Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Escape: Fiction

For as long as I can remember, reading has been a way for me to escape my life for a little while and indulge in the story of some one else. It's a way for me to relax, unwind and many times, refocus. Some people "sleep on it." I "read on it." When I need to step back or step out, I read. When I'm stressed and need to chill out for a while, I read. Or even when I'm already relaxed and just feel like relaxing even more, I read.

I remember when my husband and I were first dating. He was watching some movie that I had no interest in whatsoever but because I wanted to be with him, I sat on the couch and read a book. I think he thought I was mad at him. When we went to Hawaii last year, I brought three books with me. I remember turning 10 and my parents bought me The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I've read those books roughly 12 times. I finished the Twilight series in about 2 weeks (which was pretty good considering in that two week time period, I gave birth to a kid and then he went into the ICU). My most favorite book of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. He wrote The Three Musketeers too, another great book. I've been trying to branch out and Michelle Moran writes fictional books about females in history such as Nefertiti and the daughter of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. They're amazingly written. I bought, but haven't read yet, her newest one titled Madame Tussuad. In branching out, I've become a fan of Dan Brown, Nicholas Sparks and Jane Austen as well.

I've been reading a lot lately. The hubby has been out of town on a long project and being alone with the kids for so long has kinda wound me up a bit. Thankfully, I've got my book to keep me "grounded". I'm currently rereading "Emma" by Jane Austen. I love how all of her stories and characters are so complexly intertwined. You have to pay attention in order to understand what's going on. Which is what I've needed lately. At other times, when I'm looking for an easy read, I'll pick up a Nicholas Sparks book or when I'm looking for a science fiction version of (as my dad so appropriately worded it) bubble gum for the brain (meaning, its an easy, enjoyable read), I'll read "Storm Front" by James Butcher.

What made me think of all of this is that tonight, when putting my three year old daughter to bed, I had to remove a pile of books off her bed just to get her into it. When I went to turn off the light, she said, "Wait, Mommy, I can't sleep with out my books with me." I almost laughed only because I know how she feels. Right now, on the floor next to my bed, I have 5 books. I can promise that my own father has at least one book next to his bed. A book that he will be able to quickly finish and immediately replace with another. One of my favorite ways to relax in the evening when I was younger was to climb in bed with my dad and read while he read. I can remember the floor to ceiling book shelves that were in our basement growing up. I'd stand there and stare at all the books my dad had accumulated over the years and be amazed at how many there were (but then I'd run out of there as quickly as I possibly could... the basement scared the daylights out of me). In college, I'd skip class (don't act surprised) to go to Barnes and Noble, curl up in a big comfy chair and read for countless hours. My daughter loves to read and be read to. My son... well, lets just say that he's not allowed to roam the library because I don't feel like paying to replace every book he shreds up. I'm not at all saying that I'm disappointed that he isn't into books, but it secretly thrills me that my daughter shares my literary love, even at such a young age. I will do my best to keep encouraging this with her. She will have an incredible world of limitless possibilities opened up to her. And she will always have a way to escape when stressed and enjoy the creations that have swelled up from another human being's mind and heart.

Below I am listing my favorite books and then I'll have another that is a list of the books I want to read, which, if my husband has read down this far (and I now know that he really does read it since I got myself in trouble in a previous blog post mentioning that I hadn't started his car like he'd asked me to), he will take it as a hint since Christmas is quickly approaching and he will be soon asking for gift ideas.

My Favorite Books Ever:

The Count of Monte Cristo ~ Alexandre Dumas
The Lost Symbol ~ Dan Brown
Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen
The Time Traveler's Wife ~ Audrey Niffenegger
The Guardian ~ Nicholas Sparks
The Heretic Queen ~ Michelle Moran
Dracula ~ Bram Stoker
To Kill A Mocking Bird ~ Harper Lee
Silmarilion ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
The Oath ~ Frank Peretti

My Wish List:

The Help
Angels and Demons
Madame Tussuad
Burn Notice
A Walk to Remember
The Man in the Iron Mask
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Lady Susan

The latter is small but always growing and I'm open to constant suggestions. I think that soon, I will begin reading The Chronicles of Narnia to the kids before bed. C.S. Lewis was so creative and the message is simple and obvious enough for a child to grasp. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was actually written by Tolkien as bedtime stories for his own children but I think that right now, those are a little scary for a three year old. Anyway... I'm thankful that my daughter shares my love for reading and I can only hope and pray that it rapidly increases with age.

*For any needed information on these listed books or if you would like to purchase them online yourself, click here for easy shopping access.*


  1. You gotta read the Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved them way more than Twilight, its more artistic too I think. I have a review on my blog about them :) She also has a new book which I am about to start called The Scorpio Races and its already gotten rave reviews and been picked up as a movie. Check her out! Hunger Games are also on my list to read.
    Love this post so very much!!

  2. Loved your post and also the book list. I'd read quite a few of them but added the others to my "Books to Read" computer file. Thanks!


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