Saturday, August 13, 2011

meet some old friends of mine.

I like to read. Very much. I don't think I could survive without books, quite honestly.

Take a look, it's in a book.... (Reading Rainbow, anyone?)

Ever since I can remember, I've loved to read. I distinctly remember being six or seven years old, laying on my bed reading for hours one afternoon. And then my mom called me down for dinner, and I just so happened to be in that spot in the book, the spot where you simply can't put it down. So, being a smart and clever girl, I decided I would simply continue reading while I walked down the hallway, around the corner, and down the stairs.

That didn't work out so well.

Perhaps not my brightest moment as a child, but it does illustrate quite accurately how passionately and completely I loved reading, how easily I would find myself immersed in whatever world was written on the pages, and what a great joy a good story has always been to me.

It still holds true, and while the time I have to lose myself in a good book has become much less now that I'm a grown woman with a family and I'm the one calling the kids to dinner, I still simply can't go TOO long without reading.

This summer, I've had the opportunity to read quite a lot, actually, and it's been wonderful. Refreshing. I've rediscovered many books I haven't read in years, as well as discovered a few new ones to love.

Today, since I have books on the brain, I thought I would share with you some of the books I love the most, the ones I have read over and over again in my life, the ones that I never get tired of no matter how many time I may have already wandered through their pages.
Oh, Anne of Green Gables. She is a literary person who is near and dear to my heart. I think I've read through this series nearly ten times since I first discovered the little red-headed orphan who lived on Prince Edward Island. And every time, I find myself just as enraptured with Anne and the lovely, funny, delightfully-populated life she lives on good ol' P.E.I. Lucy Maud Montgomery has a way with words that takes my breath away, and I can just picture everything she describes. Perhaps that is why it is so easy to fall in love with Anne and all her surroundings. If I could somehow BE Anne for just a little while, I think I would.

Elnora Comstock, the girl of the Limberlost, is another heroine whom I love. This book paints such a vivid picture not only of the beautiful swamp she calls home, but of second chances and strength, of love and life. I can't help but love Elnora, to ache with her when her heart breaks, and to rejoice with her when happiness finally comes to her. Gene Stratton Porter is masterful, and I happily enter Elnora's Limberlost time and again.
I do so love a good mystery novel. And there is none who provides it better than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Homes is, in my humble opinion, one of the best characters ever created. There's no one else like him. And Watson? Watson is the perfect pairing to our beloved detective. They both stand on their own as characters, but together they are perfection, and I love all the little ins and outs of their relationship. There is so much dry humor, wit, sarcasm, and intelligence in these volumes that I discover some fresh nuance every time I read them. Not to mention the mysteries themselves are intriguing and bewildering, fascinating and complex. Sherlock never disappoints.
This is the book I am currently re-reading, for probably the fifth or sixth time. Dark secrets, interesting characters, drama, intrigue, romance, adventure, surprises at every turn... what more could one wish for in a book? I am captivated every time.

I first picked up a Harry Potter book two or three years ago. And when I was done reading about Harry and the Sorcerer's Stone, I then proceeded to read the remaining six books in a span of about two weeks, because I literally could not put them down. (My chores suffered quite sadly during that time, I'll be honest.) I've reread them all since then, and the series has become one of my favorite. I won't get all "Harry-Potter-nerd" on you right now, but suffice it to say that every single one of these books is amazing and J.K. Rowling is brilliant. If you've seen and liked the movies, but have never read the books, you MUST. Must, I tell you! The movies are good, but the books are on an entirely different level. They give you ten times more of the story to love.
My mom first had me read this book when I was about twelve. I liked it then, but now that I'm older and more mature, I appreciate it and love it so much more. Here we follow a young girl through her diary and watch her grow up, reading about her journey towards womanhood and remarkable faith. It's beautiful, inspiring, encouraging, and convincting. I'm always amazed at how much I relate to this book.

