Sunday, 1 December 2013

My reading pleasure

I have always been an avid reader of fiction. I remember as a child in late primary school, the thrill I would get at Christmas and birthdays when I unwrapped the new books I received as gifts. They were the most treasured presents. I was enthralled with Trixie Belden books for a really long time. I was an enthusiastic member of both my local and school libraries, often with fines as I often found it hard to part with a book that I had just read, re-reading it several times before returning it.

I first read Raymond E. Feist’s book Magician in Year 11. I was drawn to it’s beautiful illustration on the cover – (yes, I confess, I have been known often to choose a book by it’s cover). I was instantly taken away to a whole new world, I was spellbound. I cannot tell you how many times I have re-read that book. It would be well over ten. I re-read it this year, just a few months ago, as Feist released his final book in that series this year. So, I decided that I would re-read everyone of his books prior to reading that new book; immerse myself in the world and cultures that he created.

This book Magician, opened up the fantasy genre to me. Katharine Kerr’s book Daggerspell did the same. I was captivated by her way of telling the narrative involving shifts in time, reincarnation and celtic customs and ideologies. I discovered Guy Gavriel Kay’s book ‘Tigana’ and discovered how genocide can be more than the wiping away of people, of losing one’s history through the wiping of memories, and how strong the love of home and culture can be.

My other love in fiction is that of historical fiction. After reading Clan of the Cave Bear  series the first, second, third times, I became obsessed with growing herbs, vegetables, naturopathy. I have information books that adorn my shelves, purchased when that interest was at it height.

Barbara Erskine, Colleen McCullough, Bryce Courtney , Diana Gabaldon, Ann Victoria Roberts, Ken Follett, Wilbur Smith, Catherine Gaskin, Clive Cussler just to name a few have all contributed to this love of historical (and at times adventure) fiction.

Interestingly, Raymond Feist recently said that he writes historical fiction for a place he invented. In a way isn’t that true of all fiction?

In the classroom, I have aimed to share my love of reading to my students through a variety of novels. I want them to know that books can transport you to another place, entertain you, teach you, show you things you never imagined for yourself and start imagining and dreaming a world different to what you live in. Because every tomorrow is a new world to experience and what you imagine and dream about today can be made true tomorrow. Books give you that and so much more.

What a pleasure to have...

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