Books, Books, Books

I love to read, though I confess my time spent reading has dwindled since I became a blogger.  The time I used to devote each night to reading before falling asleep is now devoted to reading the stuff you write.  Stop writing such good stuff, okay?  I need to catch up on some books.

Anyway, several of you have done this meme, and after Shalee tagged me I thought I’d jump in too.  Mostly, I’d be interested to read your lists over at your own blog.  I’ll include a Mr. Linky at the end of this so that you can post a link, if you participate.  This meme was originally shorter, but I lengthened it.  I love talking about books, and well, no one has ever accused me of short-windedness.

1. Book that changed your life: The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.  If you read ONE book the rest of this year, make it that one.  You will never be the same.  Other significant books have been Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss and the entire Anne of Green Gables series by L.M Montgomery.

2. Book that you’ve read more than once: The Anne of Green Gables series.  I started reading them when I was about 11 and have read through the entire series more times than I can count. 

3. Book you’d want on a desert island: The Bible, of course.  And probably a book called "How To Get Off A Desert Island".

4. Book that made you laugh: Thundering Sneakers by Prudence Mackintosh.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks by Donald Harington .  Anything by Fannie Flagg.

5. Book that made you cry:  The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (last book in the Narnia series), Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

6. Book that you wish had been written: How To Stop the Clocks So That You Can Have 28 Hours In Your Day

7. Book you don’t enjoy: I’m not a fan of the Christian fiction genre.  Now hang on, before some of you start throwing things at me from every corner of Blogland, let me explain.  I love to read good-quality books by writers who happen to be Christians, whether or not their faith makes a specific appearance in their books.  But I’ve tried Christian fiction and find much of it overly formulaic and a bit preachy (I know, I know, of course there are exceptions; I’m speaking in generalities here).  Frankly, the idea of Christian marketing in general leaves me a bit cold, whether it’s fiction or neckties or–Heaven help usperfume.  I agree with C.S. Lewis (and who on earth would have the nerve to disagree with C.S. Lewis, anyway?) when he said "What the world needs is not more Christian writers but more writers who are Christians."

8. Book you are currently reading: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.  It’s my friend Jules‘ favorite book, and I originally agreed to read it in exchange for a promise from her that she’d watch the first season of Lost on DVD.  I’m loving it and am so glad she recommended it.  Though she’s not off the hook for watching Lost. On my left sidebar is the list of books I’m planning to read next.

9. Book you’ve been meaning to read:  Just tried– I mean, really tried–to wade my way through Pilgrim’s Progress.  Just couldn’t do it (and I know, there’s an abridged version, but I’m funny that way–I’d rather read no version than an abridged version).  I’m also hoping to tackle the Grapes of Wrath later this year, now that Chilihead has me turned on to Steinbeck.

10. Book you remember as a real page-turner:   Woman In White by Wilkie Collins; London, by Edward Rutherford; anything by Agatha Christie; Ferney by James Long (very unusual book, but interesting); One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus; anything by Sandra Dallas, Margaret George or Tracy ChevalierTill We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.  And, of course, the great Harry.  I could type a million more, but I have to stop somewhere…

11.  Non-fiction books that you have enjoyed: Honestly?  I really don’t enjoy non-fiction, most of the time.  Is that awful?  Probably.  But the ones that do stick out in my mind from over the years are The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, and Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow. Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Dr. Richard Ferber saved my sanity (and very possibly my marriage! *grin*)

12.  Children’s books your family has loved:  I could list a hundred, but our favorites have been Time For Bed by Mem Fox; anything by Audrey Woods or Eric Carle (and yes, I can do ALL the different animal voices in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, thankyouverymuch), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. ("skit-skat-skoodle-doot" is a regular part of our family vocabulary), I Love You As Much by Laura Melmed, My Backpack by Eve Bunting, Pigs In the Mud by Lynn Plourde, Zoom City by Thacher Hurd, Maybe My Baby by Irene O’Book, and OF COURSE Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (I could recite it forwards, backwards, upside down and probably in Portugese if I tried…)

And no, I’m not getting any kickbacks from Amazon for all these links.  Drat.

