Posts in "Reading"
A Few of My Favorite Books

I try really hard to always be reading a book. Sometimes I'm reading more than one, but that often doesn't end well. I tried to read

The Hobbit

 and re-read

Jane Eyre

over Christmas and as a result, they both lie half-finished and untouched for some time on my bedside table. They are beautiful books, but they didn't stick with me enough to go on. But there are books (and characters) that have stayed with me throughout the years.


taught me that there's more to the world than I can ever see or know.


is sad and beautiful and overflowing with richness and showed me just how much power there is in literature.


 taught me about perseverance and complexity.

Where the Wild Things Are

 taught me the impact a picture book could have and ignited my passion for children's literature.

What books spoke to you in a way you didn't expect?

This post is in response to the following prompt: "

Tell about periods when you haven't read. What were you doing? Where and when do you read best?

" (From 

Old Friend from Far Away

, page 160.) As you can see, you can take a prompt and go any direction with it. If you've written a response of your own, please share it below in the comments! 

P.S. Visit 

this post

 for next week's prompt.

P.P.S. If you'd like to join The Eighty Twenty's book club, you can learn more



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On Going a Journey
Sometimes, I'll open a book when I feel lost. I always think that maybe whatever page I come to will give me something deep and insightful which will be exactly what I need to read at that moment. That doesn't really happen, though, because life is not always like a movie, and because you can't just sit around and wait for things to fall into your lap, and also because that's what the the Table of Contents is for.

So, as I skimmed the titles included in one of my favorite anthologies, I came across a piece by William Hazlitt called On Going a Journey*,and the title stood out to me because, while I may not always know the way, I do recently feel like I'm on some sort of journey.

"The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do, just as one pleases. We go a journey chiefly to be free of all impediments and of all inconveniences; to leave ourselves behind... It is because I want a little breathing-space to muse on indifferent matters, where Contemplation

'May plume her feathers and let grow her wings,
That in the various bustle of resort
Were all too ruffled, and sometimes impair'd,'

that I absent myself from the town for a while, without feeling at a loss the moment I am left by myself."

I feel as though I've been flailing lately. I'm sometimes neither fully here nor there, I am often sad, and I'm having so much trouble seeing the whole picture without getting worked up about the larger details.

But to look at this time of uncertainty, this journey--where my beloved dog grows old, and Rob and I manage to grow closer even though we are further away from each other than ever--as liberty, perfect liberty, and to use it as an opportunity to make my life exactly what I want it to be? That's something I hadn't yet thought of, and it's powerful.

"Give me the clear blue sky over my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, and a winding road before me, and a three hours' march to dinner--and then to thinking!"

*On Going a Journey and a whole lot of other awesome essays can be found in Phillip Lopate's The Art of the Personal Essay, which is a huge collection that I am glad to own.
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