Skip to main content

Sunrise Over Rome


I've read so many wonderful books on airplanes. By chance, it seems. In fact, they're often new authors (to me). I've seen the book on the shelf before. Perhaps the cover called to me, or maybe I've been resisting picking it up, subconsciously afraid it won't live up to my expectations, not wanting to lose the possibility that it might. But, feeling high on my vacation spirit, this time I pick it up. "I've got wanderlust," I whisper to the book, fingering that promising cover. "Why don't you come with me?" And we're off.

I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on an overnight flight to Rome. I hadn't realized transatlantic flights could be so...well, magical. It was pitch black on the other side of the oval window. Everyone else on the plane was asleep and a delicious shiver went up my spine as I read the last line of that very first chapter, "One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs. Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the new few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley....He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: 'To Harry Potter--the boy who lived!'"

Much of my traveling the past few years has been to Italy. Which only makes the experience of reading the books more romantic. Looking up from a particularly engrossing chapter and seeing the sun rise over Rome. That'll imprint the story in your mind permanently. I remember reading Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest on a hop from Rome to the island of Sardegna. I could only tear my eyes away long enough to order my aranciata. Not even the jet lag could get in the way of that achingly beautiful fairy tale. And again, the opening line sticks in my mind, "Three children lay on the rocks at the water's edge. A dark-haired little girl. Two boys, slightly older. This image is caught forever in my memory, like some fragile creature preserved in amber."

I guess these experiences are important to me because they are unchanging and they remain. Preserved like the fragile creature in amber. When I'm feeling low or blue, I can take them out again, the memory and the book, dust them off a bit and recall. Sunrise over Rome.

Comments

  1. Ok so I stumbled on this blog a month or so back. I can’t remember if I was reading Mike and Heidi’s or Aaron’s blog when I landed on your link. Mostly I’ve just wandered around your blog and perused a few of your post looking for potential reads. Lately I’ve been really craving an undiscovered gem that I can truly invest a little time and energy into. I found what I was looking for in your post today. No, no, not Harry Potter, that’s far too jejune. What I uncovered this morning was a brilliant writer, who with pen in hand, is longing to be set free on a field of white. Throw away your inhibitions Angie, for I eagerly await your first masterpiece.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Bibliocrack Review | Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

I haven't wanted to talk about this. With  anyone.  But I think I probably need to. That like Georgina, I need to use my words to break the curse. I think that like Sam, I need to believe in my cure. So I'm going to talk about it here, and maybe you can help. Since pandemic type things got real in my neck of the woods, I haven't been able to read. I haven't been able to  reread . This has (and I am not exaggerating) never happened to me before  in my life.  I know it happens frequently to most everyone. And I have certainly always been a mood reader. It's not in any way uncommon for me to drift from book to book, from shelf to shelf in my library, until I land upon the right thing. But that drifting tends to occur over the course of a few hours. Not ever does it occur over the course of a few days or, God forbid, weeks.  I feel like I'm losing my mind. And, yes, I am fully aware of where this problem likely rates on the triviality scale in the current scheme of

Review | The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion, Vols. 1 & 2 by Beth Brower

I feel a bit giddy finally talking to you all about this series. If you'll remember, I fell madly in love with The Q  when it came out a few years ago. Now, Beth Brower is writing The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion — a series of novellas set in London in 1883. Each volume is an excerpt from the incorrigible Emma's journals, and the first two volumes are already available with the third on the way soon. I think they'd make rather perfect pandemic reading. Humorous and charming down to their bones, they're just what the doctor ordered to lift your spirits in this uncertain time that just proves to be too much some days. If you're experiencing one of those days, I suggest giving Volume 1   a go (it's only 99 cents on Kindle, $4.99 for a trade paperback copy). It will surprise exactly none of you that I own print and digital editions of both volumes.  Miss Emma M. Lion has waited long enough. Come hell or high water (and really, given her track record,  both a

Bibliocrack Review | Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Since I thought I'd start with the two most egregious reviewing gaps, you get Wayward Son next. I hope this is agreeable to all and sundry. And let's just agree not to pull any punches, shall we? I'll start by admitting that this book wrecked my life. To be clear, I am not complaining. It's just that it had been a long time, yeah? A long time since  Carry On came out. Just such a very long time since I'd been in the company of these two. And their crew. And I thought I was ready. Don't I always? Must remember to learn from past mistakes. But more than that, I wasn't thinking about the fact that of course Rainbow Rowell would create nothing less than the sequel that would naturally follow the events at the end of Carry On. Which is to say a sequel that would hurt . Because everything about what happened to Simon Snow from the beginning of his life to his graduation from Watford was designed to damage. With the shining exceptions of Penny and Baz. And so th