When I decided to have a child and started imagining what it might be like, I kind of understood that it would take a lot of time from all the things I used to put a lot of time into, like gaming and writing. Interestingly enough things didn't really turn out that way when work came in and ruined most of the time I had for gaming and writing long before my son did, meaning when he turned up I didn't really have to change much or sacrifice much in my routines - my son basically replaced the time I had put into work. So everything was just fine until I slowly realized something else was suddenly missing in my life, something I hadn't really thought about but that I actually had put a whole lot of time into - in fact more time the more I worked. I am talking about reading.
I've always loved to read and started out young when my overambitious parents gave me books way beyond my age that I struggled through to make them proud. Because of them I read books of for example HP Lovecraft, Orwell and stuff about philosophy well before my teens and in all honesty I don't think I actually understood much about them (I reread most of them later though, and they were at least good books). It's not like my parents efforts turned me into some sort of literature mastermind, but I at least did find a love for reading that is with me still today.
If someone were to ask me what my favorite genres were I'd probably say sci-fi, historical and factual books (the sci-fi most likely from my mom since she's a total sci-fi nut). To me, reading has always been somewhat like doing quests and completing a book and starting a new one is something I find immense satisfaction in. For this reason there are few books I've given up on (but there are a few, probably enough for their own list eventually!). At work I was known as "the girl who always reads" as I made sure to always have a book handy to fill out those little spaces of time when you have nothing to do and most people play Candy Crush Saga on their phones (nothing wrong with that, except King are total asshats). In my line of work, psychiatric care, there are many holes like these to fill and they allowed me to do a whole lot of reading. Time and opportunity I no longer have and my reading has taken a massive plunge, which definitely saddens me a bit.
My problem at the moment is that eventhough I love reading, I love gaming just that tiny bit more, so the few times I have to do whatever I like are often turned into gaming sessions. Lately I've tried to end the day with some reading in bed however, both because reading makes me sleepy as hell and because I just want to squeeze in some reading somewhere. In the light of not reading however, I have been thinking a lot about books I love and wish I could read again. So here is my top 5 favorite books! All the books on this list are books that are my personal favorites (obviously), books I've read several times and could read a hundred times more without getting bored of because they're just that great. But first I thought I'd start with some honorable mentions, this is not something I normally do for my top-lists, but these are a couple of books that deserve to be mentioned, and if you're into reading a check out, eventhough they didn't make it onto the list.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco - I actually saw the movie before I read the book. I loved the movie, decided to read the book and loved that one even more. It's a low tone murder mystery, a bit in style with an episode of Murder She Wrote or Midsomer Murders. Set in a historical mileu, the atmosphere and storytelling of this book is just great.
Musashi by Eiji Fushikawa - A grand story about honor, betrayal and love set in rural Japan. Obviously based on the sword master Miyamoto Musashi this book has a pretty epic feel to it.
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden - I feel like the character portrayal of the main character Chiyo, and actually all the characters around her are just so good in this book. You really care and feel for them and eventhough they're entirely fictional they feel like real people you wish you could've known or met.
To the Edge of the Sky by Anhua Gao - I am a huge fan of reading about Mao China, because it's such a fascinating and horrifying telling of what man is capable of under pressure and extreme circumstances (much like Nazi Germany). Biographies from people who experienced it are my favorites since they're written by people who made it (obviously) and so offer some silver lining to all the gruesome.
5. The Keeper of the Isis Light by Monica Hughes
The first book is definitely the best in the series, although they're all well written and worth a read as they explore different aspects of human interaction and social development, subjects that really interest me.
4. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
3. Robots & Empire by Isaac Asimov
2. Black Holes and Time Warps by Kip S. Thorne
1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas