I consider myself so lucky that I have found not one, but three, authors whose words I find so compelling that I read them almost yearly. Books that I can pick up anytime, turn to any page, and, like a dear old friend who visits every few years, continue the conversation as though it were yesterday. These books are the stories of P. G. Wodehouse, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
In the fall, I turn to Harper Lee. As soon as 'sweater weather' begins and the leaves start to turn, I find myself walking home in the dark with Scout in her ham costume, Jem's hand carefully guiding her, or smiling at Scout's complete bemusement of Aunt Alexandra and her campaign to make a lady of her.
Each beautiful scene, so clear, so elegantly written - Calpurnia and the children, washed and starched to a shocking degree, at her church waving fans and passing the plate, Jem reading to Mrs. DuBose in that dark, sad room, the hermaphrodite snowman, or Miss Maudie's house going up in flames - that I feel as if I am remembering things from my own youth, not Scout's. I would give much to be able to write so well.
Springtime brings me back to hobbits, elves and wizards. And P. G. Wodehouse seems to fit the summer so well. What a gift these writers have given me. Do you have a favorite book? A book that you read again and again, whose words draw you into another world that you've become so familiar with it's like home? I'd love to hear which books have become your old friends.
Don't forget my book launch, December 7th from 2 to 4. (Check www.pennypetersen.com for info). If you're planning on coming, be sure to let me know. I'd hate to run short on snacks and such.