On today’s episode, Ronni and Brittany discuss their favorite books.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Ronni.
Ronni: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: So, I want to talk today, well, let me rephrase it and say this. I like episodes where I feel like you guys get to learn a little bit about us, hopefully, maybe not. Maybe I just like talking about things that we like. So, I wanted to talk today about our favorite books and share some of these backs and forth. I think this will be really fun. So, I wanted to start with first by asking you, Ronni, were you a big reader when you were a kid?
Ronni: Oh, my goodness. I was a huge reader when I was a kid. I was the one the kid who was just constantly reading, had books at the table all the time, and had to be told to stop reading. Yeah, that was totally me. Actually, my daughter is almost exactly like me now, and it’s really funny. She reads all the time and I’m like, oh, it’s a little runny.
Brittany: Aw, that’s cute. She’s your mini-me.
Ronni: Sometimes. Very much so.
Brittany: What kind of books did you read when you were a kid?
Ronni: When I was a kid, I mostly read novels. I read a lot of fiction, a lot of classical fiction, secret Garden, Little Women, and Little House of Prairie.
Brittany: Yeah, I love that book.
Ronni: All of those kinds of books. I went to the library a lot, just found things. Sometimes I read random books that were, you know how at the library they have those tall circular shelves that spin and there’s books in there and there’s always paperbacks in there.
Brittany: Oh, yeah. What are those things called?
Ronni: I have no idea. Display Racks. Display Racks.
Brittany: That’s so funny. So, I read, oh, keep going.
Ronni: I was going to say I went through a phase in which I just kind of pulled books from there a lot. And those are usually more just whatever paperbacks are popular at the time. So, I don’t even remember what books those were, but.
Brittany: I loved Boxcar Children. I think I’ve mentioned that before.
Ronni: Those were, yes. Also, read those.
Brittany: Loved those. When I got a little older, I loved Babysitters Club because I loved money and I lived in a community filled with kids. So, I had my own, I hustled. I had my own babysitting business. I was making a lot of money as a young kid.
Ronni: They have a TV show now. Babysitters Club. I haven’t watched it.
Brittany: It’s a little woke.
Ronni: It probably is.
Brittany: I couldn’t get through the first episode. I was like, Ooh. What have they done? What have they done?
Ronni: Oh gosh, I shouldn’t say this. I actually know someone who created the show.
Brittany: Oh no. Well, tell them. I think it’s a little too woke.
Ronni: I dunno them very closely anymore. But I know that they were very excited when they started working on the show.
Brittany: We had the show won’t say anything. We’ll keep that a secret. Don’t let them know. So, yeah, those were my favorite books. I’m trying to think of what else I read. I tried to read Little Women when I was, no, I did read Little Women. So, I read Little when I was in fourth grade, I think. Loved that. I have a bunch of them. So, that was a good one. So, these are books I read as a kid. I’m trying to.
Ronni: Wait and learn about each other. How many sisters do you have?
Brittany: Hold on, I got to count. There’s 10 of us together and I forget
Ronni: How many
Brittany: Girls, hold on, hold on. There’s me, there’s my sister, my sister. I want to
Ronni: I want to see a few more than me. You do? I have five sisters.
Brittany: So, just barely. And then I’ve got four. Wait, yeah, four Brothers. There’s a lot. It’s hard to keep track. We had a lot.
Ronni: Okay. We had six girls. Only girls though. No brothers.
