Friday, July 27, 2007


A lot of books get read in our house, especially this month when it's TV-free month. There are books in every room of the house, and where there are bookshelves, they are overflowing. Stacks of books rest on nightstands in every bedroom, books pile up on the table or the piano, and occasionally books get left behind in the bathroom. Marcel and the girls make a trip to the local library at least once or twice a week. Everybody loves books. Books, books, books. Yes, it's a happy thing.

We don't all like the same kind of books, though. Each person in the house has his or her own unique taste, so it means that we rarely share books.

Marcel reads mostly historical books, political books (and magazines), biographies, and occasionally a Tom Clancy novel for a little variety. He's a history buff, so he's got lots of war books, books on Hitler, Hoffa, you name it. He's currently reading a biography of Randy Bachman.

Nicole's a little like her father. She loves to read biographies and true stories. She can spout off details about the day John F. Kennedy died, the day Princess Diana got married, where Einstein grew up, when Anne Frank died, etc. She reads fiction occasionally, but prefers fiction that has its basis in truth. No fantasy or sci-fi for her. She is currently reading her second or third biography of Princess Diana, someone she is particularly enamoured with.

Julie is the most voracious reader in the house. She can get through almost any book in a day or a day and a half. Marcel had to change her library card to an adult card so they'd let her take more books out and he wouldn't have to go back as frequently. She reads almost any kind of fiction, but her favourites are in the fantasy genre. She breezes through series like Harry Potter and Narnia, and usually ends up reading them a second or third time when she runs out of new things to read. The last I checked, she was reading a couple of Nancy Drew books (after finishing the latest Harry Potter), but she's probably on to something else by now.

Maddie is on the cusp of reading. She's definitely ready to be a reader, and I think it frustrates her when everyone else in the house is reading and she can't. (I tried to get Julie to take it on as a summer project to teach Maddie to read, but I don't think it's caught on yet.) She loves to be read to, though, and doesn't show any particular preference in books yet. She's rather fond of anything by Robert Munsch - I'm not sure how many times I've read Stephanie's Ponytail. The last few nights, we've been reading through a fairly lengthy version of the Lion King together.

I read a fair bit of literary fiction, but lately I've been more interested in memoirs of all kinds. Travel memoirs (like Honeymoon in Purdah), spiritual/personal journey memoirs (like anything by Anne Lamott), or memoirs of interesting life challenges (like Left to Tell). I have a bunch of leadership and creativity books on my shelf too, because that's where I often turn for professional/personal development inspiration. I've also become quite interested in non-fiction books that are about the social condition (like The Tipping Point, for example). I'm currently reading The Paradox of Choice, a fascinating book that argues that the overabundance of choice in our western society is not actually good for us.

So there you have it - what books are YOU reading?


Accidental Poet said...

The astonishing variety of quality fiction that is available in Christian bookstores by now. Lisa Samson, Angela Hunt, Ted Dekker, Alton Gansky, Kathryn Mackel, to name just a few.

ccap said...

Mostly just dreaming about books I'm GOING to read... once the packing and unpacking is all done. Maybe one day in early September I'll take a day off and sit on my deck with a good book all by myself... ahh.

Gina said...

God, I have loved reading ever since I was four.

I just finished Harry Potter, and am now sinking my teeth into some good sci-fi.

Whippersnapper said...

I've been re-reading East of Eden and Rebecca, over and over and over again, because I've been feeling lousy and that's all my brain can handle. Both these books involve psychopathic women, go figure.

The last new book I read was god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Don't hate me.

Michele said...

oh my
*please introduce julie to ursula le guin. she writes great fantasy novels in a madeline l'engle kind of style. and there is a trilogy called the Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley Holland. I think it's brilliant. also totally suitable for julie.
*my big recommend for grown ups these days is water for elephants. i loved it and so has everyone who borrowed it from me. (unless they just didn't dare to tell me they didn't.)

Michele said...

by the way, snapper, i just read rebecca for the first time and was pretty fascinated.
haven't read god is not great but i plan to.

Anvilcloud said...

"The Other Boleyn Girl" about Anne's sister. Quite fascinating really. Not like anything that I've really read before.

Pamela said...

the overabundance of choice in our western society is not actually good for us.


Karmyn R said...

OOH! T.V. free month = what a great idea!

Stephanie said...

My mom informed me that I started reading at age 3 and haven't stopped since. One of the things I miss most about teaching high school English is that every Friday we would spend the entire class period reading books. Imagine! What a job!

Just finished listening (audiobook) to Harry Potter on Saturday, and have now started over with the series. I went to a library book sale a couple weeks ago and brought home some great reads. Too many choices!

I thoroughly enjoyed The Tipping Point. Have you read Gladwell's other book, Blink? Also quite fascinating.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am a fantasy lover like your daughter and would recommend Mercedes Lackey for her, especially her fairy tales series. When she is older she may want to check out Dennis McKiernan (he is more on par with Tolkien in complexity). The Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are also excellent.

Right now I am reading the final Harry Potter and will be getting into a mystery next. Maybe book four of Bruce Alexander's series.

Melissa said...

I feel like kind of a reading failure. I have many books on my nightstand but they haven't been cracked very far.

I have a big book called "Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present" which I like because I can just open it, read something, and put it back. Good for my short attention span, but I bought it over two years ago. *embarassed*

I like books about real people and events; I read a lot of political tomes.

My favorite books over the past year (that I actually finished) were Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking" (comforting after my mom passed) and "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen" by Julie Powell (made me laugh uncontrollably!)

How's that for a totally random list? ;)