by Michelle Ralston LTLS Consultant
You will often find that I am reading a couple of books at one time. Friends ask me all the time how I keep characters and story straight. It is easy for me because I like to read both a fiction and a non-fiction book. There are times when I want my reading to be fun and light, and other times when I feel like learning or sharing. Reading different types of material gives me the best of both worlds. I would like to share a few of the books that I have recently read or am currently reading.
The past few non-fiction books I have read are memoirs. The one that I am currently reading is My Lobotomy by Howard Dully. At 12 years old, showing no signs of mental illness, Howard is given an ice pick lobotomy. After that he is put into state healthcare and pretty much abandoned by his family. The book is about Howard's life after the lobotomy and his journey and research to find out why it happened to him. The story is sad and moving. I enjoy reading about other people's lives and how they overcome their adversities, but sometimes real-life is too sad, or too crazy, so I delve into the land of fiction.
My two favorite fiction genres are fantasy and mystery. I started reading the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling), and moved on to the Bartimaeus trilogy (Jonathan Stroud). I am currently in the middle of the Eragon trilogy (Christopher Paolini). It can be so nice to pick up books that are easy to read and completely draw you into a fantasy world. I tend to stick to children's and teen fantasy. As far as mysteries go, I have two favorite series:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a series about a woman named Precious who lives in Botswana and has set up a detective agency. People come to her to solve their mysteries and problems. The books are light-hearted and fun, and give a good feeling about life in Botswana, and the people there. There are currently 10 books in the series (Alexander McCall Smith), and an HBO series.
The Thursday Next series (The Eyre Affaire book 1) is a mystery series that is set in an alternative history of 1980s Great Britain. Thursday is a literary detective and works for the Special Operations Network. Much of the mysteries and stories revolve around classic novels and other works of literary importance. There are a great many references to the classics that I had to read in high school, but the books stand well on their own, without having read those. The first stint of Thursday's life happens in 4 books. Jasper Fforde has started this series again with First Among Sequels. In this continuation of the series, the characters have moved forward ten years. A new volume will be out in 2010.