Do you have a favourite book? A book you relish coming back to, a book you can read over and over again and find something new and delightful every time you peruse its pages? You should and I’ll tell you why.
As much as I tout the benefits of reading – benefits that can ease your body when it really needs to relax and yet keep your mind sharp when you feel it’s turning to mush – I also realise that oftentimes it’s difficult to commit to a new read, especially when our time is so limited and we have so many demands from the likes of husbands, kids, work and so on. But if you know that you can turn to your old favourite, that book that will quiet your mind and afford you even a few minutes of peace and pure enjoyment that you so desperately need, then I say go for it!
My personal favourite is “The Good Earth” by Pearl Buck. It’s a classic and its author is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, but that’s not why I love it. It was probably the first important book I read as a teenager; one that I felt was not only meaningful to me but to others, as well.
“The Good Earth” tells the story of Chinese villager Wang Lung’s rise from abject poverty to great wealth in the early 20th Century. I’ve touted the book to friends and family and I’ve read it more than once and each time is a delight from beginning to end. In fact, I always marvel at parts I’d forgotten and subtle themes I didn’t pick up on in subsequent readings.
Now, if you don’t have a favourite allow me to help. As an avid reader, I’m happy to share my top three tried-and-true reads that I hope will bring you as much enjoyment as they have brought me.
First up is “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. Oh how I love, love, love this book! A grand tale set in America’s pre-Civil War “Old South”, a land of beauty, elegance and grace with the sweeping romance of fiery Katie Scarlett O’Hara and scandalous Rhett Bulter at its centre. I have devoured this massive tome at least three times and it simply gets better and better! And, in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, pick up the book first. You won’t regret it.
Next up is “Kane and Abel” by British author Jeffrey Archer. The story centers on William Kane and Abel Rosnovski, two men born on the same day but worlds apart with Kane hailing from the United States and Able born in Poland, though he eventually immigrates to America. The book follows the two men’s lives as they become bitter enemies before they even meet; yet Abel unknowingly saves Kane’s life in World War II. This is a pattern that would continue as both men continue to meet and aid one another without realising it. I won’t say any more for fear of spoiling it, but I promise this book is one that will grab you and keep you reading long into the night.
Finally, I have to mention “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. This book is so much fun! It’s creepy, intense, surprising and I simply couldn’t put it down. I initially worried this novel would be too heavy, as some Gothic classics can be, but I was (happily) proven wrong. And the characters! Seeing Count Dracula go up against Professor Abraham Van Helsing is enthralling and will have you on the edge of your seat. If you’re looking for a gripping read with some spooky overtones, I definitely recommend “Dracula.”
Carissa D. Lamkahouan is a career writer and journalist and mom of two children, a son and a daughter. She enjoys fitness, reading, and travelling to Morocco, the homeland of her husband. She has been a Muslim since 2005 and lives in Houston, Texas.