I feel it, in my bones, when I have not had a good read for a while. And there are a few books I turn back to reading.
I made a short list of favorites and realized they are very different books. I read by mood and season, and whether I am busy, or not busy.Though I do like, and read, longer books, it is nice to have one available that is shorter. Even as I write this I think of more and more books I like and consider favorites. But, I will stick to my Fave 5 here.
“The Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. Memoir. I love this book. Shonda tells the story of her successful pursuit of TV writing while she is still be a human being. Her concerns and questions about navigating a busy schedule with life and home are words to live by. It reminds me to say “yes” more often, especially when interrupted by the little ones who just don’t know how busy I am. And it is humbling to realize I DO have time to stop and play, to smell the roses, to just be, even if for just a minute.
“Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon. Historical fiction. Romance. Sci fi time travel. It’s got it all. Outlander was originally written as a “practice” book, and was not meant to see the light of day. I think that freedom of being new to writing novels and giving herself permission to just let it go, is what makes the beginning of the whole saga my favorite. The series is up to 9 books now. There are short stories, novellas, sides stories, explanations, a companion series, television show, fandom and fame. But, I return to the first book, over and over. It’s a wild ride and a good read.
“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. Fiction. Sci fi. Another “first” kind of book. What started as, I think, a short story or novella, that later turned into a novel which later turned into a series with sides stories, off shoots, and a movie. It is another one that I like to re-read. I can feel the rawness of it, the newness, even after all these years.
“The Haunted Mesa” by Louis L’Amour. Fiction, sci fi. L’Amour is a master storyteller. Known for westerns, it may be surprising to know that L’Amour tried his hand at sci fi, or speculative fiction, whichever term you prefer. This is part of the Lost Treasures series of L’Amour’s works, published by his family. It reminds me of home, and the times I used to spend in the desert Southwest, travelling down roads that are long on legend where distance is measured in days not hours.
"Breath" by James Nestor. Non-fiction. We breathe. We can’t help it or stop it. It’s natural and involuntary. One would think there is not much more to say, including me. But I was wrong on that count. The book is not just fascinating, it is useful. It covers the history of breathing, historical/evolutionary changes, and theories on breathing differently, aka breathing better. I have started the exercises at the end of the book, while I am still reading from the front - can’t stop myself, it’s kind of like breathing.