Brittany: Well, five of them are step-siblings, but we’ve been together so long. But so growing up I had two until I was a teenager, but still a lot of girls. So, when I was a kid, I read a lot of fiction. It’s funny now I don’t read a lot of fiction and that makes me very sad. I kind of forced myself except for one thing. And that is I love the fantasy genre. Oh really? I love wizards and dragons and witches and all that. I love these fantasy worlds. So, Harry Potter has always been a favorite of mine, in fact. So, every year I read the entire series and by reading I do really. Every year audio books because I don’t have a lot of time. And so that’s good for me. But I have read them all several times the actual books. But every year I do the audio, all of the audio one round of ’em, and I never get sick of them. I’m just about to finish the first book again. I’m starting it all over again. So, there’s Fantasy are my favorite, favorite books. I’ve been reading Harry Potter for almost 20, no, I think it’s crazy years now. I just love it. It’s magical. It reminds me of being just, I love believing in a world where things like that can be real. And obviously, unicorns and dragons and all these things don’t exist, but I like to pretend they do. So, I love fantasy books, but I also like classic fiction. So, my favorite book and the whole Wide World, and I try to read this once a year as well, is The Count of Monte Cristo. That is hands down, my absolute favorite book. And that is a really fun story about, well fun. It’s actually, it’s pretty tragic. A guy who a bunch of people are jealous of, and he’s this sweet kid and they frame him for a crime. And this is in France in the 18 hundreds. And he gets imprisoned for 20 years or maybe even 30 years. He gets in prison for a very long time. Meanwhile, the girl he was engaged to gets married to one of the villain-like villains of the book. And he gets out and he gets really rich. He finds this treasure and he decides to seek his revenge. And though most of the book is him getting this awesome revenge, and you’re thinking like, oh, revenge is cool, but no it’s not. So, something happens and he realizes that an innocent life was jeopardized in his pursuit to get back at people. And then he has, the overall theme of the book is it’s not his place to seek revenge on people. The only thing you can do is wait and hope is what he said. You’ve got to live your life. You’ve got to let it go. And if you believe in a God and you believe that somebody else is going to judge you for your actions, you have to let God do that or whatever it is you believe in. So, it’s a really good book because at first you think it’s this book on vengeance and it is a book on vengeance, but then at the end it kind of takes a turn and you learn that getting revenge on people isn’t always as good as you, doesn’t feel as good as you think it’s going to. So, really good book. It always just really touches me. There’s so many lines in there that I just have highlighted. So, that is my all-time favorite book. I don’t know, Ronni, if you have one, you’d consider your absolute favorite book?
Ronni: Not really. First I want to talk about The Count of Monte Cristo because I read it in high school, maybe I think it was a required book at the time, but I remember
Brittany: Because I never read it in high school.
Ronni: It’s so funny. I remember liking it a lot of the time, but I’d forgotten about it. So, it was really nice hearing you go through it all again because it jogged memories and reminded me of it. Usually, I’m not someone who likes to reread books because if I’ve read it once though, I’ve gotten the story. But I liked how you were talking about Count Monte Crito because I can see where it has really good reminders of life and how sometimes when we surround ourselves with this, yes, I want to say the positive energy, but I guess that feels weird. But in the light of the stories, yes, we think as humans, like, oh, we need to get revenge. We need to do this. And so, we have that negative kind of energy and responses, just a good reminder of those things don’t turn out well. And you get to go through the whole journey again. And at the end be like, oh yeah, that’s right. That is why all I can do is what was the line? All you can do is just. no, it says all of it.
Brittany: I’m going to ruin this line. But something along the lines of all human wisdom can be summed up in two words, wait and hope. And I’ve always loved that, not just for the, yeah, I like that. Not even just for the hope that somebody else is judged accordingly, but just wait and hope in life. Sometimes you just have to be patient and have hope. So, love that one. Yeah. Did you want to mention one that is one of your favorites? You have, I know it’s hard. I ask, oh, what’s your favorite thing? Usually, I have a top five, but not a favorite. So, if you have one that stands out.
Ronni: No. And this, when we first started first brought up this topic, it got me thinking that I have not read a novel or even nonfictional story in so long. Most of the books that I read now are like How-to Guides or I might.
Brittany: That counts as nonfiction though, doesn’t it?
Ronni: I guess so, but I’m flipping back and forth to the pages which I need, I’m not really going through it as a story. Even for some of the nonfiction books I usually just thumb through until I get to the parts in which I’m interested. And then I don’t read the whole book. I need to get better. I think what happened is that after I had kids, especially after I started homeschooling, I was more focused on whatever books my kids were reading and I stopped having the time energy mind quiet to read. But I need to pick that back up at some point. Actual reading books, not just reading online.
