The Short Reading List

I signed up for the Penguin House reading prompts. They suggested to put a small list of books together to read. It took me a good hour searching through Amazon for about 10 books I might try. These are the ones I selected:

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing (by Delia Owens) – I think it was the setting of this story that interested me…the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have an affinity for Ocracoke Island.
  2. The Screwtape Letters (by C.S. Lewis) – An old boss recommended this book to me. I didn’t really like that boss but what the heck, I’ll try the book. Don’t judge a book by a bad boss. If it’s anything like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – I’ll dig it although I must admit that Edward’s turkish delight did not live up to Lewis’ hype. Ick.
  3. The House on Mango Street (by Sandra Cisneros) – yum, mangoes…enough said.
  4. Flowers for Algernon (by Daniel Keyes) – I actually read this as a kid and absolutely loved it. Just want to reread it.
  5. Watership Downs (by Richard Adams) – My mom told me this was one of her favorites, an animal story, and I love animals.
  6. Love in the Time of Cholera (by Gabriel Garcia Marquez) – We’re in a pandemic. Why not read about another one? I think I saw this in a movie once. I seem to recall it was very sad. Something about unrequited love and come on, everybody has someone from their past they are curious about looking up on Facebook now….except now you find out he’s balding and got a pot belly.
  7. The Name of the Rose (by Umberto Eco) – ok, I loved this movie with Sean Connery as a kid. I mean who wouldn’t love a medieval monastery murder mystery with a priest detective? Oh, by the way, another absolutely awesome book in a similar vein but set in Japan with samurais is The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. Great book.
  8. Murder and Mayhem in Southeast Kansas (by Larry Wood) – ok, I’ll be honest, my friend from the Writer’s Guild wrote this..so I’m curious. Plus, the cover has the Dalton Gang from Coffeyville on it and I am certain the book talks about the Benders.
  9. Milk and Honey (by Rupi Kaur) – it’s poetry. I like poems. Plus….way, way easier to read.
  10. When Wolves become Birds (By Alise Versalla) – ok, ok, another poetry book. Hey, to be fair, there’s a lot of reading on this list and I wanted to finish easy. Plus the title kinda intrigued me.

Author: J. Speer

I like to write. I have 5 books currently on Amazon, mostly fiction. I try to write positive and uplifting children's stories, expressive poetry for women, and interesting articles about personal growth, alternative medicine, and spirituality. My stories are often about diverse people but with human connection in mind through inner perspective. I love my characters especially the ones from my first book, Searching for Fire. I moved recently to Vermont. I live in the North Country region near Lake Willoughby, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. My heart will always be with Kansas but I love travel and meeting new people with diverse perspectives on life. I have found Vermonters to have many admirable qualities like stoicism and a love and stewardship of nature. My hobbies are writing, gardening, outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and hiking. I am an amateur herbalist. Many years ago, an alternative medicine doctor cured me of a respiratory illness by teaching me about vitamins and for that, I owe her a debt of gratitude. I recently bought a Jeep Wrangler that fits my personality and love for adventure. Associated with the military in my younger years, I have lived in Israel, Germany, and Virginia as well - all of which I loved in different ways. I thoroughly believe in the military spouse phrase, "bloom where you are planted" and endeavor to carry a positive optimism wherever I roam. Most days are good but admittedly I get down sometimes. I am prone to sadness or severe cynicism at times, so I turn to music as my consolation and source of expression or inspiration. My favorite songs currently are "How Deep is Your Love" by the Beegees, "La Vie en Rose", "A Million Dreams" or maybe Karen Carpenter singing "Close to You" or Elton John singing "Your Song." I also like "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" by Starship or "I'll Stand by You" by The Pretenders. "Faithfully" by Journey always reminds me of rollerskating with friends in the 1980s. My favorite quotes are from the Velveteen Rabbit, Steve Jobs, and this one..."To the caterpillar it was the end of the world, but to the butterfly it was merely a beautiful beginning." Or there is the quote from Peter Pan teaching Wendy..."What if I fall? But, oh my darling, what if you fly?" I also believe in being a pearl - graceful on the outside but full of grit and gratitude on the inside. My favorite women of the Bible are Ruth, Hannah, and Hagar. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Cheers, friend.

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