Words on Wednesday – Why We Read Books

Hello again! Summer is in full swing here, but our Great Family Vacation of 2016 is now complete and, while I had a wonderful time, I’m happy to be back home and once again catching up with you.

Vacation meant a lot of light reading. Not many things (ok, nothing) made it into my commonplace book during those two weeks of traveling. So I’m reaching back to something I found right before we left.

we read books to find out who we are

Why We Read Books

There are many explanations of why people read but this one is so succinct and true. It’s not an easy question, but maybe considering a lot of different answers helps us arrive at a greater understanding.

I have never understood people who think reading is boring. If reading is boring, then maybe you’re doing it wrong or maybe…the boring thing isn’t the book. [/soapbox]

Now that we’re back I’m ordering books from the library with abandon and my reading stack is growing again.

And that makes me happy.

Recently Finished

Like I said, my vacation reading was light. I finished three books (all on my Kindle) and they were all by Elizabeth Peters / Barbara Michaels. These stand alone novels were examples of her earlier work and while the humor and attention to detail was there, the charm of the Peabody series (and other things) that she wrote later weren’t.

Still made for easy car ride reading though. (For those times I wasn’t driving.)

We finished a few audiobooks too. I can’t really drive and listen to a book (I prefer music when I drive) but Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke definitely didn’t put me to sleep. I love Funke’s writing (especially the Inkheart trilogy), even in translation. (Her English is fantastic, though. She did a note from the author at the end of this book where that becomes obvious.) As you might expect from the title, this one is full of ghosts, fighting, and lots of discussions about what, if anything, awaits humans after death. Probably not appropriate for young children, but it could inspire some good discussion with older kids.

We also listened to The Dragon and the Raven from Heirloom Audio, which I will review more thoroughly in August.

Recently Added

I picked up Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand at the big library sale in June. I saw a lot of talk about this novel a few years ago (including comparisons to Austen), but I hadn’t made time for it before now. I haven’t finished and, honestly, I’m not really loving it. There are flashes of brilliant writing and observation but these are spread over much that is tedious. I really want to love it, and I’ll withhold my final judgment until I get around to finishing it.

If you’ve read it, I’d love your thoughts on it.

Current Read Aloud

We took Pollyanna on our trip but we ended up never reading it while we traveled. (I tend to be over-optimistic about these sorts of things). But we’re back into it now and the girls are really loving the story.

Current Book to Review

I need to get my review of Give Your Child the World up. Short version: if you like lists of good books (I do), you will like this book (I did).

Current Kindle Deals

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one of Agatha Christie’s best. It’s $1.99 for Kindle right now. No spoilers, but I’ll warn you: it’s twisty.

How the States Got Their Shapes is another $1.99 deal right now.

There weren’t a lot of deals jumping out at me right now. If you know of any great Kindle deals be sure to share them in the comments!

What are you reading now?

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  1. Chuckling over Pollyanna as an over-optimistic reading choice – it’s fitting :-)

  2. Welcome back! I am also an optimistic traveling-reader. Plus, I never know what will strike my fancy.

    Love the quote!

  3. Agatha Christie has been a mixed bag for me. I really liked her Tommy & Tuppence books but not the few Poirot I’ve read. I decided I’d try another Poirot & The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the one I chose. Haven’t got to it yet but good to hear it’s one of her best!

  4. Kimberly Pitman says

    I finished “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” this week and thought it was well-written (mostly). I read it because I recently finished the author’s second novel and wanted to read her first work. I liked her second book better but that may be because I liked the characters more.

    As for Christians writing Christian fiction, now you know why I am drawn to the Miss Read and Mitford novels. I don’t need everyone being a “Christian” in the books I read but I do appreciate a context of morality with decent plots and character development without “preachiness” or unrealistic situations. Guess that means I like stories about scenarios that could have happened to me, the people I love, or those from whom I descend.

    So perhaps you need to write a book, honey. I, and others like me, will read it.