Today is Book Lover's Day and I can say that I do honestly LOVE books. I go to Barnes & Noble in Shoppers World at least twice a week and my son loves books, too; so in the summer we are there more often.
And I am one of probably just a few people who loves the hush of a library - those books deserve our respect and some peace and quiet and rest from our paging through them all the time!
Now asking me to pick just a few is like asking me to pick my favorite niece or nephew! But there have been a few - well MORE than few - that have stuck with me throughout the years.
A handful of my favorite books of all time:
Mystery of the Witch's Bridge by Barbee Oliver Carleton
Barbee Carleton was my second grade teacher at Brookwood School where my grandfather also taught. By the time I had arrived at Brookwood I had already been to several schools (my dad was an executive with IT&T which everyone said stood for "I Took a Transfer") and Mrs. Carleton recognized that I was a little socially anxious - I know, me, unsocial, but it happened - and she really took me under her wing. She was always kind and patient and was an outstanding teacher. I will never forget her and am so happy to be able to hear her "voice" in her books. I love this book in particular because we spent time in our boats on the same waters on which this story was based and I remember as a kid always keeping my eyes peeled for "Mrs. Carleton's witch's bridge"! I still read this book about once every two years just for the feelings it invokes in me.
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
I LOVE Pat Conroy's books, even the ones that delve into the ugly side of people - well, I guess almost all his books do that. But there's something about his southern gentility and his unbelievable artistry with words that makes even the most painful observation something worth exploring. South of Broad was so masterfully written that you just don't see what's building until the very end and the realization is both so redeeming and so incriminating that you aren't sure how to feel first. This book is such a keeper that I actually bought a second copy to loan people because I want to always keep the one I read. Check out his cookbook sometime, too; it's written almost more as a love letter to the meals he's had and the people he's had them with. Some of the stories about how he came to adopt the recipes brought tears to my eyes.
The Egyptian Novels Series by Wilbur Smith
DO NOT pick up these books if you have anywhere to go before you can finish each one. You will not be able to put them down. Part history, part mystery, loads of action and intrigue and rich with explanations and descriptions of Egyptian life in the time of the great Pharaohs these books define "escape." Another set that won't ever leave my library!
Anything by Enid Blyton
My dad is British and when I was young - and I read early much to the delight of my bibliophile elders! - Dad's parents would send me Enid Blyton books from England. The fact that they were from ENGLAND made them all that much more special and I marveled at the trouble her characters would get in and out of. These books can be very hard to find but if you do come across any of them - especially the Junior Story Books - snatch them up! I have my hardcover collection and I swear sometimes when I walk by their shelf I can hear the characters inside, laughing and whooping and stirring up trouble but always coming to that happy conclusion!
Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Herbst
This is like a mini encylopedia for people who love food, love to cook, wish they COULD cook, are curious about terms and ingredients ... With over 6,000 entries it's full of interesting and informative facts about food. I love this book because I love having so much useful information available in one compact package.
Now I could FILL this server with lists of books I have loved. In our family, books are as essential as oxygen and water. Books can be comforting, educational, inspirational, exciting, challenging, funny, sad ... Whether you like to buy or borrow, prefer hardcover, paperback or even an ereader and if you have book at hand you won't ever be bored or lonely.
What are YOUR favorite books?