One of my favorite things...

I thought I'd every so often unveil one of my favorite things.  Sort of like what Oprah does just without freebies to give to all of you (sorry. When I'm a gigazillionaire I promise I'll make good like Oprah does).  Anyways, one of my absolute most favorite things to do is read.  To many people, Mike included, this probably seems like a torturous and awful thing to have to do, let alone want to do.  And I agree to some extent, because reading can be torturous and awful, especially when the stuff you are reading is just plain boring and doesn't interest you.  However, when you find that genre that peaks at something you just can't get enough of, reading can be something you actually look forward to doing.  I tell my students this all the time: read what you're interested in.  Chances are you'll find a book that will make you never want to stop reading (that's my favorite part: wishing a book would never end because I'm so into it!).

Before I go any further, I would like to promote my favorite reading device: my nook.  It is HANDS DOWN one of the BEST purchases I've ever made.  I know there's nothing like "holding and reading a good book," and that's true, but there's also nothing like having thousands of books available to you all in one tiny little device.  The brand really doesn't matter (although I'm a committed Barnes and Noble shopper so I had to go with their nook) because they all get the job done: all your books together in the palm of your hands!  Trust me, these are SOOOOO handy when you're traveling or sitting in some awkward position where you can only use one hand to hold your book.  Plus, dogs (such as Scooter) make for excellent nook holders :)

Okay, so I know there are many "Top 100" lists out there for books, authors, and so on.  However, instead of regurgitating the same thing that's all over the Internet with the same books and same authors you see everywhere, I thought I'd share with you my own "Top" book list.  I don't really have an order for these books (hence why I used bullets), but I wanted to share them with you because they are some of my absolute all-time favorites and would definitely recommend!

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (probably very close to my all-time favorite book.  A great historical fiction story about two women living in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over.  FANTASTIC read.)
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (I read this because all of my students were reading it...and I fell in love with the series.  The first two books I literally could not put down--a great story of fighting for what's most sacred and dear to you. Great series.)
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (recommended to me by my mom, this was another great find: it is a true story of one woman's upbringing in a true dysfunctional family and her amazing will-power and drive to not let that bring her down and still live "the American Dream.")
  • Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell (for all you war fans, this was an excellent first-hand account of the 2005 Navy Seals tragedy in the Middle East.  Does a fantastic job of outlining what it takes to be a Seal and then tells the horrifying account of a mission-gone-wrong and watching your friends perish while you fight to survive.  Absolutely riveting.)
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (a hilarious yet heart-wrenching historical fiction of life in the deep south in the early 1960s.  Great narratives spoken from three different points of view.  A great read.)
  • Deception Point by Dan Brown (personally I think this is his best book--has lots of action and suspense and is interlaced in the world of Washington and politics.  Definitely had me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the book.)
  • Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer (one of my favorite non-fiction accounts of a young person setting out to "find themself" and the consequences--both good and bad--that go along with that.)
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire (some people have a hard time getting through this, on the other hand, LOVED it.  It's bizarre and witty and unconventional--which is why I think I liked it so much.  It's such a different take on the original Wizard of Oz it was a must-read for me!)

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