Dear THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas: A gold star for this year’s Big Book of the Summer

Dear The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas:  For the past handful of summers, I’ve chosen a larger, more intimidating book to read over the summer months. Previous participants in this little challenge have been Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. …

5 Classics for July

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. When I think of July, I think of summer adventures, sparklers on the Fourth of July, hot afternoons, a lot of time with family, sitting by the campfire, and looking at fireflies at the edge of …

5 Classics for June

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. June has always struck me as a strange mix of peace and chaos, of beauty and discomfort, of consistency and change. I think this past month has definitely embodied those contradictions, as flowers bloom in the …

5 Classics for May

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. You know what they say: April showers bring May flowers. That has certainly been true where I live thus far this month--so many flowers in the garden have begun to bloom and it's so lovely to …

5 Classics for April

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. Where I live, April is a solid month of rain, interspersed with some light springy days that tempt you with promises of sunny May. Accordingly, the theme for this month's classic recommendations is going to be …

5 Classics for March

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. For March I've decided to focus on a theme of change. Not only is the weather changing this time of year where I live, allowing our frozen bones to thaw, but unfortunate circumstances around the world …

5 Classics for February

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. For the month of February, I thought I would highlight some of my favorite classic romance novels, most of them from the Victorian Era. What's better than a little Jane Austin at this time of year? …

5 Classics for January

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. January has many sides in my mind: it's a bright new beginning, but it also means the continuation of the long New England winter. This month is often when we take a good long look at …

5 Classics for December

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. For those of us who celebrate Christmas, December is a magical (and somewhat stressful) month of sweet treats and shopping and music and decorating and, ideally, laughter. It's also obviously the last month of the year, …

5 Classics for November

In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. Although most people seem to dislike November (at least in New England where I live) because all of the pretty leaves die and everything is dead, it's actually my favorite month of the year. This might …