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Tag Archives: Mark Twain

Narrowing It Down

Recently a friend challenged me to post 7 favorite books on Facebook.  Being an inveterate list maker,  I liked this task.  But it is surprisingly hard to narrow a lifetime of books down to seven favorites.  Here is a list of nine – I posted the first seven.

John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist

John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

Jane Kenyon, Collected Poems

Lee Smith, Oral History

Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

Margaret Atwood, Life Before Man

It occurred to me that my list is lily-white, though it does include books by 2 Brits and 2 southerners.  For poetry I would add books by Richard Hugo, Audre Lord, Derek Walcott, Nikki Giovanni, Tony Hoagland, William Stafford………..I could go on, but I won’t.  (I’m not including any of the fine poetry books published by Moon Pie Press, but there are a lot to choose from.)  I’m always interested in lists like “The 50 best novels ever written”, or “The 25 best movies you’ve never seen” or “100 books to read before you die”, etc.  Sometimes the lists seem too arbitrary and even lame, but often I get good ideas.  My personal reading challenge for 2018 is 125 books, and I’m at 90 right now on August 20.  I wish you all happy reading.books crucial

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Fickle New England spring – and reading

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books crucial

cats in rain

It’s a cliché to say that if you don’t like the weather in New England, wait 15 minutes (I believe this is attributed to Mark Twain), but there’s a lot of truth to it. I set out this afternoon in sun to walk my dog. We got about 10 minutes away from the house and the sky grew black and a tremendous stinging hailstorm swept in. We sheltered the best we could under a pine tree, but got bombarded and soaked. Poor Zoe was scared. A kind neighbor came along in his pickup and offered us a ride home, and didn’t mind a very wet dog in the cab.

I estimate that we’re three weeks behind normal blooming and blossoming times this year. Finally the forsythia, daffodils and tulips are blooming, but it’s May, not April. Now the hail has stopped and it’s raining. Nothing to do but stay inside, have a cup of tea and dive into a book. Sometimes the weather conspires with bibliophiles.