Thursday, August 6, 2009


I love books. I love to read. I read an article about reading and have been thinking and contemplating it all week. Why do some people like to read and others not? When do you know that you are a reader? What do you like to read? What are your favorite books?

My first memories of reading are of my parents reading stories to me. We read Myths, Fables and Mother Goose. Lots of poetry. When I was in 1st grade, I had a bad teacher, a very BAD teacher. She was a first year teacher and had some emotional problems. In fact, her way of disciplining our class was to tie us to our chairs with crepe paper! This was long ago and I still wonder why we all just sat there. Anyway, I didn’t learn to read at school. My mother and father taught me. My family read scriptures every morning at 7:00 am, before my father left for work. I could read along with the family at a very young age. My parents were always reading something. My family read the newspaper and discussed what was going on in the world.

Reading was almost a vice for mce, when I was young. Sometimes, my mother thought that I read way too much. Many of my memories are tied up in the books that I was reading. I also would get books as birthday and Christmas gifts. I still have many of them.

When I first began reading, only the Scriptures and Newberry winners for me. Then I found the wonderful detective series of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. They kept me busy for part of elementary school. I also enjoyed biographies, and read many. Transitioning from elementary school to junior high was finishing the “Little House on the Prairie” series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (for a while!), and starting the “Anne of Green Gables” series by L.M. Montgomery.

While in junior high I read some romance novels. I was still into series at that point and the city librarian had me read the Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. That was an interesting family. The all time greatest romance, to me, was “Gone With the Wind.” I read it the first time in 7th grade. I used to go to school early and would spend my time in the library. The school librarian and I became good friends, she decided that I should read GWTW. I enjoyed it, but it was better when I was older.

During high school I started reading sagas. The longer the better. James Michener was one of my favorites then. I read “The Source” first and then just plowed through all his many other books. This is when I started reading all the books that one author wrote.

When I attended college, I lived in an old house on University Avenue in Provo, Utah. When all my roommates went home one Thanksgiving, I stayed in Provo. Someone had left a book, and I read “The Exorcist” by William Peter Blatty. That was the most scared I have ever been. My room was on the top floor and had one small old window covered with ivy. And it was windy and the ivy kept hitting the window and I got more and more scared. I was all alone and decided that I was not a scary book kind of person. So I have tried to never read another scary or horror book, and have no plans to.

Then I specialized in reading about certain subjects. I was fascinated by Russia after reading “Nicholas and Alexandra” by Robert K. Massie and read many more books on that subject. My father told stories about World War II and so I read lots about that, for several years. I studied Hebrew while at BYU, so read books about the Jewish culture and life. And then when I had children there were other avenues to explore. After they grew out of the Caldecott and Newberry books, they all seemed to have amazingly different interest.

The 1st daughter just loved to read. She has enjoyed fantasy books for years. Terry Brooks, C.S. Lewis, Orson Scott Card. And then she moved onto the English novels by Jane Austen and branched off from there. She does hold dear the “Anne of Green Gables” books.

The favorite son used to just read anything. He would read the encyclopedia for hours. He loved reading about LDS history and was getting the FARMS newsletters when a teen-ager. He also enjoyed the books of Stephen King (which are the only books that my children read, that I did not read with them! No horror stories for mce!) He is into Almanacs and news magazines. But his all time favorite is “The Lord of the Rings” books by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The 2nd daughter was into crime, horror, adventures, lawyer tales and etc. She read everything by Grisham, Crichton, Orson Scott Card and Robin Cook. She just loved getting into a great story. And of course had to keep up with the current craze of boy wizards, vampires and werewolves.

The 3rd daughter loved books in series. She liked keeping the same characters and them having new adventures. She loved funny and romantic books. But her specialty was cook books. She liked to read cook books! That was interesting.

The 4th daughter liked smaller, more intimate books. “The Five People You Meet In Heaven”, “For One More Day” and “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom were just her style. She loved the “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling but then found the “Twilight” books by Stephenie Meyers. Lately, she has been a serious Orson Scott Card fan.

The 5th daughter only wants me to discuss her youthful favorites. They were the “Ramona” books by Beverly Cleary and all the newer series, Artemis Fowl, Lemony Snicket and etc. She ended up entranced with Sharon Creech, Jerry Spinelli and Richard Peck. But she has become a young adult and thinks all her information is very private, so mce is not share what she reads or does not?!? but will allow mce to divulge that she reads the newspaper every day and the labels of everything she eats for the nutrious and delicious values of food.

And finally me, mce. I have skipped by my dear husband, that is a post for another day. And so here you have it. My top ten list of my favorite fiction books and authors that I own and have read more than once….. And subject to change at any time….Because the more I write the more I remember….. The list gets longer and longer…..

1. “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand
2. “Breathing Lessons” by Anne Tyler and all her other books!
3. The Asian Series by James Clavell
4. “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok
5. “The Martian Chronicles” by Ray Bradbury
6. “Foucault’s Pendulum” by Umberto Eco
7. “To The Hilt” by Dick Francis and all his other books
8. “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
9. “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas
10. “The Giant Joshua” by Maurine Whipple
11. “Added Upon” by Nephi Anderson
12. “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier
13. “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

I was fortunate to grow up in a reading family. Until the day he died, my father was reading books (with large print and sometimes a magnifying glass.) My mother continues to study literature with a small group. My sisters all belong to book groups. My children all read and I hope that the tradition continues with the Grands.

So now I am putting the books I have read on a list and starting the count. And I am an amazing list maker, and the list is already 7 pages long. Because the article that I read this week, suggested that you read 1,000 books before you die. And I think I have already gone way over that, so now have decided on the mce goal of 10,000 books while you live !!!


  1. I don't remember reading OSC until I was married. Then began with his Women of Genesis stories. I didn't like those very much! But this last year, I decided to give him another try and read Ender's Game. WOW! That was a phenomenal story!

    I think it should also be mentioned that Oldest Daughter (me) read every single book in her elementary library by fifth grade. She even checked out the kindergarten books to read to her little sisters at home. Haha! I wanted my name on every card in that library! Of course, nobody uses cards anymore. Oh well. I still reached my goal.

  2. I don't think I even have a favorite book. There's just so many GOOD ones.

    I did just finish The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis and hated it. I now want the 2 days it took me to read it back.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Remember that this is about the MOTHER !! Just saying... If this was a competition I would surely lose....

    Mom did a great job displaying all of her children! And in that, all of these are true !

    Great Post Mom! Love you !!!

  5. This is sooooo true. Being on bedrest I get to read LOOOOOOOOOOTS more now. And I still like books in a series. It's fun to keep up with everyone once you've gotten attached to their history and whatnot. For example Harry Potter and the Twilight series. Both were well written and had great character development and the such! Woohoo! Anyhow awesome post... reading is awesome and books are our friends!