“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Since 1999, I have been in a book club with some women who have become very dear to me. I will not be able to list all that we have read in those nearly 20 years, but I can say a little bit about some of my personal favorites.
The six books pictured above were all really great reads, even The Historian, which besides the enormous length of the book, revolved around vampires, a subject that doesn't enthrall me. The Pilcher book, Winter Solstice, was wonderfully comforting and such a gentle read, while the subjects in the others were edgier, more gripping and dramatic in one way or another. Our group likes to be varied in our selections, and in my opinion, we do read a pleasingly wide variety of genres and topics, both current and not-so-current.
We have read fiction and non-fiction, historical, classics, biographies, YA and best-sellers. A few turn out to be duds, but mostly I have been satisfied with our choices. That 2nd book above, The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B, is about Napolean's wife and is written in diary form. I devoured it. It is the first of a 3-book series, and I read them all. O Pioneers is a classic that I read back in high school, and reading it again as an adult was pure enjoyment! I love Willa Cather's writing.
Seabiscuit was fantastic, as was Shipping News, The Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Year of Wonders, and The Glass Castle. I have only a faint memory of the Atkinson novel, and the Ruth Reichl book is something of a cookbook, if memory serves.
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
Stephen King,On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Three books not pictured here, I would like to mention. Categorized as being at the very top of our "Best Books" list are The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Wow, they were so excellent, and offered thoughtful and challenging discussion.
I don't own nearly all the books we have read; I do make use of our library when availability is not an issue. We in the reading group do share library copies as well as personal copies on occasion. And as I am typing here, I am thinking of dozens more that we liked - maybe I will try to share more titles in a later post.
Happy Quilting, Friends!