A Small Recommendation

I have recently found a new addiction (a little later than everyone else…): Downton Abbey. Oh, yes friends. It is everything that was promised and more. I’m sure that’s partially because I am exactly within their target viewership, partially because Julian Fellowes is brilliant, and the rest simply because I was sick and forced to sit still long enough to watch it.

This post is NOT, however, about the show. You can read reviews elsewhere. This post IS about the resulting rekindling of an older and far more beloved addiction.

I watched every single episode of Downton Abbey available to me in the span of 3 days (the entire first season in one night) and am now awaiting the newest episode to air on Sunday. In the interim, I decided to read something that would keep my mind in a similar “feeling.”

I ran through a list of highly appropriate novels, the kind that if there were a list, “If you love ‘Downton Abbey.’ you should read…”
they would all be on it.

For example…

If you love “Downton Abbey,” you should read:
1. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
3. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
4. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
5. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
6. Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
(Oh, look! This is almost directly from Dr. Reed’s Contemporary British Fiction syllabus!)

The list continues… There is such a wealth of literature from those dear isles and any time I think about picking up one of those books, I can feel a deep settling in my soul, like I have found a comfortable chair in front of the fire with a cup of Russian Caravan tea at my side. They speak to me in ways I cannot articulate (although I’m sure the PhD I dream of pursuing would change that…)

So I’m going over the list of all these wonderful novels I love so much and I realize that either I have read them recently or my copy is in storage. Dilemma!

I am racking my brain for an engaging, satisfying British read…and then I realize I haven’t read through the Harry Potter series in awhile! It may not be anywhere near the vein that I was striving to find but by goodness, it is BRITISH.

People, it wasn’t just genius, it was next to divine intervention. I don’t think I’ve read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” since before college. Merciful heavens! I reread many of the later novels as the movies were released but I hadn’t revisited the first few in what now feels like ages.

The richness of this rereading moves beyond rewarding. It has been so long, it is almost as if I am reading them for the first time. I have no recollection of experiencing that before. It’s fantastic! I am absolutely going to reread the whole series. What an utter delight! Such a sweet and unexpected pleasure to be able to pick the book up again and have to get reacquainted. I am looking forward to this immensely and it should carry me through a few weeks if I don’t sacrifice sleep to read (yeah, right).

So my recommendation to you this week is to go back to a book you love or find a new one that you just KNOW will speak to you, read it and feel loved and honored that someone out there in the world chose to share their story with you. It is more precious than we realize.

Cheers, friends and happy reading!