Escaping Into a Good Book

Is there anything better than a good book, to be able to be transported into different times, places, utopias and dystopias?  Perhaps one of the best gifts I have even received was my e-reader.  I was skeptical at first (because there is nothing to compare to holding a book and physically turning the pages), but now my purse is not complete without my e-reader inside it.  At any given time, I have over 100 titles to choose from, over 100 adventures just waiting to sweep me away with them.

If I’m not perusing Ravelry and searching for knitting patterns, I’m often online on Goodreads.  My sister introduced me to it, describing it like ‘Twitter for books.’  Perhaps both Ravelry and Goodreads show that I seem to be searching for inspiration, whether for creativity or for a literary escape.

It is so comforting to re-read certain series; I have re-read Harry Potter more times than I can count, I can usually blow through the Hunger Games trilogy in a weekend, and I have re-read Anne of Green Gables about once a year since I was 10 years old.  The outcome is known, the endings are happy, and our hero/heroines evolve, change, and are ultimately victorious, either over Voldemort, Snow and the Capital, or their own stubbornness and they FINALLY forgive Gilbert.  I will forever ship Anne and Gilbert.

I’m also happy to discover new books and series, and for 2015, I’ve ‘challenged’ myself to read at least one new book every month.  Goodreads allows you to set up challenges for yourself, and this one is mine.  The act of finding new books and getting into them can often be challenging for me, but so far I’m on course for the year.

In January, read Laurence Hill’s Any Known Blood, and I couldn’t put it down!  This wasn’t the first book by Hill that I’ve read; back in 2011, I read The Book of Negroes (or Someone Knows My Name as it was published in the USA).  Before reading this book, I was somewhat familiar with Hill and his family’s history, so when I began reading Any Known Blood, it was clear that the author used his life’s story as inspiration for this tale.  It told the story of five generations of a Black family, all through the protagonist who was searching to know more about his family.  It utilized different narrations and often had the present day in contrast to the past.  As I said, I couldn’t put this book down, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

In February, I quickly read The Farm by Tom Rob Smith.  I’m part of the a Ravelry Knitters group on Goodreads, and this was the recommended group read for February.  It sounded interesting, so I gave it a try. Again an interesting tale, this time told through the eyes of a mother, and while reading it, I found myself questioning the tale if it is true or an invention of an unsound mind.

Finally, and this is going to make me sound bad, but I forced myself to read The Chrysalids… Yes, I know! It’s a classic!  I found myself struggling to truly connect to the story and to follow the narrator.  But, I read it, making it three new books I have read in the first three months of 2015.

What’s next?  I’ve just started Oryx and Crake by the incomparable Margaret Atwood.  It usually takes me a few chapters to get into an Atwood book, but once I’m in, I cannot put it down.  If you haven’t read Handmaid’s Tale or Alias Grace, stop reading this immediately and go read Atwood.

I’m always looking for good book suggestions – have you got one for me?

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