5 bookish expressions of ardent affection, or love

Colin Firth as Darcy

On love day a few years ago, I got a hearty chuckle reading an article in which Hugh Grant pronounces the prepackaged romance of Valentine’s Day “repugnant.” I mean, that’s a bit hyperbolic, isn’t it? I would have gone with “revolting,” personally. Oh, I kid. I kid … sort of.

We have a day to celebrate our love of hamburgers, yoyos, books, and every last thing under the sun, moon, and stars. So I can’t really hate on the idea of setting aside a day to honor our capacity to love—our romantic partners, sure, but also our friends, children, neighbors, the authors we’ll probably never meet but whose books opened our worlds, our mail carrier that day she gamely trudged up our icy driveway and still delivered our package with a smile, the baker whose almond croissants make Monday mornings less Monday morning-ish, the barista who gets exactly what we mean when we ask for a dry cappuccino. Continue reading “5 bookish expressions of ardent affection, or love”

Happy 90th birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh!

For Winnie-the-Pooh's 90th birthday, a few favorite quotes and a recording of A. A. Milne reading from his iconic book!

For Winnie-the-Pooh's 90th birthday, a few favorite quotes and a recording of A. A. Milne reading from his iconic book!It felt distinctly like autumn today in my New England town. The temperatures have settled into the neighborhood of the 60s. There was a light breeze gently tugging golden leaves off their branches, sending them skipping and swirling.

On these days, the word “blustery” comes to mind. It’s a blustery day, I’ll think. The word always invites Winnie-the-Pooh into my mental landscape, as much for A. A. Milne’s lovely books as for the Disney videos my son enjoyed when he was very small. We both enjoyed them, actually, as well as reading Milne’s books together.

When I was a little girl, I loved to imagine my dolls and stuffed animals enjoying adventures all their own, independent of me. Milne’s story has always appealed to me on that level. Beyond the story, I love the quirky characters. Each furry friend harbors his own endearing peccadilloes. None is perfect, but they work quite well together as a group. It rather calls to mind the human experience, doesn’t it? Continue reading “Happy 90th birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh!”

“Groundhog Day” as Expressed by 7 Revered Writers

Groundhog Day makes for a festive mid-winter distraction, when it’s not going horribly wrong. But it’s not exactly the stuff around which writers have penned great books. It does, however, provide the backdrop for one of my favorite films, “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

Murray plays self-absorbed Phil Connors who is grudgingly sent to Punxsutawney, PA to cover the goings on of a certain groundhog (with whom he shares a name). MacDowell is his loveable and sweet-natured news producer. Grumpy and derisive of everything around him, Phil can’t wait to leave Punxsutawney. But after a blizzard grounds him, he gets trapped in a time loop, reliving the same despised day over and over and over… and over … until he learns the lesson he’s meant to absorb. Which is a little something like what the following authors have touched on in their work. Continue reading ““Groundhog Day” as Expressed by 7 Revered Writers”

October Reading: The Progress Report

Halloween Read

This month’s Charles Dickens reading goal was to revisit A Tale of Two Cities, but I’ve gotten a bit sidetracked with books of the circumstance and season variety.

My reading month started off with two books I heard about in September, both related to 9/11: Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory and The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede. Both were so readable that I consumed them one after the other the first weekend in October.

Thunder Dog I heard about from my friend Jessica, who said it was inspiring and would make me cry. She was right on both counts. Continue reading “October Reading: The Progress Report”