Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Reads

Upon finishing my dissertation, I have had an insatiable desire to read books for fun. It has been awhile since I was able to spend significant amounts of time reading things not for coursework or research. I have always had a great love for reading that was encouraged and facilitated by my parents. My parents always read to us, especially at night before going to bed. One of our favorite reads was Babar. Once a week (or more) my dad would take us to South Towne Mall or Fashion Place Mall where we would go to the bookstore and he would let us buy whatever book we wanted- as long as we would read it. I loved reading so much that I would bring a flashlight in the car so that I could start reading my book immediately after leaving. A few of my favorite series growing up were Anne of Green Gables series (and all other LM Montgomery books), The Babysitters Club, and Nancy Drew- to name just a few. My sisters also reminded me that we would all read our books while waiting in the lines at Disneyland and other amusement parks.

As you can see from my side bar, I have read quite a good number of books. Some of my favorites have been the Kurt Wallander mystery series by Henning Mankell. Mankell is a Swedish author who is a truly BRILLANT mystery writer (and even translated it is still great). I stumbled upon this gem through the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series about Wallander that aired back in the early summer. Kenneth Branaugh plays the overworked detective Kurt Wallander and does a phenomenal job of it- he completely captures the essence of Mankell's character. I have also enjoyed the No. 1 Ladies Dectective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. He has done a few other series which I have read, and they have been ok and enjoyable, but not nearly as much as the traditionally built woman detective Precious Ramotse.

I have also been trying to read some of the classics that I inadvertantely missed during my education such as Dicken's "A Tale of Two Cities" (seen the play but never read the book) and George Orwell's "1984." I had known about the cultural references to Big Brother but I now have a full comprehension of them. I have been able to read so many books because I read them while working out on the elliptical and while I drive around places in the car. I've enjoyed listening to them in the car, but it does mean that I am now not quite as caught up on the current music scene but I will take that trade-off.

I welcome any other special recommendations for reads that you might have.

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