Reading Is Good for the Heart and Soul

"The reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. 
The man who never reads lives only one."
-- George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

Part of the reason I began this blog was to inspire women to do more things, be more things, try more things, not like more things, like more things....etc. I believe that with courage (sometimes a lot of it) and a love of life, you can accomplish ANYTHING therefore you should try basically everything (except for drugs, or lutefisk).

So, now you're wondering what this has to do with books...

Let me explain

As Mr. Martin states above, you can live a thousand lives before you die just by reading fantastical books. I've been a vampire hunter (Anita Blake), a Greek God's Girlfriend (Dark Hunters), I've lived through the Depression (The Grapes of Wrath), I've skipped Christmas (Skipping Christmas), and most recently, I've fallen through stones and married the sexiest Scot ever (Outlander).

The point is, that by reading, you're able to give your heart and soul some exercise. I can say that there is no comparison to the feeling you get the first time Jaime tells Claire he loves her, and she him. There's no more terrifying feeling when the main character is captured or a more sad feeling than when Old Dan and Little Ann Die (Where the Red Fern Grows). Reading has also left me horridly angry (Sookie + Sam, really Charlaine Harris?) or when that horrid Red Wedding took place (Game of Thrones). The great part about these feelings is that they're only temporary. Once you close the book, that's it, the feeling goes away and you live your life. It's great emotional exercise!

Here's my list of the books, by emotion, that have given me the most exercise:

Seriously, I'm Kidding... by Ellen Degenerous 
Oh Ellen, how I love thee. This book is one of those books that you open, read, and close all in one sitting. I had the pleasure of listening to this puppy on Audible and let me just tell you, I laughed OUT LOUD at least once a minute. Which probably looked really weird for the rest of the drivers, but alas, I care not.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Yes I know, OUTLANDER OUTLANDER OUTLANDER! Everyone is talking about it, everyone is watching it, and there's been a resurgence of readers out there. This first book of the series is so good that I put it down for fear that it would end. No joke, I had to be convinced to finish it. Eventually I did, and I was glad that I did, HOWEVER, this book causes the most heartache ever! James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser you are one sexy son of a bitch.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
If you haven't yet read Water for Elephants, I suggest you go to your nearest book store and buy it. It's a fantastic book, but it was definitely only of the books that caused a lot of mixed emotions. The part with the elephant and the asshole circus guy (keeping the spoiler out of here, those who have read the book will know what I'm talking about) sticks out as one of the hardest things to read. I wanted to reach through the book and strangle him. 

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
This is one of those books that basically everyone reads in school. Which is why I was so upset when no one bothered to tell me what happens to Annie and Dannie. I remember I was in 7th grade....maybe...and I stayed up late to finish this book. At the end of it, I was so upset, I woke up early the next day, started crying again and yelled at my dad for not telling me the end. Ever since then I've read the endings of most of the books I read. #KiddingNotKidding.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Brene and I are like this! (Picture my figures crossing). We're best buds! I've never met her, but I'm sure if we were to ever meet she'd be like, Candice! We're like this! (Fingerings crossing again). I chose this over the much touted Daring Greatly because I just got more out of this than Daring Greatly. Both are terrific, and I recommend reading both, but really, Gifts was just THE ONE for me. It got me thinking about me, myself, and the things I do everyday. I still use most of the Goalposts today.

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
The story itself didn't make me feel disappointed....that's a lie. Basically everything about this book made me disappointed and it was the last Sookie Stackhouse book I read. And, as you can probably guess, the end of the series was disappointing as well. This was such a great series when it started, and I invested a lot of my time reading it. For the series to fall apart like that was very very disappointing.

50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James
I'm always down for a good sex-story. I'm not going to lie about it, cause it's the truth. My husband just laughs and laughs when I tell him about how the main character was ravished again. But this? This. You guys, I know I'm not the only one out there who thinks these books are garbage. It was terrible! I couldn't get passed the first chapter, so in desperation I flipped to the middle of the book. No luck. So I deleted it from my Kindle and went on. I do not recommend this book.

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed my list and take a moment to check out the goods ones!

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