Books, Reading

Books for the Harried Reader

harried reader books

“Harried” would be an excellent adjective to describe most of my days. On the really busy days, something as simple as taking a shower can feel like a real accomplishment!

Life is busy some of the… who am I kidding? Life is busy most of the time! Busyness is no badge of honour; it’s a common curse that stalks  us all. Yet despite our gargantuan to-do lists, sometimes we need to take time off for ourselves. We need to relax, unwind. Sure, mindless screen entertainment (be it tv, iPad, or otherwise) has it’s place, but sometimes we need something better.

That’s where books come in. They’re a wonderful cure to stressful living. So go on, read a book. Read lots of books! School’s preach about children needing them, but we do too. Read to yourself, read to the kids– as much and and as often as time will allow. Wait. Scratch that. Too many of us don’t make time for reading. We set it aside for  that magical moment when pigs fly. We have to carve out time for things that truly matter: usually before they’re swallowed up by everything else clamouring for our attention. I’ll be sharing how I do just that later this week. For now though, let’s talk about some books.

That’s right. I’m talking about good books. Books that you can’t wait try. Books you want to make time for.

Reading  should never be boring. On harried days it can be our refuge, an island in a stormy sea of relentless demands. So instead of drowning, grab the lifeline and swim ashore.

Harried Havens

Sanderson Mistborn book

“The Hero of Ages” by Brandon Sanderson (from The Mistborn Series)

Ok, technically this is the last book in the Mistborn series. While I have copies of all three, this one has the best cover art-and covers do matter!  One advantage with a book series is you waste far less time hunting for your next good book. Instead, you  and can get down to business and simply read. Sanderson, as I’ve mentioned before, is a favourite of mine. Since yes, this is a series where reading them in order does matter, the chronology is as follows: “The Final Empire”, “The Well of Ascension”, and “the Hero of Ages”. Compelling fantasy with great characters, an original plot with plenty of surprises along the way? You might need to clear out your schedule.

What happens when the destined hero, instead of vanquishing evil, embraces it? In a world covered by ash, clouded by mist, self-indulgent aristocrats and starving slaves, the future is grim. Yet one troublemaker, his band of honourable thieves, and a mysterious street urchin dare to dream of something better. The epic fight is about to begin.


DiTerlizzi book
Photos courtesy of Bumbershoot Photography.

“The Spider and the Fly” by Mary Howitt, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi

“‘Will you walk into my parlour’ said the spider to the fly”… Howitt penned this famous line in a poem written for her own children, yet few of us know the actual story. Now done up in the style of an old Hollywood horror flick (by the talented DiTerlizzi) this Caldecott award winner delights readers both young and old.

Will the lady fly accept the spider’s oh-so kind invitation? With such flattery and charming manners, surely his intentions cannot be evil! This creepy cautionary tale,with chills and thrills, is well worth the effort of story time.

Hang In There!

Sometimes, all we need is to be told “I know. Life is rough right now, but hang in there. You’ve got this. You can do it!” When no one else is around as your cheering squad, books can-in a pinch- do the job. Forget harried, go for strong, empowered, and ready for anything that the world might throw at you.

So hang in there my friend. You can do this. Me too. We all can. If we can read it, we can do it. Armed with books, we are an unstoppable force.

So look out world, here we come!






2 thoughts on “Books for the Harried Reader

  1. I love, love, love the Mistborn books! Just when you think you have things figured out Sanderson goes; “Hahahahaha! Plot twist to end all plot twists!” And he does that enough times you think you will catch on to his pattern, but you won’t. It’s gripping and terrifying at the same time that it is moving, hilarious and beautiful. Scott is getting to the climax of book one right now and I can hardly contain my excitement.

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