Books. I have always had piles of books. It it genetic. I grew up in a house piled high with books. The mother is a murder mystery fan. She was good for a book a week.
I learned to read at the age of three. Why? She didn’t like reading to me. She wanted to read her own books, so she taught me to read. By the age of five I could read silently. I got in trouble in first grade when the teacher sat down to observe my reading and I didn’t speak.
In the third grade I read every single Hardy Boys book. All of them (the originals, of course.). In fourth grade I read every single Nancy Drew Mystery. I remember, there were 52 of one and 54 of another. I kept a list and crossed them off. When I ran out of those, I was beside myself.
The school librarian would order books from different counties for me. She did this between third grade until I graduated 8th grade. When I read every book in the library (seventh grade), she began bringing in books for me, special. No one else got the books she found for me to read.
The mother’s best friend was the town librarian. I had her well trained too. Summer meant trips to her library, and hours spent amidst piles of books. How I love the smell of a book. She passed away a few years ago. My fondest memories of her involve helping her in the library, and being able to check out as many books as I wanted.
I secretly read Helter Skelter when I was in the sixth grade. It gave me nightmares. The mother was reading it, and I was accustomed to picking up her books and reading them when she wasn’t. I did the same with The Onion Field. I was far too young for those. I’m still too young for those. Perhaps that was the beginning of my strange fascination with true life murder mysteries and serial killers?
I read Dr Zhivago in the seventh grade, complaining about the Russian translation to English the whole time. It was awful. I didn’t have Google back then, nor did I have a Russian dictionary. I sobbed at the end.
I read every Danielle Steel book during the 80’s and early 90’s, every Sidney Sheldon book in the 80’s and 90’s, and most Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, John Saul, and Dean Koonz over the last 20 years.
The Poisonwood Bible is ranked as one of the best books I have ever read, next to Gone With The Wind. That is in a league all it’s own. And Rebecca. I loved that one too! Mrs. Danvers still scares the living daylights out if me! When anyone asks me what my favorite books are, those are the three I say.
The House of Sand and Fog made me so angry I threw it across a hotel room one night. It hit a picture on the wall, causing it to fall. The person in the room next door banged on the wall and yelled at me. I’ve never been so angry with a character in a book as I was with them. Later I saw the author on Oprah. He didn’t help me like those characters.
I have read all of Leo Buscgalia’s and Shirley MacLain’s books. Everyone should read Love by Leo, or as I call it, the Love book. Everyone. Go get it now. Read it often. Learn lessons from it. Let it change you. I began reading those in my early teens, much to the mother’s horror.
I’ve read Love Story so many times I can pretty much recite it. Not the best example of literature, but oh how Oliver loved Jenny. Who doesn’t want a love like that? Without the cancer, of course.
First You Have to Row a Little Boat was life changing. I found it in a little shop on the coast of Maine. I could not put it down. So many life lessons in the story of a man who learned to sail. I finished that book on a plane. I sat quietly, holding the book, looking at life in a new way.
The Andrew Wyeth biography made me fall in love with the art of three generations of Wyeth painters all over again. Jamie remains my favorite, but Andrew and his father NC were so…the tortured artist. I have prints by Jamie and Andrew in my home. I even visited many if the locations of their paintings in Maine one year.
Bobbi Brown’s book taught me the fine art of looking natural and with makeup. It was the best makeup lesson I’ve ever had. Her lipsticks in Brown and Nude are still my favorites. I have recommended them for 15 years.
A Voyage for Madmen is one of the most fascinating reads ever. Those men were mad! Who in their right mind sails from Europe to South America, Africa, Australia, and back, alone, on a sailing yacht? It is a true story of ego, greed, and madness.
I am ashamed to say I’ve not read anything by Hemmingway, nor have I read The Great Gatsby. I’ve got most of the other classics covered. I need to work on that.
Needless to say, I have a lot of books. Shelves are stuffed, most in double rows. I never get rid of a book. I just can’t. I have close to 200 books on my Kindle too. Yes, I’m a Kindle book hoarder.
I have recently discovered Audible. Heaven help me. I am being strong and limiting myself to one audio book a month. I listened to The Happy Herbovore’s Guide to Plant Based Living last week. A nice way to deal with commute traffic.
Right now I am reading The Pleasure Trap and The Tapping Solution on my Kindle, and listening to Buddhist Bootcamp on Audible. I love Buddhist Bootcamp. It is the right book at the right time. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with living in peace and harmony.
I am struggling with The Pleasure Trap (in so many ways! Ha ha!!) It is the same struggle I had with The China Study. Once in a while, I come upon a book that just does not click. But I’m still trying. I think I’m up to chapter five. I’m told it gets easier. I sure hope so!