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January is a time for candles .... and books...

I can't think of anything more indulgent than hanging out with my cats and a good book. Winter darkness lends itself to candlelight. This one is "Wicked" by Rustic Star Candle Company. And this is wickedly indulgent.

Winter's darkness gives me the excuse to settle in front of the fireplace with a good book. If I get lost in the story, to the extent that I read it in a day from cover to cover, I would add that to my list of favorite things. I'm currently reading a series of legal mysteries by Lisa Scottoline. A woman-owned law firm supplies the main characters and they are both brilliant and vulnerable, which makes them very likeable. They find justice for their clients while remaining emotionally available and having a personal life just as complicated as anyone else. I started each of these books with the idea I would read for an hour and ended up sacrificing my entire day to the pages because I had to know what happened next. It's been a long time since I've felt the need to give in to a story. It's a good thing it's winter so I can do that. There's no gardening to do. No one coming to stay for a week. No big holiday to prepare for. No marketing of books, other than planning future dates. I can bring in a hot cup of earl grey tea, pull up a hand-crocheted afghan, and invite my cats to snuggle with me. It's heaven.

Some other good books I've been reading are Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior, learning about Appalachian culture and the life cycle of Monarch butterflies. Cascades by Pamela Beason, her latest Sam Westin novel that starts with an avalanche at Mount Baker and teaches about wolverines in the Cascades. I didn't know they existed there, probably because they are quite rare. Another author who writes about park rangers and wildlife biologists is Nevada Barr and I just finished Borderline which takes place in Big Bend National Park in Texas. I'm reserving the rest of her series. featuring Anna Pigeon, each taking place in another national park which is a bonus.

Maybe you can add to my wish list of books to read. What have you been reading?

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