If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged.  I always like to hear what others are reading, so if you participate on your own blog, leave a link below!

48 thoughts on “Books, Books, Books

  1. boomama says:

    I just told D. tonight that I needed to pick up some new children’s books for A. – and now, like magic, I have a shopping list. 🙂
    And you have read some, um, seriously serious books. I have read the complete works of John Grisham and Richard North Patterson. A lot of good grad school did me, huh? 😉

  2. Jenny says:

    I posted this meme to my blog- my version was from chilihead’s blog, it’s a little different, but I will scoot on over and add the extra questions you have. I have to admit I go on christian fiction binges, but then I get tired of that and stick to serious stuff…I love “Stepping heavenward” and the “Anne” books, I read these every year or so. Sorry, do not like Steinbeck- I think we shouldn’t assign his books to depressive teenagers in school…And I loved Brother Lawrence too.
    Jenny in Ca

  3. jen says:

    I can back u in backing The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom a wonderful story written by a incredible lady.

  4. mopsy says:

    Zoom City!? My kids have always adored that book. Love the illustrations. I believe he is the son of the infamous Clement Hurd? Dogs + Cars = You can’t go wrong. They love Go Dog, Go too.
    I’ve had teary-eyed moments during all the Narnia books. Reading “The Silver Chair” right now, actually…

  5. Jennifer, Snapshot says:

    I followed the lead of previous linkers and linked to the one that I did last month. It’s very similar to this one. I don’t think it has “books I don’t enjoy” and to that I would say maybe cheesy fiction. In that, you can include some Christian fiction, and Harlequin (although, I have to admit I’ve picked up a few laying around and haven’t died yet).
    I agree with you about Christian fiction, but if it’s been a while that you’ve picked any up, I think that things are a’changing for the better. A couple of friends recommended Lisa Sampson, and I just read the Living End–wonderful. Not preachy or moralistic, but faith has a profound effect on the characters. Wonderful writing.
    My reading had been waning a bit as well (probably as a result of blogging), but I too have made a conscious effort to read more and it’s been great.

  6. FLGrandma says:

    I agree about Christian fiction; too much of it is poorly written. I like Lewis’ comment; very true!

  7. Adventures In Babywearing says:

    I love this meme- I love to see what people are reading, too! I used to want to be a librarian when I grew up… I just love books. I thought I was pretty “with it” but you have mentioned quite a few I haven’t heard of before! I will try to do this one when I get the chance.

  8. Shannon in Surprise, Arizona says:

    I agree with you about Christian fiction it is hard for me to read. I can do devotionals and Bible Studies. I know for me to read a book the author has to really capture me pretty much right off. The topic or even kind of book can be almost anything, but the author and I need to “click”. I am reading a book right now called The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble. It is about a bunch of women that come together for a reading group but then find their lives intertwined. So far it is is really good.

  9. marta says:

    I *heart* booklists! If I can contribute anything to this, it’s that you must include “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger in your list of books to tackle. I read it whilst traveling earlier this year and no book has ever sucked me in and completely gutted me the way this one did.

  10. Joy M says:

    I did one just the other day. It isn’t exactly the same, but close. I think yours had more categories than mine did. Well, I linked it anyway. Thanks.
    By the way, I’ve been lurking on your blog for sometime. I followed a link to it from kpjara’s blog. I think this may be the first time I have de-lurked on it, but I can’t be too sure. I talk way to much to remember everyone I talk to:-) Needless to say, your blog keeps my coming back. I love it!

  11. MomInTandyLand says:

    Now I have more books I want to read! Especially after following all the links and seeing what everyone else has read! Thank you for posting this and inviting us all to participate… I had the most fun looking back over my book collection. I even found a couple I need to read again!

  12. Susie says:

    I am going to read “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom. Both you and Billy Graham have recommended that one to me lately (well, he didn’t personally recommend it – he mentioned it in another book I’m reading).
    I also enjoyed “London” – it made me want to go. But after the news that’s come out today, I don’t think I’ll be heading the the U.K. anytime soon, unfortunately. :/

  13. veronica says:

    I haven’t read Christian fiction in ages for just your reasons. Although I did discover a kind of writing I dislike even more: memoirs of pastors that never mention Jesus or faith of any significance. I read a book of that sort this year and I found it utterly depressing.

