Like Mother, Like Daughter….At Least in One Area

One of my greatest joys is reading. So much so, if fact, that if I don’t have a good book to distract myself with for at least a half an hour a day, I get very down. (And no, reading blogs just doesn’t do it. There is something about holding the book and snuggling up with it that is satisfying).

Since I was a little girl I would eagerly await our weekly trips to the library. There I would wander the shelves and pick just one, or perhaps two, books to take home to enjoy. My mother, (may she rest in peace), would come home with the maximum allowed (if I remember correctly, 12 was the limit). More often than not, all 12 books were mysteries.

When I was old enough to pay attention, I remember I would wonder out loud how someone could read the same type of books all of the time. Granted, she would occasionally read a biography or an historical novel, but mysteries were her great love.

I can’t remember when it happened, but somewhere along the line I became a mystery fan also. (Nancy Drew had something to do with it, of course). Now, living in Israel, I don’t have access to the library so I need to frequent the used book store in Petach Tikvah and buy through the internet. But if I had the choice, I would probably come home with a stack of mysteries, with an occasional historical novel or biography too.

A while ago Irina Tzukerman introduced me to the joys of the website Goodreads. There you can list the books you have read, along with your reviews. You can join groups of people with specific reading tastes and post your questions and ideas. The best part, though, is getting recommendations from others on what to read.

Right now, for a change of pace, I am reading Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series (historical fiction written in the sixties and seventies). I am thoroughly enjoying them – I am now in the fifth of the series (I had read the second a long time ago. I missed out on the third since I couldn’t find it – but I got the others –  one, four, five and six – through the internet, both by Amazon and by Beverly’s Books.)

Any other book fiends out there? Is your reading taste the same as your parents?

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leora
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 14:24:38

    We are a family of bookworms. My husband’s book of choice is the Chumash, but he greatly enjoys reading to my daughter, and before that to my middle son (they read all the Harry Potter books together), and before that to our eldest. I tend to read history and food-health books, but I love many of the classics. My mother loved Jane Austen; my favorite woman author is probably Virginia Woolf. My sons love Tolkien, and the Hobbit was my favorite book as a teen. I can’t keep up with all the sci-fi fantasy that my boys read. My daughter, who is read to, loves Little House on the Prairie books, All of a Kind Family and Box Car Children. (And in our extended family, my niece is majoring in bookwormhood at college, which she inherited from my brother).

    And no, reading blogs is not like snuggling with a good book.

  2. Lena
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 17:04:55

    You don’t have access to a library? Peduel doesn’t have one? I know there’s a public library in Tel Aviv, but I haven’t been there yet; I’ve used the university library for the last couple of years.

    My mother reads classic Latin American lit (she grew up there): Borges, Cortazar, Fuentes, Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, and so on. Coincidentally, that was in line with her father’s reading habits as well.

    My father reads a lot of science fiction; he has a large collection of Isaac Asimov, and large collections of physics books on his shelves. He’s also currently into Terry Pratchett.

    I have a decent collection of Latin American literature; I love Cortazar and Garcia Marquez in particular and have a taste for magical realism. But I’ll read anything. I have a large collection of memoirs written by Israeli politicians and generals. I also took out a lot of Holocaust memoirs from the university library when I started doing genealogical research. I love the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (my YA moment), as well as the 7 Harry Potter books. Herman Wouk is my top author, and I’m currently trying to read “Mother Night” by Kurt Vonnegut on a friend’s suggestion, but I’m not that into it.

    Ok, that was a little too long, but you asked about reading habits and on books I have opinions. 🙂

  3. mother in israel
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 17:21:40

    We have a book club here in PT, where we pull our funds and buy books from Amazon and share. We even have two members who come in from the Shomron–we’re meeting tonight in fact.

