At Home with Elizabeth: Books Worth Reading

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him?”
“I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”
“To shrug.”

― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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Books that Move Me

I am often asked what my favorite book is, or if I am reading any particular book series. Well, my time nowadays is either spent on horseback, at a desk, or chasing my little one around. Back in the day, I could find the time to devour a book in a few days. Now, that’s not so much the case! However, I do have a couple of favorites that I always like to share.

I enjoy the classics, stories that I feel are tangible and those from which I can draw an inference in my own life. Give me Pride and Prejudice or Lord of the Flies and I will be a happy person! But those who know me also know I have an addiction to other types of fiction, like medieval query.

Perhaps it’s the allure of Harry Potter and his certain power, or maybe it’s the possessive power of the ring in Lord of the Rings that gets me. I’m not really sure why those books capture me, but I do love them!

With that said, there are a few that hold a special place in my heart. These are the reads I feel that everyone should experience, enjoy, and learn from! Here are my favorites.

Atlas Shrugged

First on my list of favorites is Atlas Shrugged! This book encapsulates my very being. Perhaps it’s the direct parallelism of today’s socio-economic climate and the strife that has been placed on business. Maybe it’s the love story between Dagny and Francisco… let’s be honest that’s probably my favorite part!

Atlas Shrugged book cover

Maybe in a distant time, I envision myself as Dagny and I aspire to be described as her. The way she carries herself and the level of functionality with Taggart Rail – it’s to be praised. The way Ayn Rand describes Dagny and the hours she spends running her company literally makes me want to take a nap. Rand knows how to draw in a reader and wrap them in the heartbeat of each character.

“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

• • • • •

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Second on my list is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Yes, yes… I know… the name sounds insane! But trust me, it is amazing! I read the entire thing in a day and a half. I was elated to find out that Netflix recently made a movie that actually does the book justice! This movie has an incredible cast that will make you want to watch it. Check it out here if you refuse to read the book, but the old statement will hold true: the movie never does the book justice. Watch it on Netflix.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book cover

In the film adaptation, Lily James does an amazing job defining the main protagonist, Juliet Ashton. Furthermore, Michiel Huisman is a total stud as Dawsy Adams. Set in post-WWII, you really get a glimpse of the strife and the “hurt in healing”. From the ashes of the war emerges a true story of love and rebuilding.

I love anything WWII-related and this book has so much depth and intertwined storylines. I had two grandfathers who fought in WWII and I love to read anything about this time period. Perhaps they would have had similar stories if they’d ever put pen to paper. Lord knows what Grandpa Brumbaugh would have written about as a Navy man aboard his ship for 30+ days. My other grandfather was a marine who survived some of the worst fighting in the Battle of Peleliu. I love the storyline and how it all ties together in this book. It really could have modern-day application.

“Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person’s name suddenly pops up everywhere you go? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence, and Mr. Simpless, my parson friend, calls it Grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and ‘fruitfulness’ is drawn in.”

― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

• • • • •

What are some books that inspire you? What should I read next? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments!


‘Til next time,

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