On Reading

Always I’ve been a reader. As a kid I read with books propped on faucets while bathing or brushing my teeth meaning family was often annoyed by how long I stayed in the bathroom. I read with a flashlight under the covers when I was supposed to be sleeping. I read on the bow of the boat giving an occasional glance to the fishing line bobbing in the water. Well, you get the picture!

With today’s access to audio books, pleasure is doubled as I can listen to one book and read another. Yes, that does require extra concentration, but it affords opportunity to “read” so much more and escape into the magical world of words.

So, what do I read? For sure my taste is eclectic. I like nonfiction for opening the door to learning or giving insight to people past and present. I savor poetry and revel in good writing. I like historical fiction as well as stories spun from an author’s imagination. I enjoy page turning thrillers. Heck, I even like cookbooks filled not only with beautiful photos and mouth watering recipes but stories penned by a creative chef.

In case you are looking for good reads, here are some favorites beginning with nonfiction.

On Writing by Stephen King. If I have a favorite book, this one would be high on the list. It is King at his best and worthy of reading more than once. It is part memoir, part autobiography and part on writing. Don’t overlook it!

Sontag a Pulitzer winner by Benjamin Moser. Except for her name I knew nothing about Susan Sontag and read it because of being acquainted with the author. Hers is an interesting story that for me generated mixed feelings.

How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith is described as a deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history. It is beautifully written but more importantly it enhances awareness of issues that continue to haunt us. The book is deserving of its many accolades.

Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a compelling look at four very different presidents and the skills that made them good leaders at the time they served. They are Abraham Lincoln, the two Roosevelts and Lyndon Johnson.

Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman reads like a novel but is the story of a mysterious heiress, Huguette Clark.

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson examines the unspoken caste system that exists in America. This is a very thought provoking book.

Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein, a timely look at the reasons that over time have caused us to become a nation so divided.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. Yes, this is a change from the other books listed here, but it is well worth reading. It’s even better listened to as he is the reader which makes his story all the more personal.

Well, that’s enough for now but not all that I would like to recommend. How about I save others for later? In the meantime enjoy all that words have to offer.

8 thoughts on “On Reading

  1. Isn’t it great!
    My very first novel was called Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and it gripped me upon reading the book to discover the value of free thinking and how censorship can turn a regular day society into a dystopia of madness.

  2. Wonderful selection, Linda. Stephen King book is also my favorite. I pick it up at book sales and give it to friends that write, I always have two copies on my bookshelf as one is underlined, highlighted and filled with post-its! Also read several others of your selection. I’m not a big non-fiction reader, but have read CASTE. You need to share more of your favorite readings. Gives me ideas.

  3. Linda, I am an avid reader, but I have never listened to a audible book. Thank you for the list and Happy reading!

  4. Great list and will be adding them as suggestions for my Book Club. Thank you!
    I may purchase the audible of Greenlights. His voice is amazing!

  5. I love to read too, but audible books not so much, I often find the reader’s voice distracting, but I bet when the author is reading it that makes a big difference~Thanks for the suggestions

  6. Enjoyed your list–will have to check some of them out. I have to second your choice of Pulitzer-prize winning Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson. It was this month’s selection for my college alumnae reading club, and I’m so glad I read it.

  7. Thanks for the recommendations! I’ve read a few of them, and totally agree.

  8. Wow! “I can listen to one book and read another.” I am assuming you go back and forth, but don’t both of these at once! Nice post! I love reading as well. Haven’t done it as much as an adult, as I devoured all the books I could get my hand on as a kid!

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