Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Required Reading

I love to read.  When most people say they love to read, they usually mean they love putting their feet up on their deck and reading for a while.  Or taking a book to the beach.  Or reading a chapter or two before bed.  When I say I love to read, I mean I love to read in the sense that I am often tempted to forgo food, drink and caring for those I am responsible for if I am in the middle of a good book.  My Mother's Day dream gift is a gift card to the book store, where I will stop and buy a book before checking into a hotel room where I can stay and read uninterrupted until check out the next day.

I read a lot and I read across all genres.  I am always looking for something new to read and am always open to any suggestions/recommendations.  But today, I am going to share just a few of my favorites with you.

1. Favorite Kid's Book

This book was a gift to my daughter from my godparents.  I loved it.  She loved it.  It is now the book I give to anyone who is having a little girl.  You should too.  My daughter has wanted to dress as The Paper Bag Princess for Halloween, but no one ever knows who we are talking about.  And that is a shame.

2. Favorite Book I Read While Teaching
If you work with middle school aged children, or have some living in your home, or soon will have middle school aged kids, run, don't walk to the store to get this.

3. Favorite Required Reading From High School

Fell in love with my husband all over again when he turned to me shortly after my first son was born and said "Hey Lennie, careful with the puppies" while I was smooching Conor's chubba cheeks a bit vigorously.

4. Favorite Thriller

If I was forced to stick with one genre from this point forward it would be the Mystery/Thriller.  This is always the section I check out first at the library or on Amazon.  I debated between two books to pick as my all time favorite thriller.  But in the end, Watchers by Dean Koontz narrowly beats out The Stand by Stephen King.

5. Favorite Bandwagon Read

I try not to look a gift horse in the mouth and to me, anything that gets more kids and more adults reading is a good thing.  No, its a great thing.  But I do often find that I am disappointed with the quality of writing.  Not so in this case.  The Hunger Games was a great book, as were its follow ups.

6. Favorite True Crime

If you think you know the Andrea Yates story, you are probably wrong.  This is an amazing read.  Again, I was torn between two books for this category.  But the story of Andrea Yates beats out Columbine by Dave Cullen.  Both were fascinating as they detailed the real story verses what was reported as well as the lack of follow up by the media to correct misreports.  You won't go wrong if you were to chose either of these books.

7.  Favorite Current Read

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is getting a lot of attention this summer.  If it is half as good as Dark Places, I am excited to read it.  I'm not sure what year Dark Places was first released and why it didn't generate more interest.  I am now on the waiting list at my library for both Gone Girl and Sharp Objects.

8. Favorite Series and Characters

I was introduced to Robert B. Parker's books and characters while in the ICU in Boston.  A nurse brought me some books once I was well enough to read.  I devoured them and when I was released, I soon requested each book, in order of publication, and enjoyed the stories, the character development, and the introduction of each new character.  I was upset upon learning of the passing of Robert B. Parker and thought that would be the end of Spenser, Hawk, Susan and others.  But, Robert B. Parker's estate, headed by his wife Joan (the inspiration behind Susan) hired Ace Atkins to continue writing the series and I was not disappointed with his first Spenser book.  I don't think you will be either.  Easy reads, with well developed characters, plots and dialogue.

What are you reading this summer?  What are some of your favorites?  Again, I am always open to recommendations and suggestions.

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