Sunday, January 31, 2016

rainy day reading

I love to read. And trapped inside on a rainy day is not too bad, with a book and a fire, I'm sure Major won't mind.

my favorite reading corner, too many books stacked on the floor

But I'm a genre snob elitist. I typically only read hard science fiction (the stuff that takes place in outer space/on a planet/future universes). I do sneak in some fantasy, easier sci-fi, and will steal a dog-eared copy of a cheesy detective novel from my mom now and again.

I have quite a few books I read over and over: Midworld by Alan Dean Foster, Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clark, the Assassin/Fool series by Robin Hobb, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle,  Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card, Use of Weapons by Iain Banks.

But often on a rainy day when I've finished the most recent Alistair Reynolds, or put away the Charles Stross, I pick up an old favorite. That I've read I think every year since it was published in 1989.

And it is NOT me. People find it odd that it is my favorite book. But it is the book I'd take to a desert island, or read when I need 600+ pages of comfort. John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Now I do love most of the weird worlds Jonathan Irving invents (he is not science fiction, just general fiction and amazing characters). Most people would be familiar maybe with Irving's The World According to Garp, from the movie version, because who can pass up a young Robin Williams and cross-dressing John Lithgow?

But it is A Prayer for Owen Meany that is lodged in my heart. I KNOW these characters. I can picture every moment. I would play their games and go to their Christmas pageant and have a stuffed armadillo. I ridiculously cry at the sad points I KNOW are coming since I've read it 20+ times. It has a religious main character, which I am decidedly NOT. So why?

Who knows. That is what a good book does. Stays with you. Resonates within some hidden place inside. What's your book?

First lines: "I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death…" Intrigued? Read it yourself.


  1. I'll look it up. I think you know I'm a trekkie like you, and I love Babylon 5.

    My favorite book since high school is odd for me too:

    and moreso cuz I don't like most dogs these days:,_A_Dog

    1. Yes, I'm a total trekkie. I never did watch babylon 5, maybe time for binge watching!

      I love Lad, A Dog. I read it as a child, and it still sits in my pile of classic horse and dog books.

      And Duncton Wood looks interesting. I read a couple early Redwall series books, also about animals, but without as much historical stuff. I'll add it to my Amazon list (which gets longer every day!)

  2. That is an excellent first sentence, and your reading corner looks very comfy.

    Top of my book list would have to be A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I've probably read it a dozen times, and given my copies to others just as many times. Recently started Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. Seems like a book one can sink their teeth into...

    1. I agree on Confederacy on Dunces, a masterful book. I haven't read Infinate Jest, another to add to my list!

  3. The three books I read every year without fail are The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold.

  4. Yes, never a day without reading. It is may be 25 years ago that I saw a movie. I never forgot it, but didn't remember the name. Few years ago Alexander found the book for me: Housekeeping from Marilynne Robinson. Still disturbs me ...