Keep in mind that I read good literature all the time. At the present time I'm rereading Wuthering Heights and Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees because I'm going to be teaching both of them in January. I want to be able, however, to recommend some books that are just a good read (or listen), even if just for entertainment purposes. I am going to provide Amazon or Barnes & Noble links wherever possible, but I recommend a visit to your local public library first. Save money for sock yarn!
My first selection is Mary Higgins Clark's Mount Vernon Love Story--a novel about, of course, George and Martha Washington. I had the audiobook. Although it is obvious that historical research forms the background for this book, the reader should note that this book focuses on a personal relationship which we can factually know only from the outside. Nevertheless, we are reminded of facets of the personality of the first President that we don't usually think about. For example, it is hard to visualize that stern face on the dollar bill as belonging to someone with the reputation of being the best dancer in Virginian society. Somehow that fact seems more interesting than mythological stories about chopping down cherry trees. Coupled with the story of the two lovers is the story of Washington's love for Mount Vernon and the land. From some other history I have read, I know that he was a statesman, a general, and, above all, a farmer, and his pride in the estate forms a backdrop for the story of the marriage. I must admit that I enjoyed the book also because I've walked the grounds at Mount Vernon and stood on the porch and looked across the Potomac. For me, the beauty of that magnificent home made the narrative even more real. (By the way, the tale mentions a purchase of spinning wheels and a spinning house where the textiles for the estate were evidently processed although I'm sure many of the finer fabrics were imported.)