January 20, 2015

A Few Favorite Reads

I've always been an avid reader. While I don't recall my first book ever, I do have a list of books that I can read over and over again.

1 // A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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This novel follows the lifetime of Francie Nolan in the early 1900's. Reading this book puts me exactly in Francie's shoes - to the point I can perfectly visualize sitting on a wrought-iron balcony with the sun on your face. It's on my bucket list to find a first edition - I have a 9th edition that has the original owner's name stamped in it which is still pretty great.

A small teaser from the beginning:

"There's a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows up in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly...survives without sun, water, and seemingly without earth. It would be considered beautiful except that there are too many of it."

I'm a sucker for a great quote.

2// The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

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This became a repeat read sort of on accident. I had borrowed a hard back version from a friend years ago when it first came out. When I was gifted my kindle years later I one day downloaded it. A few chapters in it felt oddly familiar and it took awhile to realize I had read it before! This story is just as compelling the second time around though. Autobiographical, it follows Jeanette Walls from her childhood with an unconventional nomadic type family until she finds the resources to make something of herself. Her unwavering attitude towards her family explores the complexity of love and relatives.

3 // The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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A fictional account of Hadley Richardson - Ernest Hemingway's first wife. I have a mild obsession with all things from the 1920's - F. Scott Fitzgerald being my favorite author - and this book is not only a glimpse into the daily life of Ernest and Hadley Hemingway, but an insight into the lifestyle of these famous authors during the time they were first experiencing any sort of fame. And just as importantly, a snapshot of what it was like for the women who both and inspired and put up with them. 

4 // The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Since the mandatory reading of this book in high school, I have pretty much been in love. I really don't have much else to say except I hope you have read it!

And I'll round out my list with a book that I have only started but I feel like could fit in with this list already.

5 // Serena by Ron Rash

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I'm only on Chapter Four but I already love the style of this author's writing. Set in the 1930's - it follows newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton as they try to build a timber empire. I have avoided much more of the synopsis but I can tell it's going to be good. And I believe there is already a film adaptation with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, so for that reason alone I know it is a must read.

What are your favorite repeat reads? I'd love to hear about them!

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