I am currently mid-book…well, to be honest, I’ve been “mid” four different books this week. I would start one, struggle to get into it, and then return it and find a new one. Every once and while I go through a difficult reading period where I’m struggling to find a book that captures my interest.
So instead of a book review – I just want to talk about books today!
1. Who was your first (or only) literary hero?
The very first author that I feel in love with, and that encouraged my love of reading, was John Irving. I was given “A Prayer for Owen Meany” as a book report in junior high, and I fell in LOVE with Irving’s frank and realistic writing style. He did not beat around the bush or white out the unsavoury parts – and that’s what I loved most about him. I was raised in a family that ignored everything that wasn’t cookie cutter perfect – and basically just lived in denial of any blemishes. I felt suffocated trying to navigate the blemishes with a group of people who pretended they weren’t there – and it was very challenging. Irving was my first glimpse into the reality of real families and the lessons I learned from that are invaluable. He made me realize that blemishes and mistakes are not only normal but expected and they do not disqualify you from being worthy of being loved. More importantly, he taught me that we are not our situations – situations happen to us, but do not become us.
As an adult, I still appreciate Irving’s work but I don’t have the same love for his writing style that I did then. Now that my life experience and novel base is much more variable than it was back then – I have found many authors who capture the reality of life and present it in an elegant way. Some of them do it much better than he does – but he will always hold a place in my heart as the first person who showed me what it truly means to be human and what it truly means to love and be loved.
2. What book changed the way you looked at life?
Umm…all of them? I think that’s what marks a good book – one that you carry pieces of into your everyday life.
I think, though, the most significant was “The Book of Negroes”. If you haven’t read it, you should. It is the kind of book everyone needs to read – if only to gain some minor understanding of the horrors in our modern world.
3. What book(s) can you read over and over?
Harry Potter all day long. Each time I read them, I am swept into a magical world that made me feel safe…and even though I’m 15 years older than I was when I first read them – they are like a warm hug every time I return to them.
4. Hardcover, paperback or e-book?
I always like the medium sized paperbacks (like the size of a hard cover, with a paper cover). I think that size is most comfortable for my hands.
However, since I’ve been having issues with carpal tunnel in both hands (*thanks MA degree) I’ve had to switch to e-books, so I can prop my tablet up without holding it. The benefit to this is that now I can use my library’s e-reader app which allows me to sign out/read/return books from home and it is WONDERFUL!
5. What are your earliest reading memories?
One of my best memories ever was sitting in my grandpa’s lap, wrapped up in his safety and love, while he read me a little book on a kitten who lost it’s mitten. I think that was my first real recollection of feeling safe and loved. My grandpa had numerous strokes – and so lost almost all ability to walk and move, but the one thing he could do was read. Reading became the thing he did all day, every day. His ability to talk was impeded hugely, but he still read to us from the children’s books when we visited. Such a lovely memory. ❤
6. What are you reading right now?
Well…I’m currently working on “The Myth of Perpetual Summer” by Susan Crandall.
Thanks for reading along, and feel free to answer the questions in the comments (or on your own blog). I’d love to see your responses! 🙂 Also…any and ALL book suggestions are welcome!