Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Bewitched! Bothered, & bewildered am I...

Ladies... (and gentlemen), today, let's talk about books.

Right? I don't ever read, so why the hell would I, of all people, talk about books?

Now I'm going to start off by saying, though I've never been a reader (in fact, I actually would hate the idea of sitting down with a good book and relaxing), after knowing me for a little bit, most people around me think I'm an avid reader. I'd like to think it's the weird grammar gene that runs through my family which would make other people think that. I get this sick pleasure in editing essays written by friends, or really editing anything written by friends.

But I digress. Books. When I was younger, I did read a bit. Mostly in the summer, you know, when I had no school and no job. I was a kid, give me a break.

I was really into those young adolescent female books that most girls read before they became teenagers. Books like Alice, I Think by Susan Juby, Girl, 15 Charming but Insane and Girl, Nearly 16 Absolute Torture by Sue Limb, The Saddle Club series and the Pine Hollow series written by Bonnie Bryant, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares, and mystery novels by Canadian author Eric Wilson (the best ones being The Ice Diamond Quest, The Green Gables Detective, and The Kootenay Kidnapper). All great books, all for preteens/teenagers. They deal with the issues that all of us have dealt with at those ages (and Eric Wilson deals with kidnapping and robberies etc... so you know, everyday kid stuff).

My biggest problem was finishing books. Yes, I'd start them, and sure, sometimes I'd make a good dent in them, but it was rare that I finished books. I always felt that the reason I couldn't finish any books was because I was so disinterested that I never cared what happened to the characters anymore. I invested absolutely no interest in their lives, which is not what reading is about. So it deterred me from reading again.

It wasn't until high school that I started to gain interest in classic novels. The kind of novels we're all forced to read in class and never really enjoy. Well don't get me wrong, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and Animal Farm by George Orwell were not my idea of a good relaxing read. Boring, boring, and boring, in my opinion.

I guess you could say that this era in my life was when I started to like non-fiction, as well as period fiction. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is my all time favorite book. What I liked most about it was the fact that it was narrated by the naive and curious Scout, who was a child. She didn't know the world or how the law worked, but she observed and questioned everything that came her way. And we all know that I always question things, so I guess I related to her on some level. Plus, Atticus Finch is the man we all secretly wish was in our lives in one way or another. To Kill A Mockingbird also taught us all (in a very convoluted and poetic way) to not judge a book by it's cover. Even just in the title.

Some of my other favorites include Marley & Me by John Grogan (If you're down for a good cry through pretty much the entire book, READ IT. Don't watch the movie until after. And even then, if you're down for a really heartbreaking cry, watch it.), Holes by Louis Sachar (Really helps put things into perspective in life), The Black Stallion by Walter Farley (Just a really good read), Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (If you're feeling beaten down, this will help pick you right back up), Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (I don't care if you don't like Victorian literature, this coming-of-age story grabbed me and made me idolize Jane - what a woman), The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Who doesn't love this story of the greasers and the Soc's battling it out to decide who is the better group of kids? Stay gold, Ponyboy), Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (A non-fiction terrifying story of a fatal-for-some climb to the top of Mt. Everest in May of 1996 - seriously, if you can get through all the back stories and aftermath stories, this is an intense read), and of course, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (Which is the heartbreaking true story of Christopher McCandless and his lone journey from Georgia to Alaska, without the use of his car and with minimal amounts of money. My soul gets butterflies when I think about this story).

Having listed my all-time favorite novels, I should add that yes, I love the Harry Potter series as well. I also have many books and magazines about The Beatles (which are all so worth it if you love them as much as I do).
I also have a list of books that are a must read for me this year. I've started off with French Toast, a Memoir by Harriet Welty Rochefort, which is about "An American in Paris celebrating the maddening mysteries of the French", and for someone who is obsessed with traveling to France and knowing the Parisian way, I have a hard time putting this book down. The next few on my list are as follows:
  • It's All Greek To Me! by John Mole, which is "A Tale of a Mad Dog and an Englishman, Ruins, Retsina - and Real Greeks".
  • The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn. "Flinn's take of chasing her ultimate dream makes for a really lovely book-engaging, intelligent, and surprisingly suspenseful." - Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I've read so many other classics, why stop where I am?
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. If I could get through the first damn chapter...
  • Stephen Fry's Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music, as told to Tim Lihoreau. Hey, Stephen Fry is a funny man, and I was classically trained in piano, so I know a bit already. Having a comical spin on it might actually make it interesting to those who don't find it as thrilling as I might.
  • Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? Stephen Tyler's Rock 'n' Roll Memoir. Because I love Stephen Tyler. That is all.
  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I've seen the recent movie and know all the songs to the Broadway show, why not read where the story came from?
  • And Finally, Monsiour Pamplemousse On The Spot by Michael Bond. I'm already a decent way through this, I just have to finish it. It's a gastronomic mystery where "If the famous souffle does not rise, France will be in the soup!"
So if you're looking for a book, and have found at least one (hopefully more) in this post that sparks your interest, READ IT. I RECOMMEND ALL THE BOOKS.

As well as if you have any to recommend for me, let me know (however you can let me know... though I have quite a few to get through before adding anymore to the list).

Get reading, ladies and germs! It wakes up the intelligent side of your brain (#intelligenceissexy), that for some of us may be sleeping almost everyday. (Yes, it naps a lot for me too.)  How about you enjoy a nice hot cup of green tea whilst reading a glorious book? I know I sure will.

No comments:

Post a Comment