Saturday, April 14, 2007

Readin' in the Rain...

The weather has been foreboding of late...We're used to it though--we're New Englanders! We never know quite what to expect- Barry Burbank, Matt Noyes and other meteorologists always seem desperate for some kind of disaster to strike. As a kid, I always looked forward to the promise of a wicked snow storm (and they always promised, and I was always disappointed) but in time I've become immune to the New England meteorologist's tendency to speak in deranged hyperbole.

They weren't kidding this time, though! I was awakened more than once last night, as the wind was clawing at my roof and dancing wildly with the trees in my backyard. Oh the madness of it all! The formidable abandon! It makes me want to build a tent out of couch cushions and tablecloths...It makes me want to read in bed with a flashlight under my sheets...It makes me want to hunker down with a huge cup of tea and not resurface until I've read my favorite book, cover to cover...

When the rain pounds down so hard that it sounds a bit like Riverdance is being performed on my roof, I always feel compelled to read a good book. Rainy day reads are unlike any other. On dark, rainy days, you've really got to read something special-- something captivating and ultra delightful. A rainy day read carries the weight and responsibility of keeping the reader alert and engaged. If you're reading Prokaryotic Diversity Mechanisms & Significance on a stormy day, for example, you'll probably slip into a vegetative state within five minutes. If, however, you're reading a diverting family drama such as Through A Glass Darkly, or a rollicking, exceedingly well narrated novel about Irish rebellion, like A Star Called Henry, you'll be riveted and glad that the weather is so forbidding.

Devoted reader I certainly am, but when it's a gorgeous, bright summer day I always feel guilty about staying inside. I usually go for a nature walk, take a trip down Cape, run errands, etc. I crave the approach of twilight because it gives me permission to curl up on my favorite toile quilt and read until midnight. When the weather is this murky and unforgiving I never feel guilty about staying in. In fact, the thought of venturing into the perpetual darkness is enough to make me burst into tears. That's why I love a messy week like this. I've been given a ticket to read until my heart's content.

Here are some excellent rainy day reads that you may enjoy:

Wuthering Heights
Jane Eyre
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Snow Falling On Cedars
My Name is Red
Shadow of the Wind
The Shipping News
Pride & Prejudice
Freedom & Necessity
Reservation Blues

(Also, there's nothing like a good mystery or true crime to keep you enthralled on a sleepy, stormy day)

Tell No One
A Great Deliverance
The Dark Wind
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
And Then There Were None
Murder on the Orient Express
Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil
In Cold Blood

These lists could go on forever. What are your favorite rainy day reads?