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Frivolous Side Digression of the Day – Read, Please!

After having attempted to teach about 40-50 Grade 7s how to read carefully and think critically about a series of instructions, I thought how privileged I was when I was in high school and university to actually have started reading young, and read voraciously. Simply having good reading comprehension? Probably one of the most important assets for anyone interested in learning most of our modern ‘core subject’ material (which of course is a whole different debate for another day – trust me, it’s coming eventually!).

However, it also got me thinking about what I read regularly, and I’d love to hear opinions from any readers out there. What are you reading or what do you love to read/re-read just for yourself?

Recent reading…

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and sequels), Stieg Larsson: this is a gritty and character-driven series of crime/thriller novels with great pacing and evocative description. Also, being produced as a movie with Daniel Craig in it, so it’s got to be good, right? (insert half-sarcastic eye roll)

– Brandon Sanderson (anything by him): if you A) like fantasy, or B) love a good action sequence and can handle fantasy, check this guy out. As if being tapped to finish The Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan’s untimely death isn’t enough of a clue, this man writes gripping, realistic novels with great characters and the ability to pull serious mindwarping plot twists out of left field in way that all somehow makes sense by the end. Personally, I recommend the Mistborn trilogy and his new epic starter The Way of Kings.

Re-reads/classics…

– Shakespeare: gotta admit that I’m a sucker for a good play, and no one does it better than this man. The beauty of the poetry aside, if you want tear-jerking tragedy and some of the dirtiest puns ever conceived in the same place, you have come to the right guy.

The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan: although this series is a mammoth time investment (it will top 14 books when the last one comes out next year, and all of them run at least 600 if not 1000 pages), the characters are so intriguing and the world-building so amazingly epic that its worth your while.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John le Carre: much less glamorous than James Bond, this novel pretty much hits the spot when it comes to the intellectual and philosophical dilemma of espionage. Great characters.

For those who like more non-fiction, professionally related books…

The Inner Game of Tennis, Timothy Gallway: for anyone who does anything even remotely involving performance tasks (like music, public speech, other sports, etc.), this is a must. This book takes the mental side of any performance task and turns the concept of focus and hard work on its head by suggesting you stop worrying. Very cool, very useful.

Anyhow, what’s out there that you absolutely need to read?

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2 Comments

  1. I absolutely love the Wheel of Time series–and as far as fiction goes that’s about all I’ve read over the years (with the exception of re-readings of Tolkein). Usually I lean more towards the non-fiction side of things–even for pleasurable reading!

  2. I would recommend the Republic Commando novels (Star Wars) by Karen Travis. Somewhat character driven with emphasis on the evolution of the clone commandos throughout the course of the Clone War. And you don’t need to read any other Star Wars book to be able to make sense of them. Also I agree with you on Brandon Sanderson.

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