I am a book nerd. There. I said it. I was reading Dr. Seuss in pre-school and was able to go to the 3rd-5th grade section of the school library in first grade. I am not bragging here, just saying I was a voracious reader and while I sucked at math (okay I still do; I still count and do multiplication with my fingers) reading was my "thing".
As a child I read everything. Sure, I had my favorites...anything by Beverly Cleary (esp the Ramona series), Roald Dahl (esp BFG and Matilda).....but you would catch me reading the cereal box or even browsing my dad's hunting or guns and ammo magazines. I read the entire Audobo nencyclopedia in 4th grade since I loved animals, and I also read every Nationak Geographic I could get my hands on. Okay, I still read every National Geographic I get my hands on. I recall in college my first boyfriend and I walked past a yard sale that had National Geographics and they sold us probably three or four dozen, at a canadian quarter's amount each. My home ,as a child, was filled to the brim with books, mostly about Native American history, weapons, art, edible plants, flora and fauna...and whatever book for children that was at a yard sale. One of my parents (usually my dad, my mom worked her butt off) was always reading it seemed.
I lived at the library every summer, trying to read the most books in town to win a small prize...a goal I never quite met because I might read longer and fewer books or get "stuck" re-reading a good one. Reading exposed me to new viewpoints, places, knowledge.
Nowadays I read less, what with a busy life and all, but a lot of my reading is farting around on the internet, researching various "I wonder" moments throughout the day. I am a more selective reader now, with varied but picky interests...if a few pages in, I don't itch to turn the nsxt page! I stop reading. If it is a certain genre ie romance, I stay away. But I am always on the hunt for a new book to read and could very easily spend my yearly eaenings all and solely at bookstores. I love Barnes and Nobles for their expansive selections, coffee, and comfy chairs where I can grab a book off the shelf and dissapear for hours....you know, back before I had kids. I like some ma and pa book stores.....one in Seaport Village in San Diego seems to just have unique reads as does some bookstore (forget the name) in Portsmouth, NH. And one can not forget the behemouth of awesome, Powells in Portland ,Oregon- a block long and wide plethora of books that is also a curse as I get a headache when I visit because I get overstimulated.
Recently I have struggled for a good read. Within the past two years though, I read a few books that I loved. As in, they need to be recreated as different but similar, just as awesome books.
Salt by Mark Kurlansky was an impulse buy (I mean who wants to read a huge huge book about Salt?) Yet it was chock full of history, food, and my favorite thing....completely random facts.
Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown...real life story of a girl who descended into drugs and prostitution, homelessness and foster homes, a real tell-it-like-it-is book. Despite all the sugary references in title and author, nothing was sugar coated and it was raw and real.
The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto is one I have read more than once. It is my...I don't even know. It was an epiphany, a transformation for me, a new goal and drive and passion all came out of this kind of jumbled format of an educational manifesto. It changed my life. Seriously.
Quiet by Susan Cain. Let's just say, if you meet me and say, I don't get this chick. She needs a users manual... This book is a damned good start. I think I highlighted more of the book than not, exclaiming "yes, that's soooo me!" But to add to my users manual you can read The Highly Sensitive Person by Eliane Aron. It wasn't an earth shaking page turning read but it did really explain part of me.
Lets Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson... This is my favorite book and she is my pretend best friend since, well, I don't actually know her. But if I did I bet we'd be best friends. She is eccentric and "real" and who else had dead animals in their freezer as a child? I mean, we are soul mates right there. This book is beyond hilarious.
IQ84 by Haruki Murakami. Really, any if his books. I say he is my favorite author but I love all the authors I have mentioned (and more) but he has what, a dozen books? So there's more to love. A bit if a dystopian view, with lots of it could be real magical realism. He spins his magical realism like no other in my opinion, and I cannot put any of his books down and read them all more than once. I think I read this book in three days and it is not a quick read.