Friday, July 18, 2008

To Be Read or Not to Be Read, That is the Question

Here I am! I'm in my office. Can you see the mess?

I'm so delighted that so many of you responded to the plea to vote for the lighthouse of your choice. Such fun! Also, thank you, Susan, for worrying about me. I have had an interesting time away from the blog. Here's what happened:

1. lots of storms and unable to log on to my computer
2. finishing up judging for ACFW Book of the Year--fun!
3. took my youngest of four sons to the Indiana State Police Career camp at Vincennes--he had a blast! And may have found his post-high school career.
4. rode the motorcycle all over the place
5. played a lot of golf (and really got my money's worth if you compare cost to shots...)

Coming up: more motorcycle rides, playing in the Symphony on the Green charity golf tournament, a road trip to Champaign, Illinois and school starts for my senior in HS. I might go to the Midwest Conference. I'm also cleaning out my clothes, books and plan on getting back to my diet--I want to lose 15 more pounds.

So now for a blog about, what else? Reading!

I stole this cool meme from Camy Tang.

1. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

My mother was a reader, along with her entire side of the family! I remember my Aunt Adeline, mom's older sister, got for me my first book and I have that book, The Ten Commandments, in my chest of treasures. I remember I felt like I always could read and don't remember not reading. My dog, Candy, a pekinese, was only one year younger than me and she used to steal my books and I'd chase her down.

In the private Christian school I attended 1st-5th grade I read every book in the library and loved the public library, checking out my quota every week. In 6th grade I attended public school. My teacher opened a whole new world that I had not previously been exposed to due to the restrictions of my former school. Mr. Rosen was also Jewish, and there were many things we had in common knowledge because I was drilled in Old Testament. He was fascinating to me. That was the year I started reading sports figures books. I loved Babe Zaharias and any sports story.

My cousins all liked reading. I remember we used to talk about our favorites and the cousins who lived out-of-state would write long letters about their favorites. One of my cousins, Sally Jo, who grew up in Africa and England, said she began writing because I showed her my journals as teens, and she wanted to do that(writing,) too. She published many children's books before her death last year. My cousin, Darrol, became a librarian. I remember he gave me my set of Perelandra books by C.S. Lewis for my birthday. Loved them! I remember even my sports-minded guy cousins, Mike and Danny, were always reading. Mike had a particular love for WWII books and became a pilot in the Air Force.

Two of my aunts, Mayme and Cecile, still tell me what they love to read. My mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, husband's niece and my husband's aunts all are readers and I share with them. My flower girl from our wedding, Hanna, who is now an English teacher, is starting a book club at her church and asked for recommendations.

So, yeah, reading is genetic and a family thing.

Interesting enough, though, my dad was functionally illiterate(both of my parents are dead,) and it was my greatest desire to teach reading (and I helped him before he died--with Bible reading.) He moved so often in school that he had troubles, and ended up dropping out of school in high school and running away to be a truck driver. He was so proud of me graduating from college and being a reading teacher.

I think I developed a passion for reading from a combination of these things as I grew up.

2. What are some books you read as a child?
Tiny Golden Library (which I still have)
All the Little House on the Prairie books
Any book about animals and dogs, like Black Beauty, and of course, my very favorite, Looney Coon, about this pet raccoon
Little Women books
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
All the famous historical Americans' biographies (them as children. We had dozens of them in our library and I wish I could find some.)
Sports stories and famous sports stars
The Bible and many Bible-based story books (my favorite story was Joseph)
My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber
Edgar Allen Poe
Phyllis Whitney
Anything my mom was reading that she would allow (she screened my novels)

At 13 my mother let me read To Kill a Mockingbird and I read that over 20 times more. She also gave me Gone With the Wind and I read it in two days, because I was so afraid she would change her mind. I reread that one a few more times, too. That was also the time I started reading historicals like Chesapeake by James Michener and Captains and Kings by Taylor Caldwell. I loved historical settings. This was also the time I read books I'd missed as a child like Nancy Drew books, Hardy Boys, Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter, Anne of Green Gables.

3. What is your favorite genre?

Historical romance, followed by romantic suspense, but I love about any romance, and have read a wide range of genres, including speculative. I do not enjoy the sad, painful women's fiction, though, and will avoid those at any cost.

4. Do you have a favorite novel?

Whoa, I have a lot of favorite novels, but probably my all time favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

I have to mention a few of my other favorites--
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and
In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson
Chosen by Ginger Garrett
Mitford books by Jan Karon
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Centennial by James Michener
My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber
Eugenia Price's Lighthouse series
Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell
O'Malley series by Dee Henderson
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Any Shel Silverstein book

5. Where do you usually read?

Anywhere. I have been reading lately on my stationary bike because I'm up to 70 minutes on it. I like to read on my screened in back porch in my glider and also in bed!

6. When do you usually read?

In the morning on my daily bike ride and before bed in my bed.

To Be continued....


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Welcome back, Crystal! I'm glad everything is A-OK. :)

As a child, I read the Little Women books, Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew, and Cherry Ames. The latter series was about a nurse. For awhile, I toyed with the idea of becoming a nurse. Ballerinas were also a favorite book choice. Unfortunately, my gifts did not support my dreams. Sigh.

My reading tastes are somewhat eclectic now. I enjoy Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Kathryn Mackel, Neta Jackson, Angela Hunt, Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, Karen Kingsbury - uh, you get the picture. :)

At the moment, I'm reading, "The Novelist," by Angela Hunt.


Crystal Laine said...

You are a woman after my own heart, Susan! I remember Cherry Ames. Thanks for the reminder.

I have The Novelist in my TBR pile!! I do like Angela Hunt, quite a lot. I forgot to mention Eli by Bill Myers--I liked that book.

Blessings on you, too, Susan.