Tag Archives: reading

I’ll take your advice

13 Jan

Do you know what I love? Book recommendations. Love them. Do you know why? Because if someone is passionate enough about something to actually recommend it then it must be worth at least a glance. Don’t you agree?

For instance, the book I’m reading now, To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, was a Facebook status recommendation. One of my friends just threw it out there. So I picked it up. Why not? The only thing I knew was that this particular friend liked it. What didn’t I know? I didn’t know whether she and I had similar literary taste. She’s an intelligent gal and she doesn’t give a book recommendation every other day, so I felt like this book deserved my time. And let me tell you, a charming read it is. Wonderful. Clever. Interesting. Makes me chuckle. Great recommendation.

Now, I suppose that not every paperback plug is going to be as wildly successful as the one I just mentioned. But what I love about taking a literary suggestion is that I’m bound (get it?) to stumble upon at least SOMETHING interesting because SOMEONE found it just that. Hey, I may even glom onto a new genre obsession. How great is that? Expanding my horizons and that whole bit? Good stuff.

So that’s it. Tell people what you love to read. Make a suggestion on your status. Tweet about it. Recommend something to your pew-mate. Carve your favorite book in a bathroom stall. Buy a billboard and use that. Pass out “I ❤ Atticus Finch” buttons.  We can all benefit from a little reading recommendation.


Christmas Bibliomaniac

9 Dec

We have Christmas books. Many many Christmas books. Whooptie-doo, so do you. (That was a cute little rhyme, huh?) I didn’t used to have this book collection. It’s one of the things my husband brought to the Christmas prep table. He and his brother got a new Christmas book every year and over the years their collection reached beyond the widest branches of their tree. I love this tradition, so we have adopted it into our family. We don’t necessarily buy a new book each year. AJ’s mom is adept at keeping us stocked. Sometimes she gifts the boys with new books. Lately she’s given them books of their Dad’s from the past. Some of the books are gifts from others. Regardless of their origin, we love the books. We love hauling them out of storage each year. We love picking a new one to read each night. Here, I’ll show you some of our collection.

This was our first purchase as a married couple. Funny.

The one on the left was the first Christmas book we bought for Owen. The one on the right was AJ’s when he was little. Mr. Grinch is so mean we needed two of him.

Some of our books tell a Classic Christmas Story.

Some of them tell the Actual Christmas Story.

We even have a touch and feel. Don’t you?

Oh, and a Christmas Humor Book. That’s really important in any book collection. You know, keepin’ it light.

And hey! Look at this! SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. How cool is that? This is thanks to my sister who is willing to stand in line to get such things. Chris Van Allsburg is from Grand Rapids, so he and Christina are practically bff’s.

And board books. There must ALWAYS be board books, because we always have at least one child who consumes books. See? He’s getting ready to chomp.

 Please, feel free to come over and read. I’ll make hot cocoa and put on some James Taylor. Or Harry Connick Jr. Maybe Barenaked Ladies? Mormon Tabernacle Choir? The Osmonds? We could always hit ‘shuffle’. Tell you what, you can choose the Christmas tunes. No, YOU choose the book, I’ll choose the tunes. Wait, no, you’re the guest – you choose. I’LL make recommendations. No, no. I’ll just make hot cocoa.

Social Networking by the Books

29 Jul

Stacy and I got the most touching e-mail yesterday.  Here, let me read part of it to you:

Did I tell you how I felt taking the book back to the library? I didn’t really want to give it up. I wanted to know more about their lives. I also am afraid that another book won’t be as good a friend as this one. Like giving up a comfortable chair or pair of shoes, I’m afraid a new book won’t be as comfortable.

Isn’t that so sweet?  My sister and I have felt this way hundreds of times about a whole slew of characters, and this new reader captured it so beautifully.

The big shock is that this new reader is our mother.  Bet you didn’t know she wasn’t a reader.  She hides it well.  Somehow she manages to be funny, bright, articulate, and knowledgeable without the aid of fiction.  I can’t imagine what she’ll be like now that we seem to have her reading habit well on its way to addiction.

So you’re probably wondering how a nonreader managed to rear two bibliophiles.  Although I can’t remember ever seeing my Mom curled up with a novel of her own she never hesitated to read to us.  Some of my best childhood memories (and I have a lot) are of evenings sprawled across the bed with Mom and Stacy laughing at Ramona Quimby until our sides ached.

Reading was about closeness and family time, laughing together and making new friends bound by ink, but released by our imaginations and conversations.  Reading was socializing in both the real and virtual worlds.  To this day my sister and I still approach books in this same way.

Here’s where you can help us.  Mom’s new friends are the lovely people of Guernsey Island.  Have you met them?  If not, you should introduce yourself to the main character, Juliet, and the two of you should ferry over and make yourselves at home.  Then you should lend us your expertise.  Mom’s a bit leery about meeting new people, so can you introduce her to some that you’ve loved?  Who are the best friends you’ve made in books?

We look forward to your suggestions and can’t wait to put books on hold – the original “friend request.”