Friday, June 13, 2003

Sometimes it's the little things...

that make your day!

For me it was the discovery that there is a short audio extract from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix available on Amazon.

I know that as a grown adult I should not be as excited as I am about it but I am counting down the hours until the release of the next Harry Potter book. A friend commented that it was foolish because I am sure to just read the whole book the night I get it. That will leave me to wait in agony for the next three years until book #6 comes out. I do not care - these books are worth it!

I think what I love about these books is the fact that they have really brought me back to that place where I just LOVED reading. As a girl I always had my head in a book but then as I grew up I found that much adult fiction left me cold. I really enjoy non-fiction histories and biographies but sometimes the soul needs a good page-turner.

What I have realized is that many books out today have no likeable characters - I find that disturbing. I really like books that have strong characters who may have flaws but are likeable on some level. In much adult fiction there are no characters who I really want to identify with. I finish books like that with a strange sense of emptiness. Without identifying with any of the characters, I feel that I have just read words on a page rather than ‘experienced’ a book. When I love a character reading a book that includes that character becomes, for me, a true experience. To this day I remember what happened to Anne Shirley in that house with green gables as well as I remember what happened to me in the fifth grade.

There are dozens of books for children that I can point to which just became part of who I am. Little Women, The Secret Garden, Misty of Chincoteague, The Robbers Daughter, Caddie Woodlawn, Hitty, Little House on the Prairie, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Borrowers, The Door in the Wall, Island of the Blue Dolphins…. I could go on (but won’t bore you). Just listing these titles makes me want to read all of these books again. I am still looking for books like that – where I fall into both the plot and the character. I just am not finding them.

Perhaps it is the books that I have chosen - anyone have suggestions for some good summer reading?


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