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It’s been raining pretty steadily all week in Northern California.  It makes one want to snuggle in front of a warm fire, with a hot drink, and a good book. My rainy day reads are usually books that I have read before. It’s comforting to revisit old friends.  Here are some of the books that I’ve had a hankering to read this week:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I first read this book over a year ago when my sister nagged me into reading it.  As she raved about it on the phone, I thought it sounded depressing. It’s set in the future, it’s drab and apparently everyone is hungry.  Oh yeah, and there’s a fight to the death.  Maybe it was unfair, but I was getting images of Mad Max.  My sister sent me the book anyway.  Well, what is a bookworm to do when a much-loved relative takes the time to send a care package that contains books? Read it, of course.  After all, I wanted to encourage more presents in the future.

The Hunger Games Trilogy is engaging from the very start. The images of Mad Max subsided and was replaced by an intelligent, young protagonist — Katniss Everdeen.  Katniss is brave and physically capable of kicking bum in the Arena, but there is more to her .  She has integrity, family loyalty and a strong will which makes her a good role model.

I thought the author did a marvelous job creating and cultivating the characters. They are complex with many secrets. Every installment in the trilogy adds to the whole.  The series explores the themes of romantic love, familial love, and friendship. It is also an interesting lesson in equality, morality and governance.

Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll.  Every so often, I will leave the world of novels and pick up a book on history.  This book is like reading about the royals by People Magazine.  History buffs may scoff, but I need a little entertainment with my history lesson.  The author delivers fact with a narrative that is witty and amusing.

Following his failed union with a dragon, Henry wanted a doormat, and the modest and docile twenty-five-year-old Jane was the perfect antidote to Anne Boleyn.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. Okay, I know this is an oldie, but it’s a goodie.  The series chronicles the life of a Scottish veterinarian surgeon, James Herriot, in the beautiful, but rural Yorkshire Dales from the 1930 – 1950s.  It’s a comforting read– the stories are about the vet’s relationships with his patients and their owners.  There are no high-profile murders or corporate takeovers, only vignettes about lambing time, foaling time, and colic.  Mr. Herriot is a sympathetic character, and you can’t help but share in his triumph when another animal is on the mend.

Something Blue by Emily Giffin. What is a rainy day without Chick Lit?  I must have read this book over a dozen times.  What makes a friendship? What can ruin it? Can a friendship ever be mended after your bestie sleeps with your fiance?  Darcy Rhone is trying to figure out what the heck happened.  She’s always been the beautiful one, the charming one, the one whom all the guys favored. No wonder she is stumped when her gorgeous fiance chooses Rachel, her mousy-haired best friend, over her.  Darcy leaves New York for London to try and get away from it all.  Enlightenment appears in the form of tough love, from a guy friend who tells her that her overly competitive spirit and selfish attitude flawed her friendship with Rachel.  Darcy realizes that Rachel was not entirely to blame.  It all seems like fluff, but friendships are complicated. And the author does a great job of recognizing that and bringing to light, through hilarious dialogue and character introspection, the intricate nuances that flow between friends.

There you have it.  I think I’ve covered some of my favorite rainy day reads. I did forget to include some of my favorite Romance novels, but maybe I’ll save that for another post– Guilty Pleasures.

Thanks to Wanton Creation’s blog entry “What Do you Mean You Haven’t Read That?” for giving me the idea for this entry.

Read on warriors, read on.