Favorite ice cream—chocolate. Favorite food—Italian. Favorite time of the day—morning. Favorite movie—It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Favorite child—both of them equally (though things got a bit fuzzy during the teenage years when they seemed to be competing for position of least favorite child). Favorite book—uhhhhh. That’s not so easy to answer. That’s not so cut and dried.
I suppose my favorite books have changed over the years. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell used to be my favorite book. It was a great (and hefty) read. The sweeping saga of a strong-willed Southern girl, Scarlett O’Hara, during and after the Civil War, kept me going page after page after page. With close to 700 pages of tiny font I really got involved in Scarlett’s life. My dear, I did give a damn what happened to her. She was a beautiful determined woman. She amused me, she frustrated me, she empowered me, and she kept me reading on. I’m not the fastest reader in the world, so she was an investment in time. And well worth it. I read Gone with the Wind in 1991, almost twenty-two years ago. I remember because that’s the year my daughter was born. I loved the movie, too. And I loved Carol Burnett’s take on the dress made from the curtains. Classic!
The book still ranks up there as one of my favorites, but other books have crowded to the top along with it. Well, you ask, what’s the next one on the list? I’ll tell you tomorrow.
In the meantime, I will leave you with some of my favorite quotes from Gone with the Wind.
“I won’t think of it now. I can’t stand it now. I’ll think of it later,” she said aloud turning her eyes away.
(Scarlett said this line when thinking of Ashley at war. This also reminds me of my sister, who has this knack of handling stress probably better than anyone I know. When she has a lot on her plate, she can categorize stress into Homeland Security Levels, then deal with them as needed. It’s quite remarkable. I call her Scarlett all the time.)
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (Garden City, New York: International Collectors Library, American Headquarters, 1936), 282.
"As God is my witness, as God is my witness, the Yankees aren't going to lick me. I'm going to live through this, and when it's over, I'm never going to be hungry again. No, nor any of my folks. If I have to steal or kill—as God is my witness, I'm never going to be hungry again."
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (Garden City, New York: International Collectors Library, American Headquarters, 1936), 283.
(Notice that the “Frankly” is strangely missing. It was added for the movie, and frankly, it works very nicely there, but either way it’s a classic line.)
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (Garden City, New York: International Collectors Library, American Headquarters, 1936), 688.
What about you? What’s your all-time favorite old classic book? Enter a comment or email me at Readinginthegarden@gmail.com and I will post your answer.
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