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How Reading and Reviewing Books Helps Me Cope With CRPS

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My blog began in 2013; I had been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS) two years prior and my journey to find joy in the pain needed a space for me to share how I was doing that with others both in pain or in search of joy. Each blog post discusses an element in my journey to joy. Before my pain level was reduced to a point where I could return to work, reading was my escape and today it continues to be a refuge and a comfort.

From as early as I can remember, my mom read to me. She instilled in me a deep love of books and this was expanded upon by my school who had an awesome librarian and a fantastic collection of books. I have always had a book on the go and have been known to walk all over the place, including into the swimming pool, reading.

I love the immersion into an entirely new world, with a new perspective, new people and a new adventure. As I bend back that front cover (or now open my Kindle), I get transported, leaving my cares behind and being able to understand and live in someone else’s mind. It’s fabulous and it’s a great relaxation.

woman reading a book on her kindle in bed

Reviewing books came from this love and desire to have the latest book in my hand as soon as possible! NetGalley‘s suggestions and subsequent request approvals have vastly expanded my reading horizons though! I have, on several occasions, purchased the previous novels in a series and started following authors of whom I had never heard. It’s a community of book lovers of which I’m excited and proud to be a part. If you love books, I highly recommend you start reviewing and engaging with authors! As this is a hobby and a place of enjoyment though, I rate each book on the level of enjoyment I receive from it, be it a sophisticated literary novel, a light romance, a good mystery, a life-changing Bible study or a perspective-shifting psychology book.

I have always been a diverse reader and as such, have many favorite genres including:

Christian non-fiction and fiction… Being raised in a Christian home meant I always believed I was close to God but in developing an illness that changed my world and my outlook, I realized God is “my rock, my refuge… my fortress.” This has lead me to thoroughly enjoy a wide range of Christian non-fiction and fiction including mysteries, thrillers and romances. Favorite authors in this genre include Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Ehman, Wendy Blight, Max Lucado, Liz Curtis Higgs and Susan May Warren.

Fantasy… I love novels where a new world has been beautifully crafted such as those created by Christopher Paolini, J.K. Rowling, Michelle Sagara, Gail Carriger and Laini Taylor.

Adventure and mystery novels… Those with historical context are so interesting such as those by Elizabeth Peters and Carola Dunn.

Classics… I can never go without the classics: Austen, Bronte, the list goes on. Emma in “Emma” by Jane Austen is my favorite character though as I can both thoroughly relate to and be entertained by her, a rare combination. She is so beautifully fleshed out, I feel I know her as a friend!

To me, sitting down with a good book, a glass of icy water and looking out onto a sunny day with a cool breeze blowing… it doesn’t get much better than that!

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Originally published: November 6, 2017
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