Because of my summer work schedule, my knitting is progressing at a snail's pace. A snail with a broken leg's pace, actually.
I usually participate in As Kat Knits' Unraveled Wednesday link up where everyone talks about what they are reading and creating, but these days, I'm feel pretty proud of myself if I read my email each day.
So, between not knitting and not reading, what am I supposed to talk about here on the blog? I decided I'd tell you about a few of my all time favorite books that have shaped my life and made me the quirky, timid, scaredy-cat, twisted, neurotic, thrill seeker that I am.
Nancy Drew: As a child, I owned and read every single Nancy Drew book there was. Many of 'my' books were actually my older sister's. They were all hard bound, had yellow covers and in some cases, yellowed pages. Miss Drew taught me to love a good mystery.
The Outsiders and That Was Then, This is Now, by S. E. Hinton began my love affair with bad boys. As a pre & young teen, I must have read those books 100 times.
Jaws, by Peter Benchley: As a child, I spent my summers on a large river, not far from the bay. I probably swam with a shark or two without ever knowing it. As a teen with a day job, I spent many a summer evening water skiing in the dark. As a young adult, I experienced the thrill of having dolphins surround me and literally push me back to shore while a shark swam just a few yards further out. It was only natural that Jaws should become a favorite novel and that I should reread it almost every single summer for the next 30+ years. As a mystery loving, thrill seeking, slightly rebellious gal, there couldn't have been a better book for me to add a little horror into my life.
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, by John Steinbeck: I was introduced to this book by a much older friend, Brenda. I was in the early years of high school and she was in college and she lent me her copy. I was hesitant at first, I mean, come on! Read John Steinbeck, for fun? His work was on my assigned reading list for goodness sake. But read it, I did and after only a few pages, I fell in love with Arthurian legend, knights, and men in chain mail & leather in general. Have I mentioned my 'thing' for bad boys?
Desperation, by Stephen King: While I'd read Carrie & Salem's Lot, and enjoyed them, Cujo was the first of Stephen King's books that made me go in search for other books written by Mr. King. Over the years, I've read, and enjoyed (if you can call being terrified enjoyment) just about every single one of his books, but Desperation is the one that stands out in my mind as the most terrifying. Thanks to Mr. King, I am now gut wrenching, heart-stopping afraid of spiders and you can not convince me that every spider in existence is not a brown recluse. Thanks to Mr. King, over the years I have become afraid of my mom's washing machine, fruit pie (I always thought it was cherry pie but Wikipedia tells me it was strawberry,) rabid animals, clowns and a whole bunch of other things, but nothing and I mean Nothing terrifies me like spiders.
Maiden Voyage, by Tania Aebi: This is the story of the youngest female to ever sail around the world alone. I picked the book up for 25 cents at a yard sale and I have to say, it was the best deal I've ever made. This is another book that I have re-read a zillion times. I dream of adventures at sea and of simply stepping onto a sailboat and sailing off into the sunset.
The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher: This book was recommended by a long-ago boss. Actually, she didn't just recommend the book. It was more like she forced me to read it. I thought it sounded incredibly boring but once I gave in, picked up the book and read a few pages, I was hooked. It turned out to be one of those books where as I read the last sentence on the last page, I instantly wanted to go back to page one and read it again. This book is another on my 'read every summer' list.
Deep End of the Ocean, by Jacquelyn Mitchard: This book. Oh My Gosh! Although it makes my top 5 favorite books of all time, I had THE hardest time reading it. It was so emotional, I could only read a page at a time. I only read this book the one time but the horror of the story will be forever burned into my brain.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: My kids got me interested in this series. I was a little concerned when they began reading the books. They were so young and so innocent and the books seemed so dark.... But they were reading (even the boy child was willingly reading!) so.... At some point, the kids checked out the first book on tape and we listened to it in the car. We spent a lot of time in the car back then and it didn't take me long to fall in love with the series. The three of us listened to and/or read just about every book in the series and it about broke my heart when the kids wanted to donate their copies to Virginia Homeschooler's book sale.
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling: This another one of those books/series where I was so surprised to find that the book(s) actually stood up to all the hype. And again, the kids introduced me to the series. The kids read the first several books to themselves but I quickly grew impatient waiting for them to finish their copies so that I could borrow them. The last two books became re-alouds. I will never forget trying to get through the final chapters of Deathly Hollows. I'll never forget, sitting on the sofa in the living room with the kids snuggled up on each side of me, my husband cooking breakfast in the kitchen (not sure why that is such a strong part of the memory but I can still smell the bacon cooking) and me struggling to read through the tears.
The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood: Mr. King may have given me an odd fear of washing machines & spiders but this book.... Wow. As a woman who would be lost without her debit card, this book is THE most terrifying thing imaginable. Orwell's 1984 was a scary look at our possible future, but this, The Handmaid's Tale.... I get chills just thinking about it.
So that's it, my top eleven favorite books/series of all time. It's been quite a while since I've enjoyed a book well enough to add it to the list. If you have an all time favorite you think I should read, please, let me know.