On Reading

I read every day. I grew up in a reading household. My parents, both retired, read an average of four books a week. I read an average of two books a week. I do not read in only one genre, or only one age range. I think a healthy reading life includes reading above, below, and at a comfortable reading level/range and includes reading multiple types of books.

While I do not want to run a review site, I will be including some book lists here. Why? Because anyone who knows how much I read asks me for book recommendations. If a book shows up here, I recommend it. It’s that simple. I may/may not give it a star rating. I may/may not include content guidelines.

What you might notice is that I read a variety of books. Some of these books have content that I do not completely agree with, but there is something about the story in them that I find compelling and interesting. Stories are a way in which we can capture and express humanity’s concerns in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

It is up to you as a reader to make discerning choices about your reading content. While I may recommend these books for some aspect of storytelling in them, I recognize that many readers have different tastes than I have, some more conservative, and some less so. Please take your time to consider the books you may want to read. Make choices that suit your reading taste.

Children’s Picture Book examples: The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, My Heart by Corinne Lukyen.

MG = Middle Grade

MG examples: Stowaway by John David Anderson and The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm, and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (some consider this YA).

YA = Young Adult

YA/Teen examples: The Girl With Flying Weapons by Aya Ling, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Apprentice by Kristen Young.

Adult/General Readership Note: I was reading adult books from the age of ten. I had free reign of my parents’ and grandparents’ bookshelves. I did run into some smexy books which were a bit graphic, but I also read Dickens, Shakespeare, L’Amour, Austen, and many other authors who are considered “classic” or “literary.”

A Note on the Term Literary: This term means “of letters” so any writing can be considered literary, and I do not agree with many people’s ideas of what makes for “good” literature or “highbrow” literature. There is just as much smut in those books as there are on the bestseller’s lists, and as much terrible writing there, as well. There are beautiful works of prose by authors no one has ever heard of in the “literary” circles and I believe what many consider “children’s literature” is often as beautiful as any book written for general readership. I also believe it is harder to write a good book for young people than it is to write for other adults and I have great admiration for Beatrix Potter, Eric Carle, and Corinne Lukyen. If you can hold the attention of a small child, then you are a great storyteller. Children don’t put up with the kinds of nonsense adults do.

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