Something to Fall in Love With

I have always loved the written word. Some of my earliest memories are of reading. I can’t tell you what you would see if you travel by car from Ohio to Florida, though I’ve made the trip many times; I could describe to you, however, the details of each book I read during those long drives.

I won’t tell you something nerdy like, “some of my best friends are books,” or “open up a book and see where it takes you.” I don’t read to escape or to pretend. I read because the written word is amazing: it can make you feel every emotion under the sun; it can reveal new thoughts and ideas; and, maybe most importantly, it can change you.

I love to read because I love to learn. I love to be challenged to think beyond my own experience. I love to hear other people’s stories and life experiences. And, I love to read because, depending on the book, I love to be inspired, motivated, encouraged, challenged, and entertained.

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So, for this week’s post, I thought I’d share with you a list of some of my favorite books. Hopefully you can find something on this list that piques your interest enough to try it out. If you do, let me know what you think! I’d also love to hear reading suggestions from you. I’m always looking for my next book!

His Girl Friday Reading List

Nonfiction

The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
Read this book to be inspired and to learn about someone who is different than you (author has tourette syndrome). I also really liked this book because it is one of the few memoirs that I’ve read that shares positive family memories. His struggles might have been tough, but his attitude and stories are uplifting.

I Was Told There Would be Cake by Sloane Crosley
Read this book of essays to laugh. A lot.

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
Read this book to laugh, hear tales of adventures in food and family, and to meet some unforgettable people.

Poser by Claire Dederer
Read this book to be inspired.

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
Read this book to expand your horizons.

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
Read this book to learn something new.

Fiction

The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers
Read this book to be drawn into the life of an (unexpectedly) interesting person.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Read this book because it is on every “best of” list for mysteries…for good reason.

The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
Read this book because it is so, so funny.

The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek
Read this book for fun.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Read this book because, although written in 1920, its observations on life are just as true, and just as interesting.

Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Read this book because it’s a good book. Don’t read this book if you can’t handle Salinger.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Read this book because it has everything: adventure, love, betrayal. And read this because, when asked what your favorite Dickens’ novel is, you should have an answer. Trust me, this will be your favorite.

Murder Melts in Your Mouth by Nancy Martin
Read this because it is a fun, entertaining, modern mystery.

Wow, I could go on and on….and on and on. But I think I’ll stop there for now.  I love discussing books and giving/receiving book recommendations, so feel free to contact me for other books to add to your reading list, or to add one to mine.

And, in honor of today being Valentine’s Day, here is one of my favorite poems, aptly titled “Love,” by Billy Collins.

The boy at the far end of the train car
kept looking behind him
as if he were afraid or expecting someone

and then she appeared in the glass door
of the forward car and he rose
and opened the door and let her in

and she entered the car carrying
a large black case
in the unmistakable shape of a cello.

She looked like an angel with a high forehead
and somber eyes and her hair
was tied up behind her neck with a black bow.

And because of all that,
he seemed a little awkward
in his happiness to see her,

whereas she was simply there,
perfectly existing as a creature
with a soft face who played the cello.

And the reason I am writing this
on the back of a manila envelope
now that they have left the train together

is to tell you that when she turned
to lift the large, delicate cello
onto the overhead rack,

I saw him looking up at her
and what she was doing
the way the eyes of the saints are painted

when they are looking up at God
when he is doing something remarkable,
something that identifies him as God.

(From Nine Horses)

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Happy Valentines Day, to my little bookworm. I love how much you love to read.

8 thoughts on “Something to Fall in Love With

  1. “If you think reading is boring, then you’re doing it wrong.” So true! As always, I find inspiration here to be a better human being. May I add a book to your list for anyone wanting to be a better man? The MANual by Keith Riegert and Samuel Kaplan. Hugely entertaining and super informative. Learn how to throw a Mike Tyson-esque jab, choose the right cigar to follow up your next perfectly cooked steak, or survive the next grenade attack in your neighborhood.

  2. I check Bringing Up BeBe out of the library last week and found it to be completely fascinating! I felt like a silly American for most of the book–except for the part about breastfeeding and natural childbirth–can’t get into the French way of thinking about those two subjects. Otherwise, I have already started making a concerted effort to allow my girl to be more autonomous in her activities. I’m also quite interested in the French way of eating. We are having a four course French-style meal tonight, and I’ve already found my next book about French eating at the library to be picked up when I return this one. Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. I LOVE that you checked it out! I agree, the French have an usual way of looking at child birth and breastfeeding…I think I’ll stick to my way of doing things in regards to those, but I think they are really on to something in how to teach kids to be good eaters! We apply the French “tricks” to our meal times and I have to say that, while some of the ideas are pretty simple, they yield life changing results! One of my favorites is the idea that you offer your child the veggie/salad option first, while they are the most hungry. Genius! Let me know how your French experiment goes, and thanks so much for sharing!

      1. The first experiment went really well and I’m super excited to try it again tonight! Check out the following blog post for more information about the components of a French meal. I checked out French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guilliano from the library yesterday and am excited to learn more. I’ve only read the introduction so far, so I can’t comment on the quality of the content, but the introduction has me eager to continue. MUST. GRADE. PAPERS. NO. READ. BOOK. 🙂
        http://frenchfoodiebaby.blogspot.com/2012/10/anatomy-of-french-four-course-meal.html?m=0

  3. This is so exciting, haha. I like to hear that you are getting into this as much as I have. Also, I appreciate the Frenchs approach to eating a little bit of everything. It is similar to my, eat a lot of everything approach ;-). Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out!

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