A Bookish Hike: Mt. Greylock

Tributes to famous authors dot the summit

Tributes to famous authors dot the summit

If you’re a bookish hiker and are looking for a fall foliage pilgrimage you can’t do much better than Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts.

Mt. Greylock has been an inspiration for many writers over the years. Nathaniel Hawthorne mentioned it in his short story Ethan Brand. Herman Melville was said to have decided to write about whales when he saw the snow covered slope of the mountain out his window. And more recently, J.K. Rowling set Ilvermorny, the North American school of witchcraft and wizardry in the there.

There’s an auto road to the top, but driving means you’d miss out on hiking a beautiful stretch of the Appalachian Trail. There is of course the foliage that New England is known for, but you also get to hike through the only taiga-boreal forest in the state. In English this means there are many beautiful pine and spruce trees.

The War Memorial on top of Mt. Greylock

The War Memorial on top of Mt. Greylock

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Austen in August

I am excited to take part in this year's Austen in August on the Roof Beam Reader blog. This is my first time taking part in this event, and I'm looking forward to immersing myself in all things Austen.

If you have a blog you have until July 31 to sign up. If you'd rather follow along on Twitter the hashtag is #AusteninAugustRBR.

This is a great way to wrap up summer reading, isn't it?

[REVIEW]: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I put off reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier for years because for some reason I thought it was a re-telling of Jane Eyre from the 1980's. Rebecca, it turns out, is a gothic novel, but it has nothing to do with Jane Eyre.

It does, however, have that sense of something's just not right like Jane Eyre does. It's that creepy feeling we love to indulge in this time of year. It should be a dream come true- poor girl marries rich man and gets to live like royalty at an English country estate by the sea. But we all know it never turns out all right for the down trodden shy girl.

When the twist comes you kind of suspect it, but it still knocks the breath out of your body. And the ending. Oh, the ending. I don't want to give anything away here, but I dare you to read the ending without immediately going back to the front of the book to read it again. I'll just say it's not the romantic ending that we somehow feel dirty about because he kept his wife in an attic ending that we got in Jane Eyre.

I'm so glad I finally read Rebecca, and I can't rule out reading it again next year around this time.

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I linked this post to Jenn's Bookshelves Murder, Monsters & Mayhem -- a collection of creepy books perfect for this time of year.

Happy birthday, Gatsby

Last weekend The Great Gatsby turned 90. Now I don't pick favorite books, but if I had to Gatsby would be in consideration for top dog. I love the concise descriptions -  they tell you so much with just a few words.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
”Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.
They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.
I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.
It takes two to make an accident.

Eight classics I want to read in 2016

I'm in the middle of a multi-year attempt to read all of the classics I missed (or didn't pay enough attention to) in high school. Here are the 8 I've assigned myself to read in 2016.

You can click on any of the images above to see a description on amazon.com.

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