Oh, to be a kid again and have 2 glorious weeks off from school to read. I think this is what I miss most about being a carefree adolescent – the endless time to read. I spent most of my breaks reading countless books, well after everyone else had gone to bed and enjoying the peace and solitude. My fondest memories of winter break are when we spent time in a 3 bedroom cabin up Stoner Creek, Colorado. We had these enormous bay windows that looked out onto the creek and a rickety, one lane bridge that provided access to the farmhouse on the other side. We always got fantastic snow storms there, perfect reading environment. At any rate, now I have to pencil in reading time or listen to books on tape. I don’t mind books on tape and in fact think that there are some really excellent narrators that make the book that much more enjoyable but it just feels so lazy! Anyway, these are the books that I most remember reading as a kid, holed up in the loft of our snowed in little cabin:
Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott: *sob* I don’t think that this book really took place during Christmas time, it spans a few years but I always imagined it taking place in perpetual winter in my head. I read my old hardback so many times that the cover fell off, I have not read it in years but if I am looking for a good cry I will seek this one out.
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell: What a classic, and that last line will just vanquish you. Not for the faint of heart, it can be pretty graphic but what a masterpiece. The image below is the same copy that I own, I find the new jacket to be simply appalling.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling: Quite possibly my favourite book in the series. I love the idea of the Night Bus, it just sounds so cozy to be rocketing around Europe in a brass bed.
The Crucible – Arthur Miller: I’ve always had a healthy infatuation with the American Witch Trials and this one does not disappoint. If you want to skip the written play and get right to the movie, it really isn’t a terrible adaptation. And honestly, Daniel Day Lewis, are you kidding me?! No Puritan looked that good.
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte: *double sob* What a tragic and bitter story, this one effected me for some reason. While I was too young to understand all of the nuances of the female role when I first read it – rereading again as an adult has given this story entirely new meaning.
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery: *uncontrollable sobbing* Honestly, have you ever cried so much that you vomited? Oh Anne, with your lace collars, puff sleeves and strand of pitiful pearls. I adored this series but have never revisited, maybe it is time.
The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M Auel: This was on the reading list when I was in 9th grade and confession, I only ever read the first book because holy, sexual intercourse. I am purely putting it on here because it was a very interesting and unique concept in that you had the quintessential cave man holding this post cave man female captive and I guess I never thought about that. If prehistoric and modern man existed in the same period, what did they think of one another? Did they have wars between species and can you imagine? Also, the survival aspect of it was pretty amazing. On a side note, who put this on the 9th grade reading list?! and finally…
Rose in Bloom – Louisa M Alcott: Now this book is a sequel to Eight Cousins but my preferred as Rose returns and seems so well travelled and cultured and obviously beautiful. I enjoy the ugly duckling stories and this one is too charming.
That’s it – well, the ones that I remember the most and that never fail to transport me straight back to childhood, winter break when I read them. Fair warning, you are going to cry but isn’t that what a good book should do?