Monday, October 15, 2012

Looking for Happiness #2: Reading *Love*

Given that I am an English teacher, it goes without saying that I love to read.  Whereas the average American (whoever that heathen “every (wo)man” is) reads about three books a year, I average that many a month, even while taking classes and teaching six of my own.

In some ways, I am lucky that I have to ride the bus to and from work everyday as the commute is found time, something that is a godsend for me.  During the drive into work, I often put on my makeup and check my social media accounts; on the drive home, I tend to read a book while on the bus headed home, or while I am waiting at the bus stop.

Blame Dutch industriousness, but I can’t stand to waste time; any moment where I am not actively doing something is, in my opinion, wasted time.  So, I always travel with a book in my bag, whether I am going to work in the morning, popping out for a coffee, or running errands.  I never know when I am going to have some found time and I always want something to do.

Beyond my practical love, I enjoy reading because it was one of the only things I could do as a kid that would, at least momentarily, take my mind off of what would otherwise be a pretty bleak existence.  On days when I would be feeling at my worse, when it felt like my world was tearing apart at the seams, I could pick up a book and compartmentalize my feelings.  As a child, there were lots of adverts that would promote reading as an escape or an adventure; for me, reading was a means for survival.  In many ways, reading remains a means for survival for me.

Here are some of my favorite authors and their works that I have connected with the most-- count a mention here as a hearty recommendation:

  • Kurt Vonnegut

    • Slaughterhouse-Five

    • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

    • Cat’s Cradle

    • Timequake

  • Ernest Hemmingway

    • The Old Man and the Sea

    • The Sun Also Rises

  • Graham Greene

    • Travels With My Aunt

    • Brighton Rock

    • The Quiet American

    • The Heart of the Matter

  • Beverly Cleary

    • Ramona the Pest

    • Ramona the Brave

  • Roald Dahl

    • Matilda

    • The Witches

What do you like to read?  What books bright a ray of light into your life?  Feel free to leave a comment and share some happiness.  

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