HAVE YOU READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY? Today’s daily post challenge asks you to review the last good book you read. Well, I could take a week for that one, because good to me means in what group and even without grouping I could probably list two or three thousand books. I am learning disabled, but not dyslexic–thank all higher powers; reading has kept and keeps me moderately sane.
I read for seven reasons: inspiration, professional knowledge as a therapist, coach, and teacher; professional knowledge about how to better sell my writings; research for my novel about the wizard Merlin; non-fiction for pleasure; nostalgia–rereading favorites; to combat boredom–mindless page turners. So in my usual overkill compulsiveness, I am going to cite the ones I love most from each category:
The best mindless page turner: The Lady with the Dragon Tattoo. These usually fade from memory and I sometimes find myself re-reading one I didn’t realize I had read. High on this list are the many novels of Dorothy Dunnett and from my teen years Kenneth Roberts series of historical novels. Thinking of my pre-teen years and there was Zane Gray and how can I leave out Mary O’Hara’s the Green Grass of Wyoming, My Friend Flicka or Thunderhead? Sigh so many others come to mind, but have to move on or it will be dinner time.
Some that start out as mindless reads stand out and go on my nostalgia re-read list: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, The Once and Future King by T.H.White, and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabieel García Márquez top this list. Again many others come to mind, but enough is enough.
Research for my novel: currently reading Laura King’s O Jerusalem. This is a little mystery about Sherlock Holmes and a female sidekick on an adventure in post WWI Isreal. Best reada in this category so far The Barbarians by Terry Jones of Monty Python Fame and a true Renaissance man. Why The Jews Rejected Jesus by David Kinghoffer–my Merlin rejects Christianity, Judaism, and Paganism; The Hemlock Cup by Bettany Hughes and the movie Agora as Merlin having rejected Judiasm is now disguised as a monk and currently visiting Alexandria to learn about philosopy.
Nonfiction for pleasure almost anything by Tracy Kidder, John Mcphee. Also lots of history. Three recent favorites: Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll; Rising Tide by John B. Barry, and the Peabody Sisters by Megan Marshall.
Professional knowledge re:writing, selling. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Thank you Harvey Stanbrough Facebook friend and writing mentor for this one. Harvey has many ebooks that I have purchased, but on this list am only doing the hard cover book. If you are interested in epublishing or improving your writing in general go to Harvey’s blog.
Professional knowledge as a therapist, coach, and teacher: The Nature of the Child by Jerome Kagan, Social Casework as a Problem Solving Process by Helen Harris Perlman, How to Meditate by Larry Lashan, The Fragile Alliance by John Meeks, and Developmental Therapies by Alvin Ivey; James Garbarino’s books particular his Lost Boys. Theory of Cognitive Dissonance by Leon Festinger, The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. This list is just too long, so stopping here.
Inspiration Most inspring reads here: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder; Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. Krakauer has challenged Mortenson’s honesty, but his honesty has also been challenged and all non-fiction books can get tilted by personal bias, editoral bias, so I am keeping both on my list. In to the Wild is more of a cautionary tale than the others.
Wow, this has taken me a long time to put together–primarily trying to find links and I hope that doesn’t get me seen as a spammer. Am interested in your answer to this question as I know it will turn up some new titles for me to read.
Share, care, and stay strong, I am trying.