Rainy day reading

It's the first day of July and we have rain - not the nice, refreshing sprinkling that would have been welcome after the last few days of blazing sunshine, but the kind of rain that brings grey to the skies and frowns to our faces. It chased me around the garden this morning as I rushed to bring in the washing and then soaked me as I carried my shopping from the supermarket to the car. Wet t-shirt and dripping hair is not a good look on me.

Now I'm back in the house and the shopping is put away, all I want to do is snuggle up with a coffee and a book. I'm not exactly short on reading material (my main shopping habit) but what book would suit my mood today, a day when I want to feel cosy and warm indoors?

The first book that comes to mind is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I have an old battered hardback from the 1940s that belonged to my aunt. A tale of passion and tragedy, the setting of the Yorkshire moors is described in a way that reflects the hard lives and cruelty of the characters in the book. It's always a delight to return to.

When my mother was involved in amateur dramatics in her early twenties, she came across a teenage Peter O'Toole. He wasn't famous then, just a lad who liked the stage, but she would tell me about him whenever we happened to see one of his films. His biography Loitering with Intent covers his life from his childhood through to his adult years. It is as stylish and creative as the man himself.

My final choice is another old, battered hardback, The Elusive Pimpernel by the Baroness Orczy. This one belonged to my grandmother, Lydia. It doesn't have a publication date but in the inside cover is my grandmother's name and the date 4-11-1916. Besides the exciting, swashbuckling story of the Pimpernel itself, I love the tone of the writing - intelligent, imaginative and very very dramatic. I've read this book so many times, it's practically falling apart.

So if you'll excuse me, I'll just settle down in this armchair with Heathcliffe, Peter and Sir Percy. What would your rainy day reading be?

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