Friday, November 9, 2012

Reading is a Great Way to Escape / Judy

I was surprised how bad I felt when I saw the election figures and knew Romney had lost. I was so sad! (I wonder if the Democrats would have been sad or angry if Romney had won? Somehow I can hear screams of "election fraud!") Anyway, after a day of mourning, I did what I always do when I feel down--I read a book. Reading is a great way to escape, better than TV or movies in my opinion. In a good book you really can transport yourself to another time or place or become another person.

The main genres I like are Mystery, Science Fiction, Romance (no judging), and General/Family Dramas. In another blog I'll list my favorite authors and their series in each of these genres. But for now, in case anyone else needs such an escape, here are a few individual books that I highly recommend.

1.  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand 
by Helen Simonson

This book is just fun to read. The writing is wonderful and I found myself quoting to Lloyd some of the funnier lines. This is a feel-good book which might be important right now. It's about a retired British major who lives in a small English village and who becomes interested in the Pakistani widow of the grocer. Absolutely delightful.

2. The Guernsey Literary and 
Potato Peel Pie Society 
by Mary Ann Shaffer

Another entry in the "delightful" category. It's the story, told in letters, of Guernsey Island, in the English Channel, that was occupied by Germans during WWII. It begins about 1946-7 and starts out quite funny, then becomes more serious as the protagonist learns more about what happened during the war. Again, the writing is amazing and it's one book you really don't want to end. Although it does have a very satisfactory ending.

3. Dawn by Olivia Butler

For a change of pace, this is good science fiction, which is hard to find. It's about a group of humans who are rescued from the ravages of nuclear war by a race of aliens.I consider a book to be outstanding when I can't predict what will happen next and at the same time I am anxious to find out. And that describes this book.

4. A Discovery of Witches
 & Shadow of Night
 by Deborah Harkness

These are the first two of a planned trilogy and the best way to describe them is to say they are like the Twilight series but for grown-ups. They have a romance between a vampire and a human, but that is not the main part of the story. There is a lot of history and even science, which made them even more fun. 

5. Miss Buncle's Book
 by D.E. Stephenson

This is an older one that takes place in England probably in the 50's. It's another fun read, not serious, but very well-done, about a spinster who needs money and decides to write a book about the people she knows in her village. Chaos ensues.

In each of these books, as great as the story-line is, the really wonderful aspect is the characterization. They all have people you like a lot and want to spend time with. I find I won't read a book about someone I wouldn't want around for whatever reason. It's better to be with people who make you laugh or inspire you somehow, or are just plain interesting to listen to. And all these books have those kinds of people.

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