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  • Writer's pictureLynn Weathington

The books on that special bookcase

Everyone has a favorite book. It may be an adventure story, a great romance, or perhaps one of the classics from a bygone era. Yet, no matter what life throws at you, that book can take you on a journey to a place far removed from reality, and for just a moment, you transcend the world's troubles.

When I married Neil ten years ago, I moved into a world of books. As I scanned his library, I discovered so many different subject matters. One thing I did note is that he and I differ on reading materials. So, while I had my trusty Bible, I still missed those that defined my life. So, I went home and gathered a few.

This evening, I revisited that unique row of books that Neil acquired along with his bride. They tell quite a story.

There's The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. Introduced to me while a senior in high school, it is a fabulous story set in the English marshes about a lost Canadian goose and the unlikely pair who nurse it back to health. Then there is Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, my favorite Fannie Flagg novel. I can pick up Daisy Fay anytime and still find the humor as fresh as it was the first time I read it. The African Queen by C. S. Forster. While the ending is different from the Bogart-Hepburn movie, the adventures of a spinster missionary and a river tramp make it a page-turner. And who can forget the adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol or the nameless second wife of troubled Maxum deWinter in the gothic Daphne du Maurier thriller Rebecca?

There are inspirational books: I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainier, Your Bridge to a Brighter Future by John C. Maxwell, and Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. These three volumes have uplifted, encouraged, and influenced me.

I picked up Vic Weals' The Last Train to Elkmont while visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. It's a rich narrative account of the narrow-gauge railroad used by the logging industry in the days leading up to the area becoming a national park. I love history, and this book helped illustrate the evolution and preservation of this beautiful part of our country.

I have always said that while Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook is a great novel, the sequel, The Wedding, is a must-read. Both reside side-by-side as they should in every library that contains sappy romances. My copies are precious for another reason: they were from my mother's collection, and she passed them along to me once she finished them.

This brings me to Colleen McCullough's The Ladies of Missalonghi. Most people know this writer for her most famous (and notorious) novel, The Thorn Birds, but this gentle story of a shy spinster with impossible dreams drew me in.

There are others, but the main point I am making is that I always wanted to write something that would belong on this shelf. So tonight, I pondered adding one more precious book, Summer Solstice, to my collection. It will fit nicely with the others.

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