  14. God's Child says:

    re How To Stop the Clocks So That You Can Have 28 Hours In Your Day
    Actually–that is a really great title for a time management book. Why don’t you write one? You’re probably much better at time management than you give yourself credit for.

  15. MoneyDummy says:

    “The Lady in White” contains the most chilling moment I’ve encountered in all my reading. It beats the socks off of Poe, King, Koonz, and it does it all without blood, gore, or violence. Wilkie Collins is pure genius, and I’ll never understand why it was Dickens and not he who became celebrated (well, yes I do. Social relevance and all that sort of thing.)

  16. mimi2six says:

    I love hearing about good books I haven’t yet read! One I’m reading now (on audio tape while I treadmill) is Joni Earikson Tada’s THE GOD I LOVE. It’s wonderful!

  17. Casey says:

    I would agree with you as far as Christian ficition goes… except that I have found an author I love.
    Ted Dekker. His books are faith based, yet not preachy, completely original and exciting to read. Especially his Circle Trilogy books… amazing.
    Anyway, he’s worth checking out.
    End plug. 🙂

  18. crygibb says:

    Sounds like a great list of books, I have to say though i havent read most of those, with the exception of the children’s books. Chica Chica Boom Boom and Goodnight Moon are two of my favorite books that i love to read to my kids. My list is up too.

  19. Kassandra says:

    WOW, that is quite a list of books! I wish my desire for reading was as ambicious as yours, but I can’t say the same. However, I am going to try and do better…..of course, that means, I must cut back on the blogging.
    Happy Reading!

  20. Gina says:

    Christian fiction has come a long way in the last ten years. You need to keep trying until you find something that fits your style.
    I’m sure no one would argue there’s tons of poorly written secular ficiton available, but those who read secular fiction keep looking until they find what they like.
    It’s the same with Christian fiction. There’s both great and poorly written Chrsitian fiction out there, but that shouldn’t be a reason to steer clear of the fiction section in your Christian book store. It’s kind of like saying because I don’t like a couple of tv evangelists I’m not going back to church.
    I love suspense, and Ted Dekker, Bill Myers, Terri Blackstock are some of my favorites as well as Dee Henderson, Brandilyn Collins, and Collen Coble.
    There’s chicklit, momlit, cozy mysteries, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, historical and even literary fiction.
    Authors like Lisa Samson, Tricia Goyer, Kristin Billerbeck, Mary E. Demuth are wonderful Christian women writing fiction that happens to be published by a Christian publishers but their stories are filled with real people living real life. I can’t remember reading a “preachy” book int the last couple of years.
    Keep looking until you find something that fits! And if you need some good book recommendations, I have several websites I can direct you to.
    Okay, jumping down off my soapbox now!

  21. Pass the Torch says:

    The only time I ever get reading done for myself is on vacations and then it’s something totally selfish and probably Grisham;)
    But I’ve enjoyed reading Cornelia Funke with my daughter. Especially Thief Lord. We both loved it!

  22. Curious Servant says:

    That was fun to read.
    Gosh… I could comment on so many of those…
    First, if you are going to read Steinbeck, I hope you include The Pearl and Of Mice and Men. AFTER reading the later, watch the movie version with Malkovich and Sinese (well done adaptation!).
    I’ve read a lot of Lewis. Excellent writer. I collect the works of a mentor of his, Lord Dunsany.
    Hmmmm… I best stop… I could go on forever about books.
    Thanks for the fun read. I’d do the meme myself, but my blofg doesn’t lend itself to that.
    God bless!

  23. Katrina says:

    I love book memes! I followed the lead of some others and linked to a book meme I did a little while ago. Love reading about what everyone else is reading!
    I have to agree with a couple commenters about the Christian fiction thing. True, there are plenty horribly formulaic, poorly written, un-engaging Christian fiction books. But there have also been some good ones lately – well-written, etc.
    Also, Shannon – I completely agree about The Hiding Place. Great book! And I cried over both The Notebook and The Last Battle, too.

