Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Need Your Suggestions

Recently I've been trying to spend the last hour before I go to bed without using my laptop, or watching television.  The idea is to not have screen time, and help me to wind down before going to bed.  Theoretically taking an hour to wind down at night is supposed to help me sleep better.  At least that's the goal.

Mostly, I've been using that hour for a bit of prayer, and for reading.

And reading is where you come in.

Given my particular sensitivities, and penchant for nightmares, I have to be pretty careful about what I read right before I go to bed.  I need some suggestions for happy, not super heavy, funny, enjoyable reading material to fill that hour each night.

Have you read anything lately that might fit the bill?  Do you have any favorites that might work?  Leave them in the comments for me.  It's only been a couple of weeks of doing this, and I'm already hitting the end of my stockpiled list of "light" reading!


christianne said...

I've been thinking about your question since last night. Even while browsing the "new books" shelf at the library today, I kept an eye out for something that might be a good suggestion for you. But I keep coming up blank. Everything I think of either 1) has some gruesome detail in it that might not make for good before-bed reading if you're inclined toward nightmares or 2) might be too chick-lit inappropriate to recommend.

For instance, I thought of Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, which is in the "smart detective fiction" category. This is what I'm currently reading before bed every night, and it's my second or third time through ... but there's some yuckiness to the detective fiction part of it, so it probably won't fit the bill.

I thought of Lisa See "Snow Flower and Sun Fan," which is a book I adored reading several months ago ... but I think its content is too heavy for what you're going for.

I thought of "Good in Bed" by Jennifer Weiner and "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger ... but I'm not sure if these books push the envelope or not when it comes to "moral fiction." (Meaning, I think there's some bedroom scenes, or along those lines.)

You can see I'm not the best help here. :)

On another note, my usual routine these days includes two things:

1) Slow reading of several pages in a book that counts as sacred reading of some sort (like a Henri Nouwen or Thomas Merton type book).

2) Listening to the Pray as You Go podcast on my phone with the lights off.

These two have a very calming, centering effect on me, and usually lead to some good sleep. Just a suggestion!

tea said...

You may think I'm silly, but do you like children's books? I've been making a lits of books I want to read with my son someday, and they are books I think I'll enjoy just as much. I'm sure they're books you already know of, but here are a few...
Heidi, Where the Red Fern Grows, Indian in the Cupboard, Anne of Green Gables, At the Back of the North Wind...

I haven't read At the Back of the North Wind, but I heard it on the radio on a focus on the family radio theater broadcast a long time ago and I really liked it. I enjoy children's books and movies, so I like this kind of stuff. I know not everyone does, but it's an idea. :)

Lisa said...

Christianne - I've added all of your suggestions to my list for reading. Even if they won't work for before bed, I'm definitely interested in checking them all out. I loved The Devil Wears Prada, too, so obviously I'm not as concerned as some in terms of pushing the envelope on "moral fiction" :)

I tried the Pray as You Go podcast and struggled with staying interested in it (probably because I already do 20 minutes of quiet meditation as part of that final hour of the day), but I like the idea of adding a bit of Merton or Nouwen to my nightly reading. I've already been using a little book of Celtic prayers, and definitely enjoying that as well.

Tea - I love kids books, and think that adding a few of them to my list is a great idea! Thanks :)