What is Your Most Beloved Book?

There are several childhood books in my library that are in the I’ll-never-part-with category, except maybe to pass on to grand-children. One of them is Come to Storyland with pages missing and others as brittle as autumn leaves.

beloved book

Here is blogger friend and author Susan Nicholls’ story about her favorite. (Click to view more illustrations and the rest of her story.)  Do you have a beloved book or books?

S.K. Nicholls

I have an old copy of Uncle Wiggily in the Countryby Howard R. Garis. The copyrights are 1916 and 1940. The title is worn, the book is held together with tape. Various children have colored its yellowed, torn pages. The book was first purchased by my grandma to read to my aunt and my mother. They were born in 1940 and 1942 respectively.

Grandmother and Uncle Wiggly Grandmother Nicholls and Uncle Wiggily

Then, my mother read it to me and my two sisters, one older, one younger. We used to cuddle in the center of my sister’s twin bed and listen as she read each chapter. We would embrace under the covers protecting each other and hiding from the tiddlewink, an evil but sympathetic creature with claws and sharp teeth who lived in any body of water from swamps and ponds to bathtubs and washtubs. My mother died when I was eight, and…

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I have just finished reading The Dirty Life, On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball. And today my blogger friend, Susan Nicholls, has posted a piece entitled “Canned” complete with appetizing photos of the canned goods, stored on shelves for savory eating on wintry days like these.

Kimball’s book describes how she trades a life in the publishing world of Manhattan for growing vegetables, raising pigs and cattle on the farm of a man she had interviewed just months earlier. The story is told with the backdrop of the old/new movement toward local food, community-supported agriculture, a network of consumers and farmers who share the benefits (and risks) of food production. Consumers pay at the beginning of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest and then receive honey, eggs, meat, and dairy products, fruits and vegetables, whatever is in season.

Susan’s blog post “Canned” is a reminiscence on the stored wealth of nourishment in the cellar of her childhood. In her post today she recalls her grand-parents’ farmland and the “garden” of one and one-half acres her own family cultivated when her children were little. She reminds us of so much we take for granted in our land of abundance. Read it above!

S.K. Nicholls

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I was in the grocery store yesterday and browsing the local produce…much of it not so local, being shipped from Chile, Spain, Costa Rica, California, and Mexico, but fresh nonetheless. Fresh watermelon and cantaloupes year around!

It is January and there were fresh beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, asparagus, squash, cucumbers, cabbages, snow peas, avocados, apples, pears, oranges, tomatoes. We take so very much for granted in this global economy. I am not talking smartphones, computers, and tablets, but simple luxuries, like fresh food.

My grandparents had a huge farm, and they had a garden that covered three acres. They taught me about gardening and harvesting.

When my own children were growing up, we had an acre and a half that was garden space.

I can’t say that we grew organic, because pesticides and herbicides were used. I can’t say it was better or worse for us, but it…

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