Good morning Peeps!
I thought I would write a little this fine morning. I have to return my library books this week and I was thinking about how much I have always loved to read. From as far back as I can remember as a child, I've always loved books and had a library card. My love of books came at an early age as I remember sitting in school at a little round table reading Dr Suess books in the school's tiny one room library. I probably would have only been about 6 years old, give or take. I don't remember having any of my own books as a child, however it may have been because I was moved around so much and lost a lot of my stuff in the shuffle.
It was always a wonderful experience going to the library. I remember the first time I went to a public library all by myself and how much I loved it. I was about 8 years old and was allowed to ride my bike to the library by myself. Back then you didn't have to lock up your bike under chain and key because it was safe to just park it outside the library and it would still be there when you came out. I rode my bike to the big building, it looked humongous to me at that age anyway, parked my bike in the back of the library and walked through those big imposing doors. You had to be very quiet and whisper inside those sacred walls or the librarian would shoot you a look with daggers over her cat eyed glasses that you knew it was a clear warning sign to obey the rules or be kicked out. I was too much in awe to even dare being kicked out.
I remember walking along the rows and rows of books that lined the shelves from floor to ceiling. It was massive and glorious to be surrounded by all those books. I read each of the signs and saw the library was divided into sections. I lingered in the adult section for a few moments and wondered if I was breaking any rules or if I would be escorted out for being where I wasn't supposed to be. Soon I found the juvenile section and I was in heaven! I relished in being able to pull each book from the shelf and read the front and back cover to see what the story was about. To say I was enthralled is an understatement. I still remember the very first book I checked out with my own library card. It was called Jenny and the Mystery House. I have no idea who the author was but I do remember that I loved reading the story. So began my history of using the public library system and I've been doing it ever since. I've often wanted to find that book and buy it as a piece of my history because it has such a fond memory for me. As an adult I have slowly over time collected various children's books, maybe because I didn't have any when I was a child.
Books have always been a source of comfort to me, an escape you could say, where I could read a book and be propelled into the story and forget about what was going on around me in my life. Many times as a teenager I would go to the library and check out as many books as I could. My grandmother had a storage locker in the apartment building she lived in and I would sneak the key while she wasn't looking and go hide away with my books. I made a nice little private reading room in there with blankets and a light. I would stay there for hours in my cocoon nest where it was quite and safe, reading to my heart's delight undisturbed.
There were benefits to reading too that I was unaware of as a kid. Reading helped advance my vocabulary and I learned all kinds of new things I had never heard of before by reading. It also gave me a love and appreciation for the written word so much so that I found I also loved to write my own stories and poetry. I was a kid who loved my English classes because it connected me more towards my passion of reading and writing. It also made me more proficient and well rounded because I was furthering my education just by reading without even knowing how much I was learning in the process. Books have the ability to take you to far away lands and to learn about different cultures that are different from your own world.
Take for instance, Dickens classics, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities... those were marvelous books that I became absorbed in through the written word however if I had to sit through a history class to learn about the historical value of these classic tales, I would have found that boring beyond belief and not absorbed any of it into my brain cells. Shakespear was a bit harder to understand yet I still got into the plots of the stories by opening the book and reading.
As an adult I have continued my love of reading and I adore the fact that books have the ability to make you feel something so deeply. When a writer has the ability to make me belly laugh out loud or feel such deep emotion as I read through blurred vision as tears stream down my face... well that is the signs of an excellent well written book and a writer who has honed their skills into their craft to be able to connect with the reader on a gut level like that.
Two such books come to mind and they are the only two that have ever had the power to make me cry as I read the stories. They are my two favorite books, out of all the books I have ever read, and I will tell you why. "The Shack" by William P. Young is the first book and the second is "Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt" by Beth Hoffman. Both were such well written books and ones that I had to buy because they were just that excellent. Plus I know I will read them several times again as the years go on.
The Shack really connected with me spirituality which is why I really adore this book so much. The story starts out introducing you to the characters as a father and his children are on a weekend camping trip, however soon we learn there is a tragedy which will impact the main character's life dramatically. The story is really about him and how he comes to term with the tragedy, and how he deals with his immense loss, shame and grief while connecting to the God source of his spirituality. I love the direction the story takes as he starts conversing with God who is nothing like he had imagined at all. It is a story of a man's brokeness and how God reaches in to his pain and pulls him out. The book made me smile and laugh out loud at times and other times just the depth of emotion and feeling had me crying with him. The booked touched me on a very deep level probably because it was a time in my life that I was searching deep within trying to find my own connection to my spirituality. As I said it was well written and I give kudos to the writer for his craft. It's not often that a book impacts me this much but this one did.
Saving Cee cee Honeycutt was a gem of a book. It made me laugh right out loud with it's southern charm and it too had me in tears more than once. Cee Cee is a young girl and the main character of the book that the story revolves around, however there are many memorable characters that came to life on the pages of the book that I came to love just as dearly in this little nugget. Eight year old Cee Cee is trying very hard to hold everything together as she deals with a mentally ill mother and an absent father. One day her world is turned completely upside down in the face of a tragedy and she is whisk away to the South to live with a Great Aunt she's never met. Slowly Cee Cee comes to terms with all the emotions and loss she's had to face in her young life and she has a wonderful cast of strong women in her life to teach her it's okay to feel and to live. This was Beth Hoffman's very first novel and I really look forward to many more of her books as she is one heck of a fantastic writer that knows how to pull her audience in for every last drop of goodness.
There are so many good books to talk about and discuss but here are a few of my favorite authors and who I read the most fiction from; Charlotte Vale Allen, Lisa Jackson, Stuart Woods, Tami Hoag, Sandra Brown, and Rita Mae Brown. Just a sampling really because there are so many great writers out there.
This doesn't even include all my non fiction books which would be an entirely different blog post. For now I shall bid you a good evening and post again another day.