Saturday, March 07, 2009

BOOK GROUPI am the weakest link in a wonderful book group of insightful, vibrant women.
I don't always finish the book.
Sometimes I don't even start it.
They let me come anyway.
I am the youngest, and therefore, lacking the most in wisdom and insights and life experiences to draw parallels from and to really glean the best tidbits from our reading.
I love being included in the group.

We meet once a month, usually around my mother's dining room table. We sip hot tea and eat scones or tea cakes with fresh whipped cream and jam or what have you. And we have delightful conversation about the book (a little) and family and what we have been reading and watching and doing. Yesterday, we composed a list of our top book picks of all time. Seeing the books that have moved a person the most deeply says a lot about the reader, I think. It is really a window into who they are. Kind of like houses. Seeing a person's house says a lot about who that person is and what she is like. A line from one of my favorite books (Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun) says it well:
"What is her house like?" my sister asks, and we both know she means what is she like.

Our "Top Book List of All Time" listed books as varied in style and depth and interest as the women around the table. All wonderful and engaging for completely different reasons and worth the time to get to know them.

In case you are interested, these are my top 5 favorite books of all time (so far). What are yours?

-Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (don't judge this book based on the (awful) movie)
-The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
-Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
-Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
-Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve


  1. The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
    Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
    When Life and Beliefs Collide (Carolyn Custis James)
    Lord of the Flies (William Golding)

    BTW, I ordered the first in the Outlander series to get myself started. I'll let you know what I think.

  2. OK, this has nothing to do with books or my personal list of books...I loved your little blurb about houses and people, though. When my family was eating with different people every Sunday I would always mention to Sara if we were eating with someone new - I don't remember what her response would be if it had the potential to be only a mediocre afternoon (at that age boredom was lurking around every corner...), but I was always excited when her response was, "Oh, their house is so fun!", which only had a little to do with the actual building and more about how much I would probably enjoy the people.

  3. Great post, Laurel! My favorites would be the same as yours, aaaahhhh!!!! I'd add The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris too. Oh yeah, and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

  4. Okay, noone is allowed in my house now. I am really scared about what my house says about me. OH NO!!! It looks like a train wreck right now and is not decorated the way I want it to be either.
    Thanks for posting these book recommendations. I love to read and am always looking for a good new one. I don't spend enough time just quietly reading anymore, but I sure do enjoy it when I do!

  5. Man, Fortune's Rocks made your top five list. I DEFINITELY have to read it now.

  6. Love the quote! And the CS Lewis and Lindbergh books are among my faves too.

  7. Anonymous12:06 AM

    I have not read a single one of your top five. It looks like I have some reading to do!

  8. Haven't read any of them either. I'm more into the existential angst end of the spectrum. :-)

  9. No wait, I listened to one of the Outlander books on tape. Does that count?

  10. lorraine uk6:36 AM

    Hi not read any on your list.My favourite books right now ar
    1.The Story of You by julie myerson
    2.The Red Tent by Anita Diament(i think)
    3.The Christmas story by Jostein Gaardener
    4.Christ is Lord by Anne Rice
    Well my house right now would describe me as messy .have agood day.

  11. Anonymous5:03 PM

    I saw you one something over at Soule Mama. Lucky girl!

  12. totally agree with you on Under the Tuscan Sun - fantastic book...the movie...?!!? whatever.

    i could read that book a thousand times.