A Good Read -Part 2

Last week I wrote about my love of books and some good reads. I talked about some favourites from my childhood and recent books I read, but not some others that I really loved over the years. I thought I could mention some of my all time favourites… ones that really stuck out in my mind, ones I have recommended to others, or would (or have) read more than once.

As I write this I hope I don’t forget anything… as I wrote my bucket list of travel places later I thought… oh yea, oh I should have added that too… seems like any list is ever-changing, growing and could include ‘just one more’…

Now to the books… Of course I need to include the Harry Potter series. Reading them was magical, my imagination created some great images. I read the first 4 or so BEFORE the movies came out. I must say I wasn’t too disappointed with the movies. In most cases it lived up to my imagination… even better sometimes. J K Rowling creates amazing images through her words. My visions did change after seeing the movies as now I had those of the people, places and some things in my mind. I would sometimes think… how will they do this in the movie as some things were just so surreal. I kinda wished I could have read all the books before the movie… just reigned in my imagination in some ways.

Recently I read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy thanks to a recommendation of one of student’s parents from last year. Very strange and out there… but I was so good and read the book before watching the movie. Books never live up to the movies… although this movie helped me understand some things that I just didn’t get. I am not a usual Sci-Fi reader and being very tired when trying to comprehend is not always easy.

Funny enough book people always say the book is better than the movie. But is that ALWAYS the case? Whenever I start a book I often follow it through. If it is not good then I think… it will get better, which doens’t always happen. I was reading Wicked, the story of the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz. I loved the movie and Oz books and thought I would like this book. The show is always sold out whenever it comes to Toronto and I have tried to see it a few times… it must be awesome! Well I tried, really tried to get into that book. I was not interested… I found it strange, some things unnecessary and just horrible. Finally I put it down. It took me months to get through a few pages and I am glad I have set it aside. Since I have read many great books and have flown through them. I am not the only one. A college from work also said she couldn’t get though the book, but loved the play. Hmm play/movie better than the book. That must be a first. Not since Grade 13 English and dreading reading Heart of Darkness have I despised a book so much. At least now I had a choice and put it down.

Now back to some great reads… Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap… good mystery and longest running play. When I was in the UK in 2001 I went to see the play. Awesome! Her 10 Little Indians (AKA And Then There Were None)  and Orient Express are also great who dunnits that keep you guessing and may surprise you. A teacher in highschool hated Agatha Christie, so I avoided her books for many years. A friend loaned me Orient Express and for the next 5 or more years that is all I read. Funny how we listen to opinions; I would have missed out on so many great stories if it not for another friend’s encouragement to read just one.

Twilight Series… it was OK. I like the author’s back story more… just a regular person had a dream and it turned into a phenomenon.

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. It is more highschool and about Highschool girls, but reminded me of the Judy Blume Books I loved to read as a kid. The author really understood and showed how teen girls felt and what they can be going through.

Bridget Jones. Just before the movie came out Liza recommended this book. I loved it. I could totally relate! Of course she is in more trouble than I, and crazier, but that is what made it more fun. Last year the big read was Eat, Pray, Love… some people didn’t like it and found it whiney. Again it was something I could relate to… as her journey took her away from home and all that is familiar. Being in a new country and everything different, unfamiliar and so far away made me appreciate my journey even more.

Dan Brown is great too… the Angels and Demons and Da Vinci Code. They are action packed and once you get going you don’t want to stop. I love books that you can’t wait to find out what is next, but hate when they end.

My school favourites are the Junie B. Jones Series… I love her silly antics and doing the voices when I read. We read them at snack time and the kids ask me to read everyday. I have been reading them for years and I haven’t met a kid or class yet that doesn’t like them. I also like Chester and Scaredy Squirrel books (picture books)- thanks Marcy. The kids laugh and last year this one boy laughed SO hard it had us all in stitches. It was the best laugh ever… something just struck him as funny and he didn’t hold back. We also like Flat Stanley and we have done it as a unit in class, so we have done the travel journals with him… This year they all love the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series. We have read a bunch of those too.

A cool series based on historical fiction, one about the war of 1812 (Root Cellar) and another that took place in Toronto (Double Spell) in an old house, was a cool find through Scholastic many years ago. I think I was 11 or 12 and I still recall that series. How cool is that? A book that you remember years later. It’s like a good friend, a fond memory or a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer… it makes you smile and feel good inside. To have the ability to write and reach out and touch other people is such a gift. I was just watching an Ellen and Dianne Keaton was promoting a book she published using her mother’s journals. Her mother wrote journals that were small works of art with drawings, stories of events and photographs… she was saying what a gift they were and how interesting -how rare to write back then. She went on to say how today many of us write more than ever before… I agree; whether it a blog, e-mail, Facebook or Twitter… many of our thoughts are shared and expressed in print. No longer are they lost in oral conversation, but can be accessed again and again… for good or for bad.

OH…So many books… I am sure I have more favourites that I will remember once I hit the ‘publish’ button. My final thought… I just love to read and getting into a book that is so good it can transport you to another time, place and life.

Stay Tuned for more next time… lots of ideas to come.

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3 thoughts on “A Good Read -Part 2

  1. Leslie

    I just have a kind of list going through my head. Kind of like that turnstile book shelf in the library. So this is going to be a swirly post…. Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie (yes the tv series lived up to the books), Robert Munch, Junie B Jones (I’d laugh so hard that I couldn’t read the next line to Kaylee & Josh. I laughed ‘cuz I could see them saying / doing what she did.), North and South .. I remember the tv mini series seemed to match the books. Dune, loved the books hated the movie. And oh, by Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol …John would like that one! Kaylee’s reading the Percy Jackson (Lighting Thief) series and the Eregon series by Christopher Paolini.

    • Oh Robert Munsch ! I knew I forgot another!!! I love him… so funny. Scaredy Squirrel and Chester (Melanie Watt, another Canadian author I might add). You’d like those. John has read Lost Symbol and enjoyed it. He is not a reader like I am. He reads the paper, information on the computer, but not books. He actually liked that and is now in search of another book that he will enjoy as much. Being in China I made sure I brought a small collection of books for myself to read and for school. I was sure to bring my favourites and share some great Canadian authors. It was hard to narrow, from my large ‘library’ at home, down to a few suitcases full…

  2. Freda Goulet

    I, too, love Robert Munch. I think my favorite Munch book is Good Families Don’t…..used to watch the faces of my Grade one class as I read it…boys really cracked up and little girls tried not to laugh! Munch is a recovering alcoholic.
    My favorite adult book is Forever Amber….read it a very long time ago, can’t remember the author. I was listening to a Tom Cherrington talk radio program years ago on CHML and Tom Cherrington said that Forever Amber was his favorite book. That surprised me as it is a love story. I must try to read it again.

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