I always heard that it is important for a writer to read a lot. I think that’s true, although there is only so much time in a day, and I do love outdoor activities.
Currently, I am reading a book called Gulp, by one of my very favorite authors, Mary Roach. She has written some amazing books, my favorite of which is Bonk (because I actually giggled out loud a bunch while reading it.) But I have loved everything she has ever written, and been following her since she had a column in Reader’s Digest called Pardon My Planet.
I also recently re-read the Harry Potter Series for the 20th Anniversary. They were good books to bring on our recent vacation because they are engaging enough to read on a plane with screaming kids.
Some books are good, but maybe not the kind of books that you can read in a train station in Calcutta or a subway in Seoul.
My battered paperbacks of Harry Potter have served me well through all the chaos of travel, and have managed to grab my attention no matter how loud my surroundings. If you need to ignore someone else’s screaming kids, Harry Potter will never fail you.
Plus, the TSA in the US is always scary and often they are not very nice. But, I got one of them to laugh out loud when he asked: “Do you have an e-reader, tablet, laptop, or other device in your backpack?” And I replied, “No, Sir. I have a book.”
The line got quite and everyone stared at me like I had horns and a tail. It was awesome. I pulled out my copy of The Half Blood Prince and flashed it around, and I got a lot of laughs.
Another series I was recently reading was the Sookie Stackhouse books. If you have seen the HBO series called True Blood then I am sorry, because it was pretty awful. But the books are awesome and I had read them ages ago as they came out. I recently found out that the series was finally complete, and so I bought the last two and re-read the whole thing. It was a lot of fun, and each book only takes a day or two at most. Wait in a few lines at the post office or the bank, let a few meals simmer and stir occasionally while reading, and you’re done before you know it.
My students in Korea used to be aghast that I would walk while reading. They thought it was perfectly scandalous. But like any avid reader, I have read while doing pretty much everything, even showering (holding the book out of the spray, of course.)
Something else I took a second look at recently was the Anne of Green Gables books. I hadn’t read them since 8th grade, and I forgot how… let’s say “dated” they are. But, I loved them dearly.
I actually cried reading them because it was so intense to read something that I had been reading back when I was an awkward pre-teen in a loveless home full of abuse. During some parts, I remembered my biological mother screaming at me so clearly that it was almost like she was in the room. It was always in such stark contrast to the books, where Marilla and Matthew love Anne and think of her as the light of their life.
Point is: If you never read Anne of Green Gables, they are charming and worth a look.
I know a lot of people are re-reading American Gods because of the TV show. I thought about it. But American Gods is another one of those really engaging books, and so it used to be my go-to book on long plane rides. I think I can actually quote nearly the whole thing from memory by now, so I decided not to jump on that boat.
I do have the new Mary Roach book, Grunt, on the way. I am looking forward to that. But if you have any other recommendations, please get in touch and let me know. I always need book recommendations. I don’t have enough friends that read!