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Chapter 6 - I Love You Too Much

This week is special to me. Not only does it hold Valentine's Day in its arms but also it is the week of the Savannah Book Festival. If you have never been to a book festival and enjoy reading, you should go. They have them in many cities and usually feature an array of authors, both fiction and non-fiction, talking about their books. In the past I have heard Pat Conroy, Dorothea Benton Frank, Paulette Giles, Mary Kay Andrews, and Tess Gerritsen speak. Many book festivals are free of charge (Savannah is) and authors who are speaking will usually sign their books. More about this year's Savannah Book Festival after I go.

What I really want to focus on here are books that I love. Valentine's Day is, after all, the day to recognize and thank those you love. I have had a love affair with books since I was a small child. Often people will ask me what my favorite book is and on any given day, the response might be different. Here are some books, I have not yet mentioned, that fall into the "books I love" category.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate - As you know, I am a fan of historical fiction and Wingate's story about orphans in Tennessee during the depression fits right into that. Five siblings were taken from their home on a houseboat and put into an orphanage to be "adopted" out. In reality Georgia Tann, who ran the Tennessee Children's Home Society was selling the children to wealthy couples who could not have children. The story goes back and forth between 1939 and present time as family history is unveiled.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick - Arthur Pepper is a widower who, on the first anniversary of his wife's death, decides to finally clean out her closet In doing so he finds a heart shaped leather box with a gold charm bracelet in it. Never having seen the bracelet before Arthur sets about finding out about the charms and subsequently his wife's life before she married him. A good read that asks the question - how well do we really know another person.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Margaret Atwood is often considered the queen of dystopian fiction and this book is a good example of why. The Handmaid's Tale is a diary of sorts of the life of a handmaid name Offred. Living in the totalitarian state of Gilead, her rights as a woman have been significantly diminished and her purpose in society is simply as a baby vessel. Hulu has made a mini-series of the book and I just hope it is as good as the novel.

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner - This is the book I'd expect from a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. It tells about the relationship between two couples who meet in Wisconsin because the husbands are English professors at the same university. The narrator, one of the husbands, recalls the tale of their friendship through the years - the good and bad of it - and how each couple has relied on the other for love and support. This is a book to be chewed and savored as it leaves an impact long after it is over.

The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck - I picked up this book as I knew about the Oregon Trail (haven't we all played the game?) but had no real understanding of the trek thousands made to Oregon and points west during the western migration. In this memoir, Rinker Buck decides to take a covered wagon and mules to travel the Oregon Trail again. The book is interspersed with Buck's own journey and historical anecdotes about the original pioneers.

What are some books you love? Leave your comments below!

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