Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Growing Library

My husband and I discuss books a lot. As a writer and former educator, my hubby's life revolves around the written word. He is a voracious reader and plans his upcoming reading selections in advance with gusto. In fact, a few weeks ago a very dear friend of ours ordered a box full of new books - all different titles and genres - and allowed the hubby to bring it home and peruse the selections. Emi and I got tickled at the hub's excitement. He was like a little kid in the world's biggest toy store!

I love to read. But until recently I've never really thought of myself as an avid reader, even though I really have a hard time sleeping unless I read before snoozing, and I love to read on a beach balcony or at home on a rainy day. I suppose I was simply comparing myself to the really serious reader in my home when thinking I read a less-than-average amount. When I finally took into consideration the number of books I've read just in the past year or so, however, I have come to the conclusion that I do read a lot. The picture at the top of this post is one side of my book shelf at work. This is the other side. (I have books at home, too, but we won't go there today.)

All of these books (a few are missing because I loaned them to people) are selections that I read along with the book club I lead at work. I didn't choose any of these books; they were chosen by the ladies in the club. At first the idea of reading someone else's book choices seemed like a laborious task. But I've come to understand that it has been a good thing because I would have never read many of them had I been choosing the books myself. Therefore I have gained a much greater appreciation for all genres of literature.

Regardless, I always look forward to the summer months because the book club doesn't meet, and that gives me the opportunity to make my own book choices. This summer I have read a wide range of titles, and am finishing up my 5th selection now. Here are a couple of my favorites.


Doesn't just looking at that cute face make you want to read this book? Even so, the book is nearly 500 pages long, and if you don't like baseball then this one isn't for you. It is filled with stats and details about how the game is/was played and how Mantle compares with other players. But for anyone interested in the Mantle era, or for someone who loved the movie 61* (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0250934/) and wants more "real life" details, this is well worth your time. The best thing about this biography is that it is completely unbiased... one minute you will love Mantle, and the next you'll want to smack him upside his head. Regardless of how you feel about him, Mickey Mantle was one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game, in an era when the boys played because they loved it, not because they were getting paid millions. (In fact, when you find out exactly how much Mantle was paid, especially in the beginning of his professional career, your jaw will hit the floor.)

I loved this book. Here's the overview:

Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: a warm home and loving parents; a twin sister, Alyssa, with whom he shared an irreplaceable bond. He knew nothing of loss, until the day Alyssa vanished from the side of a lonely street. Now, a year later, Johnny finds himself isolated and alone, failed by the people he'd been taught since birth to trust. No one else believes that Alyssa is still alive, but Johnny is certain that she is—-confident in a way that he can never fully explain.


Determined to find his sister, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown. It is a desperate, terrifying search, but Johnny is not as alone as he might think. Detective Clyde Hunt has never stopped looking for Alyssa either, and he has a soft spot for Johnny. He watches over the boy and tries to keep him safe, but when Johnny uncovers a dangerous lead and vows to follow it, Hunt has no choice but to intervene.

Then a second child goes missing . . .

 This was a haunting story for me, and one I could not stop thinking about between reading periods, always anxious for the next time I could snuggle up and turn the pages. I would even pick it up while cooking, and read while I was waiting for a pot to boil or for the oven timer to ring. There's a Christian thread running through it, too, which made the story that much more appealing to me. I really liked this book!

Here's the one I'm finishing up now.

This is Christian fiction, and it grabbed me from the first page. I was finishing up another book (a piece of fluff that I refuse to admit to reading) and trying to decide what to read next. This was in Teddy's future reading stack and looked interesting. So I picked it up and read the first couple of pages. I was hooked. All I'll tell you about it at this point is that it revolves around things that are happening around us we can't see, the supernatural things the Bible says exist but we aren't completely aware of. Angels. Demons. How people are influenced by these supernatural beings. The book is written sort of like science fiction or a superhero novel, but I'm enjoying it immensely. I'll let you know if I feel the same way when I finish it. 

This has been a really long post, so I'm sorry about that! It's been written over a two day span. I'll try to write shorter next time! Until then... love and be kind to one another!

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