These books always give me a funny little ache, the kind that comes from something being so lovely and dear that you just feel it in your soul. Narnia is one of my favorite fictional places to visit, and I will always love these books, even when I'm old and gray.
I never read through this book all at once... but it's always right there waiting to be opened up when I need an extra dose of encouragement. Elisabeth Elliot is a beautiful person, and her writings are a great reflection of the depths of her love for God and her desire to live fully for him. The Lord has used this book so many times in my life, and as such it will always have a place on my shelf and in my heart.
Jane Austen has been a part of my life since I was a very young girl... my dear grandma has a great love for all things Jane Austen, and I remember watching some of the BBC movies of her various books with my grandma when I was probably only 6 or 7 years old. Of course, I didn't understand the complexities of the stories or characters at that age, and I was still years away from reading the books, but Jane Austen became a familiar name to me from that time on. Since then, I've of course read all of her books, and I love them all, although Pride and Prejudice remains one of my favorites. I'm pretty sure Mr. Darcy might have something to do with that!

Forgive me for making this post so long, and so wordy. (I blame the books.) Would you believe I could add even more books to this list? This is simply a smattering of the ones that I keep coming back to, and I know that the titles included among my "old friends" will only continue to grow as I keep reading and expanding my library.

How thankful I am for words written on pages, just waiting to be turned and taken in, to become a part of our memories and our very existence.

Please do tell, what are some of your all-time favorite books? Why? Did they hold any special significance in your life? I'd love a peek into your bookshelf...

...from one bookworm to another. :)


RachelRuelas said...

I cannot agreeeeee more!!! Reading is one of tge greatest joys we'll know this side of heaven. You can live 1000 lives all in a years time.... I appreciate that you get lost in the written word. Just another reason we're kindred spirits...

Favorite books:

Chronicals of narnia
Redeeming love
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (a must read for older kidlets and adults alike.)
Just to name a few

Cheri said...

I LOVE this post!! I feel the exact same way about reading {and letting the chores pile up while I'm in a really great page-turner! lol}

Speaking of Elisabeth Elliot, "Let Me Be A Woman" is probably my favorite book of all time. Or at least in the top 3!
Jane Austen's "Emma" is my favorite by her....but "Pride and Prejudice" is up there, too! ;)
The Anne series is also at the top of my list! I seriously get teary eyed every single time I think about Matthew! The way he loved "his girl" is just beautiful! I read the first book to the girls a couple of years ago and cried so much I didn't think we'd get through it! And of course, they just kept looking at me like I'd lost my mind! LOL
And I'll end with Francine Rivers Mark of the Lion series! SO good!

Oh, I could go on forever.... ;)

Ashlei Paige said...

Mmmm, I love this post.
I'm currently reading my way through the entire collection of Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne & I must say, my heart is rarely happier than when I've joined my childhood friends in the hundred acre wood.

Some of my favorites of all time are...
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. That book is seriously magical.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
And another Bronte novel, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Le Sigh...this book...I've read it literally seven or eight times and I've read one special chapter dozens of times. It's such a heartbreaking story, but like Jane Eyre it's different than the stereotypical lovestory. not to mention, it's pretty dark & mama likey ;]

Lydia said...

Mmmm books. You know how in love with them I am.
I love your list of books! Well most of them *wink*. hehe
There's something wonderful about picking up a book and sitting in your favorite spot and just immersing youself in that story for hours. It truly is like traveling to another world.
I'm going to have to agree with Ashlei about The Neverending Story. That book is unlike any other. You are transported to Fantastica and you never want to come back.
Sherlock Holmes is of course one of my absolute favorites. You know this. I'm a junkie.
I have to mention Dracula. That has been my #1 favorite novel for years. Bram Stoker is a genius. I remember the first time I read it. I had chills almost the whole time. The imagry is breathtaking and its beautifully frightening. LOVE.
I have to mention The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Now that book is dark and twisted and I love every page. Brilliant.
Ok so this is pretty much a blog of it's own so I'll stop!
But I love this blog sister! Thanks for writing it.

Maybe I should actually read some lighthearted books huh? haha

Megan said...

What a wonderful list of books!! I love them all :) I think one of my favorite things is curling up with a good book on a stormy day. Thanks for sharing!