By the way, have you noticed there was no grace around these parts the past two days? Let's just forget the math and assume that I am grateful but non-posty on weekends.
Today I bring you the literary grace, which, wow, go ahead and try and narrow down your book love into 5 measly bullet points.... not easy. However, I decided to try and focus on those books which brought more to my life than just a good story... books which pointed me in new directions, changed my perspective or, in some cases, saved my sanity... there is nothing impressive here... you won't read this list and think, "She's so erudite!", but, these are the books I reach for again and again. And again and again.
1. Nancy Drew. It's a well documented fact that I wanted to grow up to be Nancy Drew. What with her sleek blue convertibles, smart shoes and enviable ability to excel at everything from trick riding (The Scarlet Slipper Mystery) to golf (The Whispering Statue) to archaeology (The Secret of the Forgotten City) all while solving mysteries. She was my first hero, giving to me to me the gift of reading. Of being excited to get the next book in a series. Of bugging my mom to take me the book store or the library... of having a world to lose myself in... I started reading Nancy Drew in the second grade and I still, to this day, have been known to curl up her, my old friend, when I need an escape.
2. David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day/Santaland Diaries - Feeling blue? Need a laugh? Want to know the French word for "slaughterhouse"? Sedaris is one of the few writers who makes me laugh out loud... not a chuckle or a smirk, I am talking full on cracking up. In fact, a few years ago, I made an extreme ass out of myself on the F train, cackling like a mental patient. Oh David Sedaris, I love you.
3. Edna St. Vincent Millay - a lifetime of hiding my supreme ignorance on the genre of poetry, I was finally saved from myself by the works of Edna St. Vincent Millay. My copy of her biography is so battered and dog-eared and notated that it's criminal. Have you read, Savage Beauty? You should.
4. Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation - History at it's most personal and relatable. My son had a report due on Abraham Lincoln and, while all the other (good) parents dutifully took their children to the library for (dry) biographies, I handed him my (again battered... sign of a well loved book) copy. The Assassination of Lincoln is the only first 1/3 of the book, but he came away from that assignment with a better understanding of the that time in history than the majority of kids in his class... he had a grasp on the very real feelings and emotions and reactions of the major players... he saw them as people, not just "the past". She is a genius. I wonder if she has a Facebook page? I think I need to become a fan.
5. Sarah Caudwell - author of 4 of the wittiest British mysteries you could ever hope to read... funny, clever, circular logic and with the most convoluted plots... the writing is formal with great attention paid to the little details of everyday life... rather a modern P.G. Wodehouse with homage (via extensive letter writing as integral to the plot) to Jane Austen.
So, there you go. 5 of my most beloved books (or series). This list could be much longer, but these were the immediate 5 which came to mind which is, I think, the point of this exercise... to look around and see what gives you grace.