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Tag Archives: library

We got through January with the help of books

Mathiessen with cat

cat books

Here is the late writer Peter Matthiessen with a cat. And a feline doing research.

After an easy December with little snow, New Englanders were hit with three big snowstorms in a row at the end of January. And 6-10 more inches are predicted for tomorrow, at least in southern Maine. I’m still digging out and neatening up the walkways. Thank goodness for the library. I recently read two notably good books: THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich and THE ASSASSINATION OF MARGARET THATCHER, a collection of stories by Hilary Mantel. Erdrich’s novels are always rewarding, rich with native American wisdom, family history and humor. I really liked Mantel’s twisted, often dark stories. I want to read her WOLF HALL and sequels.

Consolations during this frigid, trying time of year include a fireplace, comfort food like mashed potatoes, stew and homemade bread, email with faraway friends, my cats and dog, “Downton Abbey” and other good things on TV, but most of all, books. I hope you have a big pile of them at your house.

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Books that enter your heart

books cat tapestry

boy reading

I learned to read before I went to school, and a magic world opened up. My parents took us to the library and we could check out as many books as we wanted, and they never told us a book was “too adult” for us. Thus, I read some books (Peyton Place, Ian Fleming books and Lady Chatterley’s Lover come to mind) that I did not understand except vaguely until years later. Some of the books I loved as a child include: The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows, The Borrowers series, The Little House on the Prairie series, A Child’s Garden of Verses, Kipling’s Just So Stories, Black Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, and any book about dogs or lions. Sometimes I reread one of these beloved books, and it never disappoints. Doing so will recall your young, much more innocent self, a bittersweet form of time travel.