Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Favorite Genre?



For today's Wordfull Wednesday from Chocolate On My Cranium, we are supposed to write about our favorite genre and adult book. I don't know that I can choose just one. (I'll try not to make this into too much of a list.) I have so many favorites that I love and go back to. Most are fiction and light-hearted. Like the Mitford series by Jan Karon, which I read when I'm in the midst of a particularly difficult life experience. The world of Mitford and the love expressed there is very lifting and always gives me something good to think about. Another series I've read quite a few times is the All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot. I'm really not an animal person, but the stories of rural England and the many antics of farmers and animals and vets are so wonderful to read that I can't help but laugh and enjoy them. Others are Mama's Bank Account by Katherine Forbes, The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, and the Work and the Glory Series by Gerald Lund. I'm discovering that I really enjoy good mysteries too. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King and the Mrs. Pollifax books by Dorothy Gillman got me started there. I do love other types as well; C.S. Lewis and Robert Frost come to mind. And Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is another favorite as well as Glimpses Into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley.

I will say that my very favorite book is My Antonia by Willa Cather. I'm not sure that I could really tell you why. Maybe I can. Her stories are not filled with excitement or suspense. And usually there are some sad events involved. I first read My Antonia for my American Literature class at Ricks College, so my copy is very marked up. On almost every page I have marked a line or two or even paragraphs that taught me something or that I just really enjoyed. Cather's writing is so beautiful. Very simple yet so descriptive. I love her description of spring. "When spring came, after that hard winter, one could not get enough of the nimble air. Every morning I awakened with a fresh consciousness that winter was over." Just one more of the many passages I love is when Jim is describing his Grandfather's prayers. He says, "Grandfather's prayers were often very interesting. He had the gift of simple and moving expression. Because he talked so little, his words had a peculiar force; they were not worn dull from constant use. His prayers reflected what he was thinking about at the time, and it was chiefly through them that we got to know his feelings and his views about things." I could go on and on. The characters, the relationships, the language, the setting, all of it so wonderful. Oh, I do love My Antonia!

14 comments:

Momza said...

Well now I must check out this book you've so lovingly described, My Antonia!
Thank you!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I really enjoyed reading My Antonia too. My favorite part was towards the end hearing Jim's descriptions of Antonia's family gathered around. They were poor material-wise but had so much more than Jim in everything else.

Ratliffs said...

My Antonia was such a good read!! As I was reading through your list a book 'series' came to mind. I think you would really enjoy the Aunt Dimity books by Nancy Atherton.

kjha said...

Oh yes, My Antonia. Another great. A few of the ones you've listed I have heard of but not read...better get going! And I'm glad you included Glimpses... I thought about that as I fell asleep last night then forgot to add it on! It's a good one.

Meg said...

Mitford will always be near and dear to my heart. Thank you Jan Karon.

Mommymita said...

I have never heard of these and now I"m excited to checkt hem out - thanks

Kate said...

Oh, I forgot about the Mitford series and My Antonia. Now I want to re-write my own post.

Esther said...

It always suprises me how much "simple descriptive" writing can bring so much more personal meaning to a tale...you've sold me on My Antonia...can't wait.

crabapple farm said...

I'm going to have to read My Antonia. I love her Christmas Story, but just hated the good earth, so I need to try something else! Jan Karon is wonderful. I find myself talking like her after reading her books - same with Jane Austen.

Lynsey said...

There is a bunch on your list that I am going to have to add to my list. I love My Antonia as well.

Jen said...

My Antonia is a great book! Goose Girl--its on my list to read with my kids. Thanks for sharing a few of your favorites!

jacquie said...

one of my favorite books too...it's very much in my "prairie" feeling. I love the prairie and her book illustrates its uniqueness and beauty.

The Monkey Mama said...

Ooooo- how I love marked up books!
What a lovely review you gave. I'm putting My Antonia on my to-read list now. There is certainly something to be said for simple prose. I'm currently reading a book that is so wordy I'm ready to put it down, despite all the rave reviews.

You might also enjoy These Is My Words by Nancy Turner.

Thanks!

Janie said...

Aimee, this comment is from Gran...

Aimee, Dear-

I'm so happy you were programmed with my "Cather gene." Or maybe you got yours from several of your ancestors. My Antonia was my favorite for many years. I still love it deeply; but Sapphira and the Slave Girl and Shadows on the Rock are just as precious to me. Ordinarily I don't fall I love with short stories-but Neighbour Rosicky is one of Cather's best characterizations.

Cather's stories withstand much rereading. You will enjoiy them at 75 as you did at 25. I have a really good book somewhere about Willa Cather, which shows, tells, about the people who became our fictionalized favorites. It is by Mildred Bennett, I believe, and I bought it at a Cather museum in Red Cloud, Nebraska. John indulged me by stopping there twice, probably in the late 60's or the
70's. I've done several programs from Bennett's book, with excerpts from cited novels.

My collection of Cather books is probably eight or ten in number. I won't tell you which one, lest I influence your reading of it, but there is one I've started three or four times. Just started-nothing more. When you come down next time, I'll share some books with you. In the box I'm always going to send, I'll put in a couple for keeps. One has Neighbour Rosicky in it, but I have it also in another anthology.

Keep up the reading and studying-it's good for you and your family.

Love, Gran