My Favorite

It was bound to happen.

I love to read. I live in Asia. English books are not readily available.

I am now the proud owner of a Kindle. (Thank you, Aunt D!)

I love the Kindle. A lot. All of my previous arguments against the Kindle (you can’t write in the margins or fold a corner back, the way I love the physical act of holding and smelling and curling up in a warm place with a nice thick new book, no more books to look at and remember and use in decorating, hate of change, sadness over the death of the publishing industry, just plain stubbornness) have folded because now I can download new books whenever I want and that is, as Martha Stewart would say, a good thing. Also, my inner cheapskate is happy about this Kindle because old books, classics, are usually available free. Basically, this means that it’s as if I still have my very own library (and I love the library) even though I live in not-America.

I’ve been on a download binge for a few days now and am pretty excited about my upcoming reading list. My plans include:

Pensées, Blaise Pascal. As you might have guessed from my last post, I’ve been reading Pascal recently and am encouraged by his thoughts and his life. My favorite thing is that he lived in the middle of the Age of Reason and yet realized that  faith must not be reached and could not be proved through rational thought: belief is a matter of the heart. Yes, reason has its role, but knowing God is a relationship and not an intellectual idea.

The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins. A mystery novel about a diamond stolen from India in the 1700s. Apparently T.S. Eliot called this “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels.” If Eliot liked it, that’s good enough for me! I’m reading this right now and so far have found it funny and entertaining. Had never heard of this book until a few days ago, but I feel like I should have.

Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis. Michael and I are reading this one out loud. A few years ago, some friends shared how much they loved reading out loud together and so we started reading the Harry Potter books together. We finished book #7 this fall and have moved onto Narnia. I love reading out loud and it is a great pastime the two of us can share.

Middlemarch, George Eliot. Honestly, I know almost nothing about this book other than it is a classic and that I feel I should read it. I’ve never read Eliot but have long been curious about her.

Dream of the Red Chamber. This is a Chinese classic (one of the three great books in Chinese history) and, since I have never tackled any Asian literature, I’m excited to jump in feet first with this one. It’s set in the 1600s and is apparently comparable to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, with hundreds of characters and a complex plot spanning a long historical period. I’m intimidated but feel excited to learn more about culture and history through this one.

Does anyone have any fun suggestions for other books? Classics are great (because they are usually FREE!) but I also love light, thoughtless, fun reading. Let me know…

6 Comments on “My Favorite”

  1. feeling full says:

    Oh, Bethy. You’ve succumbed. 😉 But for justifiable reasons. So, book recommendations…I remember liking Kate Chopin’s The Awakening in college. Alexander McCall Smith’s Professor Dr. Von Igelfeld trilogy is hilariously dry-witted. Short stories by Guy de Maupassant. Les Miserables, of course. The Savannah from Savannah series by Denise Hildreth is really light and fun.
    I’m drawing a blank on other books right now!
    I too always felt I should read Middlemarch but didn’t make it very far in I’m afraid. Love you, and happy reading. -Mel

  2. Erika says:

    I love your list! Let me know if there is one I should check out. Right now I’m reading A Little Princess with Maggie, Ramona the Brave with Isaac, and The Last Battle with Isaac and Maggie together (I’ll be sad when we finish the series, but I’ll get to read it again with Derek one day). On my own, I’m reading a non-fiction, Christian book called The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor by Mark Labberton. It’s very thought-provoking, challenging, and well-written.

  3. ally says:

    You’ve provided me with one possible scenario in which I would buy a Kindle….living in another country in which English books are not readily (or inexpensively) available. Glad you’re enjoying your new toy/gift! Happy day!

  4. danielle says:

    I hijacked Josh’s Kindle recently and just finished reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” a true story about an African American woman who died of cancer in the 50’s but whose cells were among the first and only cells able to be kept alive… resulting in the polio vaccine, some cancer cure drugs, etc. It’s a great mix of science and a really good story about her somewhat impoverished family who had no idea what their mom’s cells had been up to. It is excellent and fascinating.
    Josh and I just read “The Greatest Generation” about WWII, it was also really good. I think it’s by Tom Brokaw.

  5. thegregs says:

    Thank you for all the suggestions!! Danielle, for some weird reason I’m obsessed with World War II history so I will have to look the Brokaw book up. And I had no idea about Henrietta Lacks! Erika–whenever we do have kids I think one of my favorite things will be reading together. I love the ones y’all are working through. And thanks for the titles, Mel–they sound great and several of them are completely new to me! Thanks again everyone!

  6. Margaret says:

    Thanks for the tips. I like my kindle too.

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