The book that really hooked me on reading was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Our second grade teacher sat in a rocking chair as we assembled ourselves on the rug at her feet, and she read it to us. I felt transported to Narnia and part of me wanted to believe in magic wardrobes, even though I was already old enough to have begun doubting in such things.
I didn’t learn of the religious symbolism until I was an adult, and had already read the book repeatedly many times without suspecting such a thing. I’m glad I didn’t know of it. It seems to me it would have spoiled the magic of the story.
Now I’m reading this book to my boys, one chapter each night. I tell them to lay in their beds and close their eyes as I read it. Imagination is so much better than Hollywood made movies, if you ask me.
When I got to the part where Edmund was stuffing his face with Turkish Delight, my boys were intrigued and it brought a smile to my face. This too, was one of my favorite parts. When my teacher read that book to me, I had no idea what Turkish Delight was, and I still haven’t had the opportunity to try it, but I’ll be darned if I didn’t feel my mouth fill with saliva at the mention of it.
To this day, I remain highly susceptible to craving foods mentioned in the books I read. If a character is enjoying a glass of red wine, even though I don’t often drink, I find myself wanting one, too. Sometimes, if I have the food on hand, I’ll interrupt my reading to go get it before continuing. If I don’t have it on hand, I’ll usually make it and eat it within a few days. One of my favorite books, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel had me constantly craving, (and thankfully included recipes for the luscious meals described.)
Right now I’m reading a book called For Grace Received by Valeria Parrella, (translated from Italian by Antony Shugaar.) It contains four stories that take place in Naples. The writing is incredibly unique. Some lines are so alive with imagery, some are such clever metaphors, that I have to stop and re-read them a few times and really savor them. In one of the stories, the characters lunch on macaroni frittatas. I didn’t know what those were but it didn’t stop me from wanting one. Now you know what I’ll be making for dinner sometime this coming week.