Monday, April 20, 2009

Fact or Fiction

For the last several years, I've fallen into a pattern of reading nothing but non-fiction books. It wasn't a conscious decision. In LA I began reading books about acting, auditioning, what casting directors like and dislike, blah, blah, blah. Then came the politic books. When I moved to Salt Lake and began working for Dave's health and Nutrition, I plunged into the world of herb books, meditation books, motivation and self-books. Then it was on to the fertility books. Oh... the endless fertility books.
Since reading Twilight in March, I've realized how much I've missed the world of fiction. I've read the Twilight series twice, moved on to Hunger Games and then just finished The Host. I have been completely sucked into every world I've visited and I can't get enough. It will be some time before I pick up another non-fiction book. I'm giving my brain a break and exercising my imagination for awhile.
After working out my stiff and under used imagination muscles for the last month, I've noticed an improvement in my own creativity as well. My excitement for acting has returned and my happiness and hope meter has cranked up a few notches. If my name was Stella, you might just say I got my groove back.
I'm out of books to read at my house and a trip to the library is on the agenda. I need recommendations. Should I finally take the leap into Jane Austen and if so, where to start. I've only ever seen Emma and I think I had been ruined by excessive viewings of Clueless, because I kept singing Rollin With the Homeys. I've read some classics, but I went to a mostly African American high school and read A Raisin in The Sun every year, instead of once breaking open Great Expectations. Which are the must reads and which ones should I pass by. Please don't let the well run dry.


IrisLillie said...

Well I don't care what the heck you say is a "must read". I would stay as FAR away from Great Expectations as you could possibly stay. In fact, if in the library, a book has leaned against a copy of that nasty novel, I would skip that book too.
Talk about "Danny Downer" reading..
Did I say ... Yuck??
And I don't care what your brother says about the book... It just proves his judgement is suspect. And your father also... remember, he is a guy that reads calculus books to relax.

annette said...

Here are some of my favorites...

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (it takes a bit of patience to get through the initial chapters on your first reading, but you will soon be swept into the world of those divine characters and never want to leave)

2. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (this is a book I have to put down every once in a while simply to compose myself before continuing to read. Scarlet and Rhett are two of the most compelling characters in fiction)

3. If you want to read some Jane Austen, I would suggest starting with her most popular classic, Pride & Prejudice. Emma's enjoyable as well (Clueless might help you appreciate it more instead of less), but I never quite made it through Mansfield Park. One of these days I might go back and try to finish it. Sense & Sensibility is supposed to be wonderful and it's on my list of reading, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

4. This one isn't a classic (yet), but I recently read The Secret Life of Bees and fell in love with the characters. I hated finishing the book because I didn't want to say goodbye.

Keep us posted as to what you're reading!

Drew said...

I agree with Annette on Pride and Prejudice first. I would recommend watching the BBC version (which I and about half the LDS female population owns) least I did.

I love Gone With the Wind, too. Excellent. Her characters are amazing, which is why I was sorely disappointed in the sequel, "Butlers People" which was shallow, shallow, shallow. I think the writer only watched the movie.

Another storyteller world that is easy to get sucked into is Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. I was just listening to "Ender in Exile" so I thought of it. His Women of the Covenant (Sarah, Rebecca, etc.) are excellent too.

In children's books (a well written children's book lasts far into the adult years) I love the 'Shoes' books. 'Ballet shoes', 'Theater Shoes'...they are right up your artistic alley. They are all about orphans who grow to be actresses (and dancers) to support their adoptive families.

I also love Madeleine L'Engle's time trilogy...'A Wrinkle in Time', 'A Wind in the Door', 'A Swiftly Tilting Planet'.

I just read a delightful book (now in the pre-teen section) by the same who wrote 'Ella Enchanted', Gail Carson Levine. They are the most delightful Princess books.

I have been reading mainly nonfiction books myself, but you are right. There is something about good fiction that elevates you and sends your imagination into hyperhappydrive.

Drew said...

That was Candice, by the way, that wrote the previous comment...and this one:).

Melissa and Nate said...

Oh Lil! I'm so glad to hear you have a love of books too! If I don't have a book to read all the time I go crazy. I find that my creativity goes out the window without it. And I was just talking to Nate on Sunday about how I'd like to read some more of the classics. I'm going to use some of your friend's recommendations. As for me - I'm into fun, interesting, thought-provoking books. Here's a few I love:
-The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
-The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
-Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (I just read this for book club and loved it!)
-Harry Potter series<--Nate's favorites
For a quick read that's entertaining, read any Newberry Award book.

Candice said...

By the way, your Dad reads Calculus books to relax? hmmmm...I am fascinated with this family that you come from.

Candice said...

Okay, last comment...I like the older Newberry books (like from the 60s) rather than the newer ones right now. Some of the recent ones are depressing, but I have not looked at a list in quite a while.

Second, I picked up Breaking Dawn, again, in your honor. So addictive.

Scott and Stacia said...

A friend of mine let me borrow the book, The Goose Girl (a teen read). It is by Shannon Hale. A great story that I am trapped reading (which says a ton because I am not a reader). It is in a series of three books called, The Books of Bayern. She also said that she loves the series, Fablehaven. Anyway, don't know if you are interested in either but enjoy reading :)

Jensens said...

"Sigh." Maybe someday I'll have time to read a book. I'm hoping this summer I can take a few in, and these suggestions will be great!