Reading-wise, what makes me tick?

16 Favorite Books

Reading, for me, is the very best form of recreation. It is unique among my other activities because I can enjoy it when and how it is convenient to me—plus, I can always go back a page or two to reread something I missed because of an interruption or inattention (think falling asleep as I read!). Though I would like to claim a diverse, non-fiction repertoire, I must admit that most of my recreational reads are fiction and most of those are in the “pop”ular vernacular.

My list, and the rationale for each, is captured in the attachment, but I want to expand my commentary for one of the entries.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving is easily the most frustrating and, ultimately, the most memorable book I’ve ever read. I can’t tell you how many times I almost gave up on the tale, mostly because of the many lengthy descriptive sections—but I stuck with it because someone I respected recommended it to me.

This is a story of two boys who grow to manhood in Vietnam-era America. A tragedy in their pre-adolescent years unites them to the point that, subsequently, they do almost everything together. They stay close in adulthood even though one of them moves to Canada in protest over U.S. foreign policy while the other joins the military. After more than 600 pages, the threads of the story finally come together, concluding in a surprising, dramatic, and satisfying way.

Posted for Week 16 of Moorea Seal’s 52 Lists project, an opportunity for list addicts like me to join up with likeminded bloggers to celebrate their list-keeping tendencies. Moorea posts a fresh prompt each Tuesday—check it out when you can.

Layout credits: Letter Box Garden Song, Vintage Blendables Number 6, and Brushed Alpha Number 3, all by Katie Pertiet at; Bits of Spring by Jeanet Almhøj at Digital Scrapbook Place.

8 thoughts on “Reading-wise, what makes me tick?

  1. Wanda, I have read and enjoyed John Irving in the past, but put him down because it seemed to me he sometimes never got to the point. Based on your review I may have to nook him and try again. Thanks — Bill

  2. Yes, reading has always been my favourite pleasure. I’ll always remember being taken into hospital the day before my son was born and the nurse telling me to stop reading because it would raise my blood pressure. I don’t think so!

  3. I, too, am a lifelong lover of books and reading and libraries. You are the only other person I know who has read And Ladies of the Club. I let it go in a move many years ago and have been sorry ever since. Seeing your mention of it sent me straight to, where I ordered a used copy. I’m really looking forward to reading it again.

    A list of my favorite books would have to include Islandia (by Austin Tappan Wright) and Watership Down. I got tricked into buying that last one by a clever cover blurb. When I started reading it and found out it was about RABBITS, I was very upset and disappointed. I was also stuck on a Greyhound bus with nothing else to do for the next six hours — plenty of time to fall in love with those rabbits!

  4. My interests and hobbies have changed quite a bit through the years with the exception of reading – which has been a constant in my life since I was a small child. Every two weeks, my dad and I went to the library, like clock-work. Much to my mom’s consternation, I attempted to do my chores while reading. When I ran out of books, I read our encyclopedias. Even today, as an adult, I am known by name at our local library.

  5. I love to read too. And have been doing too much lately! Thanks for visiting my Pig With Wings post. I posted a cookbook review today. Come by and visit again.
    Have a great week,

  6. Loved reading this – I love John Irving but haven’t read this one yet. I quite often find it’s the difficult books I’ve read that stay with me. I read Fortune’s Rock by Anita Shreve a few years ago and it felt really hard work at the time but the imagery and descriptions were so amazing that evocative that I still go back to it now.
    Love this 52 lists idea!

    • Thanks, Becs, for recommending “Fortune’s Rock.” I’ll check it tomorrow morning–part of my Sunday morning routine is to spend some serious time with the book section of the newspaper and Amazon…I mostly end up adding titles to already-long to read list, but it is one of the most enjoyable times of the week. BTW, I hope to see a “52 list” post sometime soon!

  7. Although I am not a great reader of fiction, I am always pleased to read reviews and recommendations. I admire your sticking with it! I have lost count of the number of times I have started a book and never finished it. :(. I clearly need to learn the rewards of perseverance!

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