  24. Melessa says:

    I’ve managed to avoid using Mr. Linky for countless ‘Works For Me Wednesdays,’ but if you’re talking books then I have to play along too.

  25. kate5kiwis says:

    your *mr linky* is rather clever :o)
    my book meme is actually a slightly different version than yours… and i did it last week, but i couldn’t resist trying out mr linky..
    :o) k xx

  26. Barb says:

    This is going down as my all-time favorite meme, Shannon. I’ve already made a plan. I’m going to make sure I’m well stocked in printer ink cartridges and cruise through all the links on this post Saturday. I love it when people recommend books they’ve read and tell you why they loved them. Oh the hours of wandering around aimlessly in Borders you’ve save me!

  27. Tammy says:

    Yes, The Hiding Place in tremendously life changing!
    Also the Bible Smuggler. I read both as a teen.
    And I’ll also be bold and agree with Gina on the Christian fiction. Although I do understand where you’re coming from…there are a lot of formula-based books out there. But there is also a lot of wonderfully written, captivating Christian lit. As Gina said…secular fiction also has it’s share of poorly done, formula based stuff…but whenever I read a good Christian novel, I come away feeling not only entertained, but a little closer to the Lord in the process.
    Isn’t it good, though, that we all don’t have exactly the same feelings about everything? The world would be so boring!
    Oh- and as for not reading as much since blogging? I am SO right there with you! 🙂

  28. Catez says:

    Hi Shannon,
    We have some fave books in common. The Hiding Place is an incredible book – especially the part on forgiveness. Excellent movie of that too – it was extremely well done. I loved Anne of Green Gables as a girl – a neighbour gave me it to read and I was hokked. Later I was obsessed with Nancy Drew. All those changed me in some way. I enjoyed your post – I am a bibliophile, I confess.

  29. Catez says:

    Hi Shannon,
    We have some fave books in common. The Hiding Place is an incredible book – especially the part on forgiveness. Excellent movie of that too – it was extremely well done. I loved Anne of Green Gables as a girl – a neighbour gave me it to read and I was hooked. Later I was obsessed with Nancy Drew. All those changed me in some way. I enjoyed your post – I am a bibliophile, I confess.

  30. Leslie says:

    I love The Hiding Place too. I made my son read it this year, and I just got the movie from Netflix for him to watch.
    Enjoyed the meme!

  31. Simply Classical says:

    I agree with the comments about Christian fiction. It is rather formulated and most books seem to be the same story with different characters. I have to tell you about one Christan fiction writer that I love…
    Lynn Austin. She is a Christy Award winner (3 years in a row) and her latest novel, All She Ever Wanted, was selected as one of the Best Books of 2005 by Library Journal.
    Lynn has written a series on Hezekiah (6 books) and a series on the Civil War (from 3 perspectives – North, South, and slave). She also has four other novels that stand alone.
    Lynn writes Christian fiction but it is not the same Christian formula story that others write. I encourage you to pick up one (or more) of her books.

  32. Stephanie Green says:

    I came here from Kim C. at In a Shoe (she’s a real-life friend of mine). Enjoying your blog, and it’s neat to see that we have so many common reading interests! I’ll be back!

  33. Barb says:

    Just took a closer look. I’ve been hearing a lot about Corrie Ten Boom lately and am not familiar with her. (Corrie is a her, right?) So The Hiding Place is now on my never-ending list of books I need to buy. The second book you’d want on a desert island cracked me up. I’ve read a lot of funny books, usually southern tales, but Fannie Flagg? I CACKLE when I read her. Loud. And you won’t have to “tackle” anything by Steinbeck. I whizzed through The Grapes of Wrath. Could not put it down. Great list. Now, on to the endless book lists in Mr. Linky…..

  34. Karen says:

    Thanks for putting this meme up. I enjoy reading about what others are reading. The bad part is that my “to read” (which over here also usually means “to buy”) list grows and grows.

  35. Jenny in Queensland says:

    Wow I have enjoyed this (no house work has been done today LOL) It has been so hard to pick just a few books. I wish I had time to read more books, I tend to fall asleep as soon as I pick up a book at night.

Comments are closed.