I have always loved books. Once I actually learned to read, there was no stopping me. Everyone I went to school with will probably tell you at recess, when everyone else was running around, I was over in a corner, reading. Books are a comfort and a window to other worlds. When I am stressed, sometimes nothing else will calm me down.
I just ordered two books from Amazon. Food memoirs are too tempting to me by far.I was listening to NPR and the author of Tender At the Bone was interviewed by Terry Gross, and I had to come home and look it up. Sounds fascinating.
I also ordered Born Round, The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater, by food critic Frank Bruni. Sounds like the story of my life, a bit. I could've been a food critic, except for the fact that I am a picky eater. My family tells stories about my picky picky childhood, doing annoying things like asking for pizza with no tomato sauce, and pitching a fit if my Kelly's hamburger was only plain because the mustard and ketchup were scraped off. For many years, onions were the enemy, and I avoided them at all costs.
Of course, I also grew up hearing "Your tastes change every seven years," from my mother. So every 7 years or so I would expand my food horizons a bit.
I won't touch a collard green, or a piece of broccoli, though, not if you hold a gun to my head.
Anyway, I digressed. Back to books.
I am finishing up Monster Hunter Alpha by Larry Correia, who is a friend of my brother's and an amazingly versatile writer. It's also probably not a book for anyone squeamish, as it combines fantasy, horror, and a lot of guns and flying body parts. It's not the type of book I normally read. The first two books were great, though, so I ordered Alpha. If you like a page-turner, I strongly recommend it.
I have a stack of books my mother wants me to read, and I will get to them one day soon.I don't share her love of little mysteries with food or sewing/knitting in the title, things like Roast Mortem and Skein of the Crime. She reads for different reasons than I do, though, and she also occasionally reads very serious tomes. One year when bruce was in college he brought home a collection of philosophy books, and Mother read them all, just for fun. She now knows far more about philosophy than I do, and I had two semesters of it in college.
I have friends and relatives who only read non-fiction. I have a hard time plowing through non-fiction books, unless they are about adoption or weight loss.
I have always been a bookworm. I just don't have a lot of time these days. My mother reads 3-4 books a week - more if her computer is down. I often give her books I buy for myself, because she will read them before I've even had time to pick them up.
My family vacations always consisted of a check before we got in the car - "Everyone got a book?" - my mother would ask, as we were packing the car. Woe to anyone without a book, because car rides were about reading. Beach sitting was about reading. My father liked to read 5 lb. tomes about military history while simultaneously watching TV. Never figured out how he did that.
I've read Gone With the Wind about a dozen times, and it's still a favorite. Margaret Mitchell researched her Civil War history thoroughly, and if you want real insights into that war, read it. If you've never done anything but see the movie you will be amazed how rich the story is compared to the Hollywood simplified version.
One of my fave books of all time is The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy, although now when I think of it, alas, I picture the Streisand movie, and Niuck Nolte's tortured and dreadful attempt at a southern accent.
I also love The Journeyer, by Gary Jennings. I read it years ago and loved it. Then I lost the book or gave it away, and years later, when I was in my late 30's, I read it again. I found a used copy from an obscure bookseller because it was out of print. The irony is that a large part of it deals with Marco Polo's journey along the Silk Road, and that area of the world is where my son is from. Here's more about that fascinating book, The Journeyer:
The Journeyer - In his old age, Marco Polo was nicknamed "Marco of the millions" because his Venetian countrymen took the stories of his travels to be so many lies. As he lay dying, a priest offered him a last chance to confess his mendacity, and Marco, it is said, replied "I have not told the half of what I saw and did."
Now Gary Jennings has imagined the half that Marco left unsaid. From the palazzi and back streets of medieval Venice to the sumptuous court of Kublai Khan, from the perfumed sexuality of the Levant to the dangers and rigors of travel along the Silk Road, Marco meets all manner of people, survives all manner of danger, and, insatiably curious, becomes an almost compulsive collector of customs, languages and women.
In more than two decades of travel, Marco was variously a merchant, a warrior, a lover, a spy, even a tax collector - but always a journeyer, unflagging in his appetite for new experiences, regretting only what he missed. Here - recreated and reimagined with all the splendor, the love of adventure, the zest for the rare and curious that are Jennings's hallmarks - is the epic account, at once magnificent and delightful, of the greatest real-life adventurer in human history.
What's your favorite book?!