Set for Life

I love what author Bob Greene says in “Free entertainment, for life,” an article on CNN.com. It resonates with everything in me.

“Are you a person who loves to read books? If so, you’re set for life.”

Good News for Book Lovers

At first, Greene lists the “not so cheery” conditions of the current writing scene: Borders book stores closing, the digital ebook revolution, the difficulty of selling books now, etc. So what, he asks, is there to be so cheery about? His answer:

“Just this: There are so many wonderful books that have been written over the centuries, books that will thrill you and make you cry and change you and bring laughter to you and keep you up all night. Even if you did nothing else for the rest of your life but read, you would only be able to get to the most infinitesimal percentage of books that you would be destined to adore. They’re just waiting for you — waiting to be found, right now…And in most cases, even in these rugged and scary economic times, they’re free.”

 

Still Free!

He’s talking about public libraries. (Read his whole article, if you have time.) In my city, I’m sure there are millions of books in print to choose from if you count all the branch libraries. Even when I lived in a very small town, I could get books on interlibrary loan.

So…this is my question for you. What books have you read this past year that you would rank in the top five spots of “best books for the year”? They don’t have to be new reads either.

As Greene points out, “A book that was stirring and lovely when it was written — whether 15 years ago or 60 years ago or 150 years ago — does not lose its power just because it sits on a library shelf for decades at a time with no one pulling it out.”

I’ll Start

Some of my favorites this year have been:

  • Margins (nonfiction) by Richard Swenson, M.D.
  • Firefly Summer by Maeve Binchy
  • several British mysteries by Charles Todd (w/ hero, Ian Rutledge)
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • O! Pioneers by Willa Cather

How about you? Now that school is starting again, and you might have time to settle down with a good book, let’s recommend a few titles to each other. I’d love to know which ones you liked–I will look for them!

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