Reading

Books to Get Lost In

Reading Lost In Books GIF - Reading LostInBooks HappyReading ...

It’s no secret that I love reading books. Thanks to Goodreads and their yearly challenge, I push myself to read at least 50 books a year. I like to set aside an hour a day to read. I don’t always have that much time but I do what I can. When the pandemic first got serious here and my library closed until further notice, I thought I’d get a lot of reading done. What else was I going to do? I wound up spending all of March and the majority of April barely reading a few minutes. There was too much on my mind to focus on a book. Anytime I opened my Kindle, my brain lost any ability to concentrate on the words in front of me.

As I am entering the third month of this, I have been able to get back on the reading bandwagon. And I couldn’t be happier. Reading is the ultimate escape. You truly can get lost in a book. (Barbie knows what she’s talking about.) If you’re looking for escapism (and really who isn’t at this point?), then let me suggest some books to get lost in while you’re stuck at home.

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore – This book revolves around time travel in the same way The Time Traveler’s Wife does. It’s more about the human connections and time travel is the backdrop. Oona passes out at midnight on New Year’s Eve of 1982, which also happens to be her 19th birthday, and wakes up in the year 2015 at 51-years-old. Each New Year’s after that, Oona wakes up in a different time of her life. This is the first book I really got into since the pandemic hit and I highly recommend it.

Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong – So you’re only going to enjoy this book if you enjoy Ali Wong’s humor. I suggest you check out her two comedy specials on Netflix. If you find yourself cracking up like I did, then get a hold of this book!

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert – Full disclosure, this book is a long one. I do think it could have been edited down by a couple of chapters, but that’s my only complaint. This is a great historical fiction novel based in New York City.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – Reading this book gives you two ways to get lost. First you can get lost in the book and then the mini series on Hulu.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager – I am normally not a fan of mysteries but this one sucked me in. It switches from Emma Davis’s current adult life in New York City to her time as a young girl at Camp Nightingale where three of her friends vanished.

The White Queen by Philappa Gregory – I recognize right away that this book will not be for everyone. It tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner who goes onto marry the King of England. It’s historical fiction very loosely based on facts. It’s highly entertaining and Gregory’s novels are my ultimate guilty pleasures. If you like this one, then there are several others in the same series.

What are some of the books you’ve used during this time to help you escape?

Every Day is Book Lovers Day

belle - i love reading

Today is Book Lovers Day. And while I don’t need a special day telling me to sit back and read, it’s nice to have a whole day dedicated to the love of books. I’m one of those people whose heart breaks when someone tells me they don’t like reading. I’m a firm believer in the saying, “If you think reading is boring, you’re doing it wrong.” I am convinced that everyone can learn to love reading with a little push and shove. All of us who love reading can remember the things that turned us into readers for life. A certain book or series that solidified our love.

For some the love for reading does come more natural than others. My mother loves to always talk about my obsession with books, even at a young age, reaching for books at the age of one over every other toy offered. I read my first book when I was three-years-old, Bears on Wheels. Sure most of that “reading” was just memorization but this is still one of my mother’s favorite stories to tell (brag about!). Between the ages five and seven, I probably went through every single book Stan and Jan Berenstain had to offer. Twenty years later, these books will always hold a special place in my heart, especially The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habitas I still struggle with a nasty nail biting habit to this day.

After that I progressed to my Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy books. It was nice to escape the reality of being an awkward preteen and pretend to be Nancy or Harriet. Needless to say I spent a lot of time “solving mysteries” in my house.

Matilda will forever be my one of my favorite books. The movie is also one of my favorites. It made me realize how amazing it can be to see your favorite literary characters come to life on the big screen.

matilda - i love to read

I remember reading Go Ask Alice, A Child Called It, and It Happened to Nancy. Stories about drugs, rape, AIDS, and abusive, sadistic parents. Thankfully they were horrors in the world that I otherwise would have been blissfully unaware of. I couldn’t get enough of these tragic stories, slowly realizing that life is not as easy as my 12-year-old self thought it was.

And Speak is probably the book that solidified me as a reader for life. I felt a connection with Melinda Sordino that I wasn’t able to fully get with any other character I’d read about before. I felt her pain and wanted to be her friend.

Sometimes finding your love for reading just takes some trial and error. Some people may not have any desire to ever read the classics, and that’s fine. As long as you’re reading, that’s all that really matters. Try out a few different genres to see what sticks. You’re never going to like every book you come across. If you find a book boring and think all reading is boring, then clearly you’re doing it wrong.

So in honor of National Book Lovers Day and because I am always looking for new books to add to me to-read list, what are some of your favorite books?

Note: This post originally ran in a blog I used to run about books and food.