Brittany: Well, and for me, I just read so many, I do so many audiobooks that that’s kind of hard for me because again, I just don’t have the time. I try to read at least a couple of real books. It’s just because I’m so busy. It’s so nice that when I’m getting ready for work in the morning, I just put on an audiobook. And so I get a lot and I put it on 1.7 speeds, so it speeds it up. Oh, good idea. So, I’m able to get them. Yeah, I’m able to get them done faster. So, for me, I do so many audiobooks, but I don’t read a lot of fiction and I’m too, I need to start, other than the Harry Potter I’m listening to because there’s so many nonfiction. I really like self-help books like Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life and Tuttle Twins now has one for young listeners, so that I’m very excited about it. So, I like reading a lot of those types of books. There’s one that I think would be a great one to make a kid’s book out of called Atomic Habits that just teaches you how to set up these really good habits to reach goals. Because I am a comedian, I like to read a lot of bios of other celebrities and people who have been successful, not just like, oh, a celebrity, I saw on a reality show. No, I like to read biographies of people who were successful. So, whether that is a comedian, maybe it’s Elon Musk, I’ve read one of his biographies, people like that who just really inspire me. So, those are some other genres that I like. Another one of my favorite books, and this is not one you want to read until you’re an older teenager is Crime and Punishment, which is, so Russians are known for being a very dark and serious people and this book, like Russian literature, Russian books, they have a stereotype of the reputation of being very heavy, kind of depressing books, but they have good morals. And Jordan Peterson has a book list of books he thinks you should read. And Crime and Punishment was on there. And that’s, that’s a really good book because it teaches the lesson, and this is a very simple summary, but a theme is something bad because you get caught or is it just bad? So, if you steal and the book is actually about something worse than stealing, I think it’s a murder, but it’s kind of a murder mystery in a way. But it’s okay. So if you don’t get caught stealing, does that mean that you get away with it and you feel fine? But this criminal who gets away with something ends up feeling terrible inside. He didn’t get caught, but it’s ruining his soul. So I think it’s a really interesting book about even that goes back to what we talk about with government are laws just because they’re laws or there morals that exist outside of laws. So, I think that that’s a really interesting to read when you’re older because it tackles some of those topics in a really interesting and very long-winded way. It’s a longer book. Are there any other standouts you want to talk about? You don’t have to. I have a bunch more I could talk about.
Ronni: I feel as though I have, you mentioned audiobooks and I have listened to a few audiobooks lately, but it’s when my kids are in the car and we’re on road trips, so I’m listening to kids’ books. So, still, oh, but you know what? We have our audience is kids. I listened to it, I think it was a couple of years ago on a road trip, but it was called A Night Divided, and it’s by Jennifer something I can’t remember right now, but it’s called A Night Divided. And it’s a historical fiction that takes place when the Berlin Wall went up and is interesting. So, the story is that the father and the brother, so the main character’s a girl, but her father and brother had gone over into West Germany right before the wall went up, I think they were trying to find housing and then they were going to bring their family over. But the day they were supposed to come back the night before a wall went up or they started off and it was just this big Bob Wire role.
Brittany: Before about the actual wall.
Ronni: And then there were guards, but just overnight. And so her father and brother were trapped on the other side. And so then it goes over the next year or two or so as the wall gets built, and then she’s trying to decide if can she escape. And it’s the whole story, but I forget her name, Jennifer something. And she’s also written a couple of other books. Words On Fire is another one at historical fiction. It’s about where was it Miss when books were being banned and what was the language. I’m blanking, but if you look for her kids, I highly recommend those books. Words on Fire, A Night Divided. Oh, there’s another book called The Scourge that she wrote, which is also interesting about these people who are told that they have a disease and then they’re sent off to a colony to live. Anyways.
Brittany: That sounds kind of applicable. Sounds a little too scary.
Ronni: Definitely, that author is, I suggest her to any listeners out there.
Brittany: Awesome. Well, we’ve given you a bunch of ideas and always be reading again, even if, and I know some people are, they’re book purists, they like to actually do the reading, but my theory is I do think when you’re younger it’s very good to read and get into that habit. That’s what I did. But audiobooks are for when you’re older and busier and you start driving and you spend a lot of time in the car or getting ready or even if you’re cleaning, it’s really good to read an audiobook just to fill that time with something beneficial and read as many books as you can. So maybe set some goals for yourself as we’re in the first couple of weeks and months of the new year of reading some good books and we want to hear from you. What books are you listening to or reading? I said listening to, you can tell how far culture has come where I’m just assuming everybody’s listening. Alright, guys, we’ll leave it there. So please don’t forget to like and subscribe to the podcast and share it with all your friends and Ronni, until next time, we will talk to you soon.
Ronni: Alright, see you soon.