Wednesday, January 27

Reading is Fun

I've been trying to get inspired to write a post all week, but for some reason, the words and photographs just haven't been coming together. Perhaps it has something to do with the weather - it was 60 degrees last week, and now the NWS is predicting ice tomorrow night. I guess it's back to wearing woolly tights and boots every day.... I know the entire country is experiencing similar scenarios, so I figured we might need something to do on these cold winter nights. Books have been my companion for as long as I can remember, and our home is filled with them. On nights like these, I try to turn to them before I turn on the TV. That's pretty easy to do, because there are so many wonderful books out there that I have yet to read. Jonathan and I love going to old bookstores to hunt for books, and we always walk away from our treasure hunting trips with at least one old title. It's a shame that our home is only 1100 square feet, because it means we don't have room for a library. We do have books in our living room, dining room and both bedrooms though! Of all of the books I've read, these are my favorites. These are the ones I want to read and reread over and over again...Sigh! 1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins - Written in 1859 and close to 1000 pages, this book seemed a bit daunting to me when I bought it on a whim several summers ago. However, once I opened it, I could not put it down. Read it. It's a classic! 2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - I think this book tops most people's lists. I read it the summer after my senior year in high school, and it immediately became my absolute favorite book. The sequel, Scarlett, is also a great book. Alexandria Ripley, the author, was handpicked by Margaret Mitchell's estate to write it, and it was set in Charleston, South Carolina and Ireland, among other places. You don't get any more "Southern Lit" than Scarlett O'Hara. Plus, she's feisty! 3. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier - This is one of the creepiest books I've ever read, and the imagery is incredible. I've been dying to see the movie (Alfred Hitchcock's first film) to see if I'm picturing Manderley, Rebecca and the other characters as Hitchcock did. It's wickedly fabulous. You won't be able to put it down. 4. Evening by Susan Minot - I was in a book club with some friends two summers ago, and this was the first book we read. It had special meaning for me because my maternal grandmother died of cancer, and the title character is dying of cancer throughout the book. As she's suffering, she drifts back to her youth, and you see the person she was and who she became as she moved through her life. I couldn't help but wonder who Susan Minot had lost while I was reading this. The writing was so painfully honest and real that it didn't seem to be fictitious. Either way, it's a beautiful book. Don't judge it based on the movie - the book is much better. :) 5. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes - I spent a lot of time in Italy as a child because my paternal grandmother is Italian. This is such a wonderful story of self discovery and of enjoying simple pleasures in a beautiful old villa in Italy. The recipes aren't bad either. You'll be craving wine and fine Italian food after reading it, and you'll be ready to go to Italy!

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