I love to read year round, and I read almost everything but science fiction and true crime. I like history, biography, popular fiction, inspirational, chick lit, and classics. Once, when I was a newlywed in a new city, I decided I would read all my branch library’s great women authors; I got as far as Willa Cather before I found gainful employment. Sorry, I digress. Occasionally I will read a book a second time, and it seems that summer is when I re-visit a few favorites, a habit held over from childhood when hardcover copies of Homer Price and Harriet the Spy held pride of place on my bookshelf.
Harriet the Spy
I loved Harriet the Spy and probably read it at least half a dozen times. Who can resist Harriet, Janie, and Sport? And, of course, Old Golly.
I’m not sure when I first came across this gem, but I make a point to read it every summer. Set during the Great Depression, the story perfectly captures the boredom, mischief, and innocence of a young boy experiencing his first crush, his first smoke, and his first broken heart in a most hilarious way. Stanton is a first-rate storyteller, and the book is read aloud, laugh out loud funny!
And Ladies of the Club
Admittedly, I haven’t read this in a few years, but I was deeply engrossed in this saga of two young Ohio women who form a friendship in a ladies’ literary club shortly after the Civil War. Spanning generations, the hefty book (around 700 pages) left me thinking about its characters for weeks after finishing it.
What happens when an Ivy League educated Episcopalian and a Bible college Baptist girl marry and settle down in fictional Listre, North Carolina? Well, both do a lot of growing up, and I do a lot of laughing and smiling when I read this book. Clyde Edgerton reflects the dialect and dialogue of the Carolina Piedmont perfectly.
The Big House
I love most books about houses, but this may be my all-time favorite. In this memoir, George Howe Colt writes eloquently about his family’s house and their summer life on the Cape as well as how modern life and maintenance conspire against keeping it.
Objects of Desire
For an antiques lover like me, this book is practically addictive. Journalist Freund follows three top-drawer antiques to the top of the market, with brilliant descriptions of the pieces themselves, their provenance, their sellers, and their new owners. It’s now out of print, but well worth the trouble to find a copy!