Yesterday, I had the lovely opportunity to go back and visit my MOPS group and talk to them about reading. Last spring, I talked to them about reading to your kids because if you don't they'll end up in prison and you'll have that on your conscience for.ev.er.
I bet you'd get over it in way less time than that.
No, reading to your children won't keep them out of prison, but just so you know, 60% of inmates are illiterate. I like using statistics. I use them all the time when I'm teaching because I make my students use them in their speeches and that's a bit inconvenient for them.
ANYway. Yesterday, I didn't speak about reading to kids. I spoke about reading for yourself. Obviously, being English minded in hobby and profession, I'm a big proponent of reading. Not so big that I'd ever give up Thursday night tv for it, but generally speaking, I think reading is really good for you.
I thought about posting my whole speech here, but then decided against it. Most of you don't need to be convinced to read. Afterall, you're reading this. Or you're just looking at the pretty pictures on the sidebars, which are mostly pictures of books. Either way, a tiny bit of literacy is seeping into your brain. I'm like lead paint, except half as poisonous.
Instead, I thought I'd pass along the list of books I recommended to my fellow moms. It's certainly not a comprehensive list--I didn't even include Jasper Fforde, whose Thursday Next books I loves a lots.** It's just a few of the books I've enjoyed at some point in the last few years. My goal was to get a variety of genres, as well as choose books I could take along with me to show during my speech.
- The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield*
- The Testament, John Grisham
- The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith (highly recommend for moms who are short on time and want immediate rewards of entertainment)
- Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
YA Fiction (generally aimed at females)
- Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine
- Before Green Gables, Budge Wilson* (if you've read the GG books, WHY haven't you read this yet? You must)
- Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Kate Douglas Wiggin
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
- Better, Atul Gawande*
- The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (Gladwell's books are good for my ego; I immediately feel smarter for even having read just 5 pages of his books)
- Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder
- Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion* (I really need to write about this book, but if I don't, let me say it's...a succinct adjective escapes me...it's amazing)
- The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (I'm sad that her newest literary novel is not getting good reviews--TPB is excellent)
- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
- Possession, AS Byatt
- A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini*
- My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
Other Books and Authors I Mentioned in My Speech
Anne of Green Gables (and series), Reading Lolita in Tehran, The Bookseller of Kabul, 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa, Three Cups of Tea, The DaVinci Code, Twilight Series (I haven't read them, but you know, people like them), Where the Red Fern Grows, Flu, Harry Potter; Judy Bloom, Lois Lowry, Doris Kearns Goodwin
Of course, there are LOTS of books out there worth reading. This was just a random sampling of ones I've read (or reread) since becoming a mom.
*If I had to pick one from each category that I would say is absolutely worth reading, it would be the starred items.
**Even though this particular grammatical incorrectness was done on purpose, I had to correct more than half a dozen typing/grammatical errors after I first posted this. Clearly I'm not alwaysEnglish minded. Ack. This is what happens when I go off my meds.
***Consequently, I am now back on my meds. The English language rejoices.