own Canadian author Margaret Atwell especially The Stone Angel. Ann Marie MacDonald is a Cape Breton author whose books are good…thanks, Linda!!
    I am never without a book, and often read two at a time…went to the laundromat recently and forgot my book and I was totally lost for the whole time!
    I had a discussion with a friend who got a Kindle for Christmas. She loves it….but I like to hold a book, and turn the pages. It becomes a good friend!
    I recently remarked to Garril that families spend a lot of time on computers and tablets, etc. She replied that when she and her sister were small my nose was always buried in a book! touche!
    Josh likes to be read to at every bedtime. When I read with him we read paragraphs alternately. He has a collection of books…his favorite right now is the How To Train Your Dragon collection. He is waiting for the next in the series to be published.
    I have always wanted to write about growing up in Cape Breton in the 40s and 50s. I even have a title for my book in mind…just need to take that first step…to write that first paragraph! Trouble is I spend too much time reading what others have written!!

  2. Leslie

    Oh my… were to begin? My all time favourite? Do I have just one?
    Anne of Green Gables. Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit, Harry Potter (who took me to another world often when I needed to escape this one…thank-you Diana), Star Wars, The Cronicals of Narnia, Goodnight Gorilla, Goodnight Moon …
    …any by Robert Munch, Dan Brown, Ken Follet… Just off the top of my head. =) While wondering in The Book Depot in St. Catherines I found a few books by Jessica Day George. Princess of the Midnight Ball, Dragon Slippers, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. {I need to find more by her!)
    The Help by Kathern Stockett is very good (better than the movie).

  3. Leslie

    Oh dear…sorry for the bad spelling and grammer!
    I was thinking I should get Kaylee to post here. She has a zillion books to post. Now if I could find more books for Josh to love!
    Isn’t this the best part about loving books? Sharing that love of books =)

    • That would be great if Kaylee also posted. I think I will do a part 2 for this blog. There are so many books I love and the list is just ones I have read since the summer 🙂 I too use books as an escape to live in another place or time and escape what is happening around me… the everyday stresses or boredom is forgotten when in a good book.

  4. Freda Goulet

    I am losing it….,I need to keep a reading log! The Stone Angel is by Margaret Laurance , and it is Margaret Atwood, not Atwell….sorry for the misinformation!!

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