I have always loved reading. For as long as I can remember books have been an important part of my life, starting with my mom reading me the Little House on the Prairie books before I could read them on my own. I still remember the smell of those books that were my mom’s when she was little, it was similar to the typical old book smell with a little something distinct that I can’t quite describe.
While I don’t remember this, my dad loves to tell the story of how my grandma “taught me to read” when I was 3, meaning that at my request she had read me the same book so many times I had memorized it. I would then “read” it to my dad when he came to pick me up from their house, always turning the page at the right time, not missing a single word.
In elementary school when I actually learned how to read I loved the Berenstain Bears and the Boxcar Children, and I would read The Magic Treehouse books to my younger brother. Then, in 4th grade, I discovered Harry Potter, which would turn into a life-long love (/obsession…). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read Harry Potter over the years, but I read them on my own and then read them aloud to my brother up until the Order of the Phoenix (partly because by that time my brother was old enough to read them on his own, partly because I was a moody 14 year old, and partly because it’s my least favorite book of the series – I’m still not over Sirius).
Even when we were forced to read books I really didn’t enjoy for school (I’m looking at you The White Mountains, A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Separate Peace, and The Awakening) I would make time to read things on my own I did enjoy (Harry Potter, His Dark Materials Trilogy, all of the Artemis Fowl books, and To Kill a Mockingbird). Throughout college (The Book Thief, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True) and now in grad school (The Nightingale, Dark Places, anything by Neil Gaiman – the Ocean and the End of Lane and American Gods are two of my favorites, Liane Moriarity – I really liked The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies, Michael Crichton – I highly recommend Jurassic Park and Timeline) I have found that reading is a great escape for me, it helps me relax and temporarily take my mind off of school. Plus I feel like it’s nice to balance all the scientific journal articles I read for research.
As you can tell if you’ve made it this far into the blog post (thanks!) I could talk about books all day! I just genuinely don’t understand people who don’t like to read and want to share my love of books with as many people as possible. So, in honor of World Book Day and to celebrate my absolute love of reading, I want to share some of my favorite books that I’ve read so far in 2017 (my new year’s resolution this year was to read 3 books/month, and I’m on track so far)!
Everyone Brave is Forgiven – I really like historical fiction, particularly anything WWII related, so this was pretty perfect for me. A Dog’s Purpose (and A Dog’s Journey) – I read both of these books shortly after we got Minnie and cried on more than one occasion reading them, including one time when I was trying not to outright bawl on the bus. If you love dogs I highly reccommend these book (if you don’t love dogs I wish you luck living your life without a soul)!
Rise of the Rocket Girls – This book reminded me a lot of Hidden Figures except it focuses on the history of (mostly white) women working at JPL rather than NASA.
Tender at the Bone – One of Ruth Reichel’s memoirs with tons of random stories from her life, I was actually laughing out loud at points.
Commonwealth – I saw this one on numerous lists and decided to give it a shot, it was a really intriguing story that kept me guessing.
I love, love, love getting new book suggestions and my “To Read List” is infinite so please share your recommendations and let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’ve listed here and what you thought!