Thursday, January 21, 2010

First Time Read

I'd seen this book on countless lists of recommended books, but had never gotten around to reading it. Last year I glimpsed a copy at a library sale and picked up it for half a dollar. It has been languishing on a shelf in my living room between Eudora Welty and Willa Cather until two nights ago when I wanted a cozy bedtime read to snuggle with under the covers.

I was envisioning a slightly romantic long-distance correspondence story. I did not expect to snicker throughout the story at Helene Hanff's biting witticisms, nor was I prepared for the poignant ending that left me on the verge of tears.

It was a quick read, taking me only two short evenings, and I closed the covers with a pang and a sigh, wishing that it could have gone on and on. Please do something nice for yourself today. Brew a strong cup of English tea, lay out a platter of shortbread, and read 84 Charing Cross Road. You will be glad you did.

7 Comments:

Anonymous GretchenJoanna said...

My husband and I read the book aloud together a long time ago, and enjoyed it very much. But the memory is very dim; maybe it's time for another go-round! Thanks for the reminder.

4:10 PM  
OpenID learningtofollow said...

I always appreciate book recommendations. Thank you, Emily! I just requested it at the library. I've been looking for a shorter read since my days are busy.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

I have never read that one either. I will have to find a copy.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

I've never read it. I am so out of the loop on current (meaning the last 20+ years) books. I have been so busy with work, school books and housework.... And I love to read! Thank you for the recommendation.

Lynn

8:08 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Gretchen,
Re-reads are so nice. Whether I would read it again is my criteria for keeping a book!

Silvana,
Oh, I hope you enjoy it; it can easily be read in small bites. I'd love to hear your impression when you've finished.

Marci,
I think you'll like it. After I read it, I had a great curiosity about the author and did some research online which was fun in itself. Turns out a movie was made starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft, but it was originally dramatized on stage.

Lynn,
It's okay to be out of the loop - the best books are older anyway! This was actually originally published in 1970 and that was how many years ago? Forty? Ack, I suddenly feel like an antique.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

I've not read it either, but it is on my list. Wonder if I could get it through interlibrary loan...

Everybody recommends it highly!!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Jeanne,
You'll enjoy it when you finally get to it! I'm just now reading the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - another book composed of correspondence - and love it.

8:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home