One consistent theme I have held here in the past 5 years is that I love me a good book. And since having children, I have even less tolerance for a bad one. Before I had children, I would plod through a boring read, the goal was just to finish. Now? If I am a quarter to half way through a book and I still cannot "get" it, then I put it away and move along.
Life is too damned short to read a bad book.
Over the years, some of my favorite reads have included the following: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, A Prayer for Owen Meanyis by John Irving, The Year of Silence by Madison Smartt Bell and Island by Charles Abbott, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Sidenote: Am I the only one who is excited, yet trepid about the forthcoming movie? What if it is everything the book was? What if it is not? Ack.)
However, my favorite book of all is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I have written about my love for this book before:
I have read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn about 5 times now, but each time is a different experience. Recently, I went through it and was blown away by how much of the mother's story resonated with me. It was like reading a new book because now that I am a mother myself, I understood Katie Nolan's perspective as she desperately tried to care for her children the best she knew how. In previous readings, I thought she was so unfair to Francie.I was also published in a haiku thingie in the online edition of USA Today in the subject of "Favorite Book":
Francie thirsts for truth
as the tree grows in Brooklyn
against all the odds.
And I have also written what makes a book one of my favorites:
What is a Favorite Read? It is difficult to explain what that should invoke - I suppose it is different for everyone, right? For me, a Favorite Read should continue to contribute something with each additional reading. It should not only just make me think, dammit. It should make me uncomfortable. It should encourage me to mentally re-adjust my attitudes.----------------------------------------
So, as promised. I am doing a small giveaway of some of my favorites - a sparkly, brand-new copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Some coffee-themed bookmarks which are two of my favorite things in one! A copy of US Magazine and Brain,Child, both of which I have subscriptions. They are my yin and yang of magazines but they both serve an important purpose (Note: US Magazine will purchased hot off the newstand right before I ship!) A Posh Pocket book of Sudoku which I love so much I want to eat - working a puzzle daily helps calm me, for some reason. And of course, some Choxie chocolate. No splainin' is necessary on the chocolate, right?
And sunflower seeds. Ah, my seeds...... One of my most cherished childhood memories is that of going to the library on Saturday mornings and picking out books for the week. Then, I would go to the corner drugstore, get a malt at the counter and buy some sunflower seeds. I would spend the afternoon reading my book, eating sunflower seeds and drinking orange juice. And to this day, that is still one of the things that brings me down to my zen zone - a bowl of seeds and a good read. Naptime, babysitting time, Miller time. I try to have a handful of seeds and some reading nearly every day if I can fit it in.
Also, I apologize for the size of this giveaway. The cream colored pony would not fit, the snow kept melting, and it is against the law to ship girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes.
I paid for all of these goodies. No sponsors or any of that silly stuff and I have completely blown any revenues I would have made for 2009, but no matter. I wanted to share some of my favorite things with you as a "thank you". A thank you for listening to me for 5 years. A thank you for listening to all my rants and raves. Or, Rancid Raves, if you will.
What gets you going again when the dog bites?
If you would like to enter, please leave a comment telling me your favorite things which have stood with you through the years. I will close the giveaway on Thursday, August 20th at Midnight and will announce the winner on Friday, August 21st.