I’m a reader through and through. My mom and I would check out piles of books from the library, dive in, then exchange them for a new set every two weeks. It was like going to the toy store and picking out treats all summer long.
That kind of passion never dies.
Sometimes I’ll discover an author or genre and read until I’ve exhausted my options before finding something new. Right now I’m reading a smattering of youth fiction, adult fiction, and adult non-fiction depending on my mood, but the reality is that I’m never more grateful than when I’ve got a good book in my hands.
Before the kids came along BrightSide and I enjoyed a fixation that spanned John Grisham, the Kellermans (both Jonathan and Faye), Tom Clancy, and Patricia Cornwell. The list was a bit heavy on murder mystery and intrigue, but they were terrific reads. We’ve still got most of them on the bookshelves around here, as a matter of fact.
BrightSide has become interested in reading biographies about people like Thomas Jefferson, but I still fall mainly into fiction. Some of the treasures I’ve discovered along the way:
- Jodi Picoult. This author’s work bridges youth and adult fiction. She’s tackled subjects like suicide, friendship, faith and religion, the media, illness, medical ethics, school shootings, and so much more. Her latest novel, Small Great Things, is waiting patiently on the bookshelf for me to crack it open. I can promise you this – her books pull you in, so be prepared to read late into the night.
- Glennon Doyle Melton. A woman who’s recently published her second book, Glennon is one of the few nonfiction writers that completely captures my attention. Both works are about her personal journey; she doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad, or the ugly, so by the time you’ve finished you really know her truth.
- Harry Potter. Sorry, but it had to be said.
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Rick Riordan captures a mythological storyline that has a Harry Potter essence with characters you can’t help but lean into, which is saying a lot coming from someone who wasn’t exactly into Greek Gods back in the day. This is a five book series that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go until you reach the story’s resolution.
- The Hunger Games trilogy. I found these books fascinating, although I have to say I was surprised to see them in fourth graders’ desks at school. That may have more to do with the subject matter and my own child’s sensitivity to difficult themes than anything else, though. They’re set in a post-apocalyptic nation where districts are required to annually sacrifice two of their youth to a televised blood sport where participants fight to the death. The trilogy’s arc examines the disparity between rich and poor, suffering as entertainment, and the role appearance plays in society, among other things.
- The Giver series. These four young adult novels by Lois Lowry are set in a futuristic era and examine themes such as Utopian societies, sameness versus individuality, euthanasia, the relationship between pain and pleasure, a technology-free state, generosity versus selfishness, and the power of love. They’re powerfully thought provoking and high on my list of books I want to reread.
What are some of your literary treasures?
My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.