  4. ilanadavita
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 18:19:29

    I am a bookworm too and was raised by reading parents whose parents also read a lot. Yet I am not sure we have similar tastes.
    I love classics and enjoyed all the Jane Austens when I was in college. I was also quite keen on Stevenson. I also read mysteries now.
    I’ll have a look at Goodreads.

  5. AidelMaidel
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 18:44:13

    Are there no English language libraries in the West Bank? Jerusalem?

  6. faith/emuna
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 19:13:42

    come by sometime, i have a couple of novels to lend you

  7. Raizy
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 04:06:32

    I just posted about some books I’m reading now:
    http://superraizy.blogspot.com/2008/12/what-im-reading.html

  8. westbankmama
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 07:29:11

    Leora – you are right in that the boys tend to go for the sci-fi stuff. I like it if it is well written.

    Lena – there is a library of course in Peduel – but it has only Hebrew books! I can read books in Hebrew, but I find that it takes me a lot longer, and I don’t enjoy it as much as reading in my native language. Don’t worry about the long comment – I love to hear about other’s reading tastes.

    Mother-in-Israel – that sounds great. We talked about doing that in Peduel once, but it seemed that all of the English speakers here (all 12 of us!)had very different reading tastes. One only reads historical fiction, one reads mostly mysteries, one only self-help, one only “adventure” types, etc. So it didn’t work out. I wouldn’t mind joining one of these online though.

    Ilanadavita – I enjoyed the classics too (I was an English major in college) but for some reason I really didn’t like Jane Austin. George Elliot was my favorite.

    AidelMaidel – The closest library with a lot of English books is Ranaana, and it isn’t worth the trip there for me.

    Superraizy – I’m going on over now to see.

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  10. therapydoc
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 22:08:06

    Did you read Shadow of the Wind? Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Fantastic.

  11. Jack
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 17:05:19

    I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. I also read mysteries and history books. In addition I like all sorts of trivia books too.

  12. aliyah06
    Dec 23, 2008 @ 19:40:04

    Knew you’d love Lymond! Very, very happy you’ve got the series (or most of it). I love your recommendations through Goodreads, although I’ve got to admit I’m not as big a mystery fan….too much like work……but like Jack, I read a ton of science fiction and fantasy.

  13. Rivka with a capital A
    Dec 25, 2008 @ 18:42:57

    My mom was also a big mystery book reader — I think she’s read all the Agatha Cristie books… twice (at least!)

    That isn’t really my genre. I like historical fiction, pref. Jewish historical fiction. And sci fi.

    I am in a book club and we all have very different tastes, but that makes for interesting discussions.

    I was really the only sci fi person in the group, so we don’t read much of that. But we read just about everything else.

    I found that my horizons have really expanded. I read so much that I would never have picked up otherwise, because of the book club.

    My kids are also major bookworms. We call is “machalat has’farim.” No one wants to stop reading.

    One evening, at 11:00 pm, I chastised my son for still being awake. “But Ima,” he cajoled, “I am reading in English!”

    Admittedly, I was thrilled to hear that my son had FINALLY started reading in English. I still made his shut the book and turn off his light!

    The book I’m reading now is “Plot against America” — an alternative history (fiction) about what might have happened had Lindburgh been elected president instead of Roosevelt.

  14. balabusta in bluejeans
    Dec 30, 2008 @ 06:31:50

    I’m fairly eclectic, but I love mysteries and certain thrillers, Jewish and U.S. history, some historical fiction, ‘chick lit’, anything humorous. I used to love SF/Fantasy, but rarely find anything I like these days.

    My mother and I have fairly similar tastes (we share a love for Janet Evanovich and Judith Krantz). My father reads endless war novels with lots of hardware, which I find dull and male-oriented, but he also likes mysteries. He also reads tons of nonfiction about WWII, recent conflicts, and Russia. We will all read modern political biographies, books about recent presidents and the like. We all read some on religious topics.

    My husband loves books about scientific ideas and historical fiction, some science fiction and fantasy as well.

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