Friday, April 22, 2011

Time Travel!

Time travel is possible through books. How else can you experience what it was like to fight in the Civil War, cross the ocean with the Mayflower, or sign the Constitution?

One of my favorite people is John Adams. I have traveled with him to France and watched him help found our country. I have seen his parenting style and read over his shoulder as he read letters from his loving wife. All of this was made possible through books. I have been inspired by this awesome man, and his life. He wasn't perfect, but for me that makes him more endearing. (I certainly didn't learn all these things from a class at school. I learned little more than his name and the fact that he was a Founding Father there.)

I think this aspect of reading is why so many books have time travel in them. Avid readers don't have to suspend reality too much to believe in time travel. After all, they experience it for themselves almost every time they open a book.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quote by Theodore Parker

"The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty."
--Theodore Parker

This little quote says so much with so few words. Perhaps someday I will be able to be so succinct. Some of the books I have learned the most from were heavy reading. Often, classics are more difficult than current fiction, but they have stood the test of time. Some books seem like they were written just for me, because they hold wisdom that I need.

Friday, April 15, 2011

House of Leaves

Sometimes the echoes of a book will linger in the back of my mind for a few days, popping to the forefront in odd moments. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is one of those books. The book's format is unique because the story is made up of a man critiquing a book which critiques a movie. The footnotes of the book are part of the story. Each level of the book has characters dealing with their own disturbing issues. Its an intriguing, creepy book which somewhat defies categorization.

Our bookstore has this book in the horror section, but it isn't quite what one generally thinks of when considering horror books. Its a psychological thriller, the kind that sneaks up on you. I loved it for this very reason.

I recommend this book to those that like mind bending books. It is also for those that enjoy unique books that push the boundaries of what a book entails. This is a book for adults. Its a big book, so be prepared to set aside a chunk of time for it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Quote by Henry David Thoreau

"To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise, and one that will task the reader more than any other exercise which the customs of the day esteem. It requires a training such as the athletes underwent, the steady intention almost of the whole life to this object."
--Henry David Thoreau

I like this quote because it highlights that reading isn't just an activity for pleasure. If a good story is all you ever get out of reading, you aren't reading well. This doesn't discount the benefits of a good story; there is a time and place for that. But it also points the way to something richer and deeper. It shows that we must be actively thinking, pondering, and wondering as we read. This is reading well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Books Finished March 2011

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher
Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
Girls on the Edge by Leonard Sax
Grayton Beach Affair by James Harvey
Of Mice and Men by David Farland
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
Shadowplay by Tad Williams
Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are by Alex and Brett Harris
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Reis and Jack Trout
The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
The Healing Power of Stories by Daniel Taylor
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
The Overton Window by Glenn Beck
Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax
Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline
Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

*These are books that I have finished reading. This list does not include books that I have skimmed. The list does not include picture books that I have read to my children, nor does it show all the other reading I have done. These books were finished in this month, but some may have taken considerable time to read, bit by bit.