March is National Reading Month and if I’m being honest, reading is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Studies have shown that children who are read to do better with comprehension and school studies-the type of book read to them is not important.
I’m also a firm believer in reading for pleasure.
If you were to take a peek at my nightstand, you’d find the overflow from my bookcase and dresser. As a mama, it’s my retreat- the one thing I do for myself. The feeling of physical pages flipping, the smell the ink on paper brings? It’s my happy place. Since 2021 is already what it is, I decided that I would read 52 books this year. A mix of old and new, these books would allow my mind to have a mental break from the chaos of everyday life.
I’m usually reading multiple books at once but the stack on my nightstand? Those are my favorites. Maybe, you’ll find some inspiration for your next read there too.
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
This one is well worn- the spine has been taped, the cover has seen better days. The pages smell like that little old bookstore filled to the brim with stories waiting to be told. I first read this book when I was eight and even now, as a 28-year-old, it is just as magical. I can still tell you which lands are my favorite and which characters make me laugh. It is vivid storytelling that is complete escapism.
- They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story of the Struggle for Black Lives by Wesley Lowery
This is so well written and should be mandatory reading for all. Further educating yourself on the struggles of those who have a different story than your own will always advance our communities and is of benefit to all of us. Insightful and enlightening, Lowery outlines just what it is to be a person of color in America. As a white woman, I cannot relate but I can stand beside those who are constantly fighting for the things granted to those who are not of color.
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
In another life, I feel like I was a paleobotanist or something that involved dinosaurs. Jurassic Park is a classic that I read over and over. I was lucky enough to find the paperback copy which is small enough to fit in my purse-perfect for on-the-go reading. It also is great for older kids who are interested in STEM- it brings the science with adventures and some slight fantasy thrown in for good measure.
- The Lord of the Rings (the complete trilogy)
Whew, is this potentially the most repaired book I own. I found all three volumes in a single tomb and it has been rebound twice. Call me a nerd, I know. The ease of having all three of the books (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the Kind) in a single copy means I can read them uninterrupted and without losing my momentum.
- Home Work by Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews is my heroine. She is the person that if I ever were to meet, I would die on the spot. Her book, Home Work, is her telling of her life. It is rich and wonderful and incredibly well written. She is a magical unicorn and no one can convince me otherwise.
- Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Anyone who knows me knows that my everyday shoe choice is TOMS. Not only do I love their mission but I also love the design of their shoes. Blake founded TOMS and in his book, he goes into the process behind it while inspiring the reader to find their passion and just GO for it.
- My Bible
I’m not one to force religion or God on anyone. For me, it is something that brings me peace. My God loves and accepts everyone – no matter your race, creed, orientation, or who you love. My God meets you right where you are. For me, my Bible is worn-filled with highlighted scripture and prayer post-it notes.
- The final book on my nightstand is Becoming by Michelle Obama
I love this woman. In her memoir, she recalls her childhood and how she handled the ‘haters’. I truly feel as though every woman should read this; no matter her political affiliation. There are raw moments and there are passages when my pen could not underline fast enough.
A full nightstand, for sure.
What are some of your favorite books? Let me know so I can add them to my list!