Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reading Railroad

I love reading. I love opening a book and escaping into a different world. I love the smell of books, especially old books. In Fahrenheit 451, one of my favorite books, the old English professor talks about that wonderful book smell, saying they smell like some exotic spice from the Orient. I agree!

Here are some books I've enjoyed recently:

1. The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne. Yes, the guy who wrote the Winnie the Pooh books. Did you know he wrote a mystery? Just one. According to the Introduction, he was quite a mystery fan, but he had some pretty strong feelings about what should and should not be included. So, he wrote one to meet those sentiments. It was so popular that his publishers begged for another one but he refused - there was nothing left to say. Then he created the Winnie the Pooh characters and became known as a children's writer. Anyway, it was a delightful book. Booklogged, I especially thought of you when I read this since I know you love Winnie the Pooh and a good mystery. It's witty and the characters are engaging. I'm sure I'll reread it many many times in my life.

2. Emily Post:Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners by Laura Claridge. I love biographies! History is chock full of interesting stories and this promises to be one of them. I haven't actually finished it, but what I've read so far has been fascinating. I had no idea that she had lived through such a scandal - one that ended her marriage. I hate putting this book down at night to go to bed!

3. Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. They are a fantasy series and I wouldn't recommend them to just anyone. Unlike David Eddings books, this series contains some pretty heavy material. There are 11 books, each over 700 pages, but that's not what I mean by heavy. The subject matter is sometimes dark and overwhelming. At some point in each book, I have to shut the book and breath. Then I have to talk myself into continuing to read because I've become too emotional and stressed out. The characters are amazingly drawn and the hero, Richard, is just about the best hero in any book I've ever read. He's flawed enough to be human but perfect enough to help me trust him when things are looking grim and hopeless. Really, one of my favorite series, just be forewarned that you may experience difficulties. My older brother couldn't finish the first book! I just finished the final book a couple days ago and feel like I really accomplished something. Most importantly, I like how it ended. Whew!

4. Murder in Three Acts by Agatha Christie. She is definitely the best-represented author on my bookshelves. One of my goals in life is to own all her novels and short story collections. This book contains Hercule Poirot who I adore, though not as much as Miss Marple. For Miss Marple's best work, I'd recommend The Thirteen Problems, a collection of short stories. I don't have a favorite Poirot story. My all-time favorite Christie novel, though, is And Then There Were None. It's creepy, but in a good way. Kind of. I have a recurring nightmare about this book, but I still love it. I couldn't guess who the murderer was! However, if you read this book and love it as much as I do, don't ever see the play. It was horrible. Sarah can attest to the horror I felt when we watched it a few years ago. *shudder*

5. An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde. Who knew that Oscar Wilde was such an interesting guy? Before I read this book, I looked him up on Wikipedia and discovered that he was quite the colorful, flamboyant guy! Anyway, I love this story. What witty dialogue and fascinating subplots! A quick, fun read.

6. Conagher by Louis L'Amour. I own four of his books, and have read a few others. I've enjoyed every single one. The four I own have been read countless times. This one is probably my favorite because of the title character. He's a real man. The kind of real man that I would like in my life - a hard worker, honest, stubborn, caring, strong, unafraid to get dirty if needed. Like all the books of his I own, this one has a hint of romance. I like it like that, just a hint. Don't want to muddy the story with too much. And, this is a pretty good story.

There have been others, but I think these are fairly representative of the books I like to read. Once I finish the Emily Post bio, I'm going to start another series of 11, though I imagine this series is going to be a lot easier to read - the first book is called The Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery. Someone mentioned on their blog that they read The Key Lime Pie Murder and I was intrigued - a combination of my two loves; food and books! So, I bought the first three in the series and if I like them, which I bet I do, I'll buy all the others. My original plan was to read them while recovering from my surgery, but is it a good idea to read mysteries with such yummy titles after weight loss surgery???

Happy reading!


Cardine said...

I am glad to hear about the Sword of Truth series or whatever. Did you tell Natalie and ... um... her husband? I forgot his name.

Framed said...

Dang, I just redid my TBR list and now there's some books I want to add. Especially the A A Milne book. Sounds great.

Melissa said...

Oh how I love to read a GOOD book. And I am always on the lookout for some new books to read. Maybe I will check out one of these and see what I think. Thanks for the list!

Lori Clark said...

Thanks for the book suggestions, I'll add them to my list.

Mellissa said...

It's always nice to get recommendations. I go into the library and just stare at the shelves hoping a good book will just POP out at me. Never happens, my friend.

julie said...

Cardine, no I haven't told them yet, but maybe I'll email them today. The last time Natalie and I discussed this series, I had only read 4! I think she'll be impressed.

Framed, yes, of all of these, the one I'd most highly recommend is The Red House Mystery. It was such a fun read and so unexpected!

Melissa, again, if you don't read any others, read AA Milne's.

Lori, I love your avatar picture! I hope you enjoy these books when you read them!

Missy, I have the same reaction. So, I tend to find authors I know and see if the library has any books I haven't read. Someday I'll go to my aunts' websites and get a good list of books to read. Someday I'll visit the library again. I love going but I never get around to it!

Wendy said...

I love reading too. When I walk into a library I am in even because of the musty book smell. I like to open the books and smell them.

tearese said...

My dad tried to get me to read Sword of Truth, but I quit after like 40 pages. There is a tv series on about it now, I hear.
I don't know if it was because I was getting tired of reading fantasy (which I spent the bulk of my youth reading), or if it was too violent, or if I was just too busy.
I find it weird to realize that I used to spend four to five hours a day reading novels, yet I haven't read one in the last year or two, and every time I've tried to start one I get bored. What's that all about?

julie said...

Wendy, I'm glad that we share a love of the smell of books! What books do you like to read?

Tearese, yeah, like I said, it's not a series for everyone. However, I think that if you can get past the middle (which is pretty heavy) then you'll really enjoy the books. And, I've seen the TV show and wasn't impressed. At all. I only watched the first 2 episodes and don't plan on watching the rest. I bet when your kids get older and life settles a litte you'll read more. I bet right now you're being pulled in a million different ways!

KieraAnne said...

Good luck with the food books after your surgery. I've read the Key Lime Pie Murder, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and am currently in the middle of The Strawberry Shortcake Murder. I must confess at least twice in each book I have had to try some of the recipes included in the book. So that might be sad if you can't eat so much, but then again, maybe the descriptions will be enough. :)

Booklogged said...

I love reading about some of the books you've read recently. There's a faint hint of memory stirring about the A.A. Milne mystery. That memory may have lain dormant if you hadn't mentioned it. I am going RIGHT NOW to find it, otherwise, you and I both know what will happen - dormant, quiet, almost forgotten memory!

Just went to order it from amazon. They had a hardcover for $49. I used self-control and settled for the $12 paperback copy. I'll probably regret it when the price on the hardback soars to the trillions someday!

The Emily Post book sounds really good, too. I'm going to pass on the others, at least for the time being. I really want to read more Agatha Christie. Have you seen the movie version of An Ideal Husband? Just wondering if it's any good.

I hope you will consider sharing your book choices with us again.