Holiday Reading…

Is there a finer pleasure than curling up with a book? Perhaps a fire and some wine nearby? In search of the best books for the regular girls holiday, I consulted with the most well-read English teacher I know and my very favorite English and Creative Writing major and asked them to give me some choices. And then there’s mine. You didn’t think you’d get away without The Duchess’ opinion did you?

Anyone lucky enough to attend Desert Mountain, a Scottsdale High School, probably had DeFay for English. This woman has the ability to make young people who hate to read (I’m talking to you Oldest Chicken) love the sport again with her magical choices and reading aloud. The woman remembers that children of all ages love to have stories read to them. And for high schoolers, somehow it doesn’t feel like work that way. And, yes, she is a favorite of all my chickens.
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duchess-diaries-booksDeFay’s (yes, you can call her that) Reading List:

Forever Faves:
East of Eden—Steinbeck
Me Before You—Jojo Moyes
The Last Days of Summer—Steve Kluger
Beloved-Toni Morrison
The Kite Runner—Khaled Hosseini

Newer Recommendations:
Big Little Lie—Liane Moriarty
Eleanor & Park—Rainbow Rowell
The House of Sand and Fog—Andre Dubus III
The Language of Flowers—Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Reconstructing Amelia—Kimberly McCreight

Baby Chicken is next. As an English and Creative Writing major at Bama, yes that Bama who will play for the SEC Championship this weekend and remains in the top four for playoff time, says she’s reading a lot of yuck.

“Reading a bunch of boring stuff for school but there is a cute story called ‘Tiny Feast’ in the New York Times online.” Heart swell. My little one is reading the NYT online. Dreams do come true.

Knowing her well, I can pass on her faves:
White Oleander—Janet Finch
Me Before You—JoJo Moyes
The Hunger Games—all of them—Suzanne Collins
The Language of Flowers—Vanessa Diffenbaugh

As for moi, my tastes run the gamut. I read quite a bit of non-fiction and self-help. Name it, I found it fascinating. Has any of it changed my life? Not really, so I’m working on one myself—something along the lines of, “How to Lose a Husband and Get Cancer.” It’s a comedy.

As for all time fiction faves:
Fall On Your Knees—Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Women’s Room (a million years old)—Marilyn French—
White Oleander—Janet Fitch
Drowning Ruth—Chrisina Schwarz
Songs in Ordinary Time—Mary McGarry Morris
The Last Madam—Chris Wiltz (my current read). It’s a look at a famous madam who ruled New Orleans for most of her life. True story. The Norwegian and I spent our fifteenth anniversary at the hotel that once was her brothel. There’s fun everywhere, non?

Fill your stocking to the brim. Pour a glass of pinot noir and tuck under a blanket. It’s time to read.

P.S. Should we start a book club? Send me your faves: info@theduchessdiaries.com.

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