It’s National Book Lovers Day—which for me is every day, but it’s always nice to have an excuse to talk books, buy books, read books, etc. From the library at my grandmother’s house to the public library to independent bookstores and even big box stores, I am always happiest surrounded by books. Bad day? Go to the bookstore and just walk through the aisles. Good day? Let’s celebrate with a new book. Normal, run-of-the mill, ordinary day? Let’s just re-read an old favorite for the tenth time.
To celebrate National Book Lovers Day, here is my list of all-time favorites of non-work related books in no particular order:
1. Little Women and Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott—if you aren’t familiar with Eight Cousins, I highly recommend it!
2. Harry Potter; The Chronicles of Narnia; The Little House series—all in their entireties
3. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
4. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery
5. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
6. Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partidge and Time for Bed, both by Mem Fox—really any children’s book by Mem Fox!
7. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
8. The Library and The Garden by Sarah Stewart—the illustrations are lovely
9. My Great-Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston
10. Childhood of Famous Americans biographies---with the orange covers. Mrs. Ivey in the children’s department of the Sumter County Library always had one to recommend, and I usually took home ten.
11. Nancy Drew/The Hardy Boys/Trixie Belden
12. Beezus and Ramona and all the rest by Beverly Cleary.
13. A New You by Emily Wilkins—this was terribly vintage by the time I read (and re-read) it, and now you can’t find it for less than about $300. But it was my first “self-improvement’ book, and I loved it!
14. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald—loved it as a child, loved it even more as the mom in need of The Radish Cure, The Won’t Pick-Up-Toys Cure, and The Never-Want-To-Go-To-Bedders Cure.
15. Series by authors who can never stop writing because I don’t want their stories to end: Maisie Dobbs(Jacqueline Winspear), Inspector Gamache (Louise Penny), Charles Lenox (Charles Finch), and Bess Crawford (Charles Todd).
16. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows—I have an impossible time choosing one favorite book, but this one might be it.
17. Ferrol Sams: Run With The Horsemen; The Whisper of The River; When All the World Was Young
18. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
Ok, I have to stop. This is getting ridiculous. I’m not even through one set of bookshelves, and there are so many more. I might be getting a little hangry, too. I’d love to know what your favorite books are. And if you are reading this after August 9, don’t worry. Whatever day you are reading it on can be National Book Lovers Day.
For the record, listening to an audio book counts! Lately, I've been listening to Lisa Woodruff's The Mindset of Organization because between college student storage, camp detritus, and vacation re-set, the house is looking a bit apocalyptic.
I also recommend the podcast Best Laid Plans with Sarah Hart-Unger. On yesterday's episode, Sarah talks about reading habits and reading journals. A reading journal is an idea I need to embrace. I have picked up a book, begun reading it, and realized half-way through that I have read it before. Definitely need to keep track better.