A Few of My Favourite Reads

Kim W Freeman   |   August 3, 2018 

Unlike many of my bookish friends, I was not a voracious reader as a child. Sure, I would go to our school library and check out a book every week, but finishing it it was another story (see what I did there?). At that time, I was more interested in being social, writing bad poetry, making collages, or hiding out in my room listening to music.

This is, until I secured my very first job at the age of 16 (the typical age for American teens to get part-time work -- not a norm in India, I know) at the local county library. I had the very minimum-wage-earning, ultra-unglamorous job of shelving books. This looked like me organising a cart full of books by section, letter, or Dewey Decimal number. I would then drive said cart throughout the library and shelve the whole lot. Then I would go back for more whilst also securing some bit of library gossip from some of my other high school co-workers.

We were like a little family in that book-smelling space. I loved the community we built there, and I loved my job.

As you can imagine, putting away books for four hours every afternoon had an effect on me. I became a reader. A legit one, not occasionally picking up something for vacation or school. There were too many interesting titles in front of me and new ones arriving daily.

Fiction, Non-Fiction, Paperbacks, I love them All

I am notorious in our home for checking out more books than would be humanly possible for a work-at-home-mom-of-five to read. But I honestly cannot stop myself. When I see a title now that I’ve never heard of I grab it, take it home, and hope that life aligns perfectly and I can read my stack of ten books in the three-week check out time. This, of course, never happens and I renew them until the library calls me out and doesn’t allow me to press that little red online renew button anymore.

But I know if I don’t grab it then I will never remember the title and think of all I will miss out on in that book! It could be the book that changes my life in all the right ways. And I would never know!

There have actually been books that have changed my life, made me think, made me laugh, or have left an indelible mark on my brain. I will always remember where and when I read them.

So here’s a short list of books that have had some sort of impact on me, in no particular order:

Memoir: Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen; West With the Night by Beryl Markham
Dinesen and Markham were contemporaries and I basically love any travel memoirs written by women that take place in the early 1900s. Dinesen’s fiction is good in its own right, but the stories about her time in Africa speak to anyone who has left their homeland and tried to live for a time in another.

Fiction: The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I know, there is so much good fiction out there, why would I choose this YA series as my favourite? Perhaps it’s because every time I’ve picked up one of these seven in the series I’m constantly blown away by the creativity, characters, and storyline. I want to pack up and be a student in Hogwarts and catch myself wishing this world really existed.

Non-Fiction/Writing: Making a Literary Life by Caroline See
Practical, witty, and insightful-- the perfect book if you want to make a career out of being a writer, or at least are entertaining the notion. See shares what she’s learned over the years as a novelist and teacher of creative writing. Many years ago I sent her one of those “Charming Notes” she talks about in her book and she surprised me by writing back a very kind and encouraging letter.

Non-Fiction/Christian: Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
Breaking up my all-female authors thus far, is Lewis’ classic Christian apologetic. I remember reading this in my teens (of my own free will) and having so many lights come on in my brain regarding my own faith in Christ. This is a work all I think any thoughtful believer should read at some point in their faith journey.

Fiction/Classic: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Was there any doubt about this one?

These are some of my favourites that I continue to go back to time and time again because the content has stayed with me over the course of many years now.  This is a very small list, of course, and could have included so many more titles that I’m sure I’ll remember tomorrow after this is published and wonder how I could've forgotten them!

What are some of your favourites? Do we share some similar titles?

 

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

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Kim W Freeman is the wearer of many hats: a wife to Jon, mother of five, co-founder of IndiAanya, artist and writer. She has a heart to see women grow in their faith and do life together in authentic community. Her perfect day would include cinnamon cappuccino, scones, rainy weather and an inspiring conversation. She haphazardly blogs over at her own place about life, art and spiritual formation at kwfreeman.com. She and her crew live in Charlotte, NC.

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One comment on “A Few of My Favourite Reads”

  1. Pride and Prejudice! Absolutely... and Making a Literary life is on my to-read list ????
    Just two days ago I wrote a post for our Brazilian blog talking about the book that impressed me the most, and it was the story of the pilot Nate Saint and his 4 friends whom were killed by the aucas in Equador (sorry, I won't know the original title in English). That was one I the first books I ever read and impressed me the most because it could well have been my story... that time my dad was doing the same as the characters in the book, just in a different jungle in Brasil, and I never knew when (if) I would see him again... he came back home! But that's a long story, not yet completed... but that for imprinted in my heart - "men the world was not worthy of "... ❤

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