Teresa Simmons – Guest Post
I am so happy to feature a post by Teresa Simmons today. I first “met” Teresa on Instagram because of our mutual undying love for Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy Tacy series and quickly discovered that, including Lovelace, she has brilliant taste in books. Truly. Teresa reads seemingly everything and has put so many gems on my radar. Beyond that, Teresa is such a warm soul with a wonderful sense of humor and is the type of person who seems to bring a little sunshine to everyone she encounters. To get to know her a little bit more, do check out her feed and don’t forget to scroll down beneath her book list : ). Thanks so much for this charming contribution to Imaginary Book Stack, Teresa!
“I chose Charlotte because she was the first literary creation to both fascinate me and tear my heart out — and I love to have my heart torn out by a good story.”
Charlotte’s Book Stack
This one’s obvious, isn’t it? “I love blood,” says Charlotte upon meeting Wilbur for the first time. And who can relate better to her undeniable bloodlust than the original bloodsucker?
Charlotte goes to great lengths (of both silk and strength) to protect her children, just as James and Lily Potter did for Harry. She did everything in her power, with the help of her good friend Wilbur, to ensure their best chance at life. And speaking of friends, I’m pretty sure Charlotte read the whole Harry Potter series because she’s extraordinarily good at friendship.
“I live by my wits. I have to be sharp and clever, lest I go hungry.” Katniss Everdeen? Nope. Charlotte A. Cavatica. Both of these women (spiders … whatever) are fierce protectors. The only people going hungry under Charlotte’s watch will be the Arable family, when they’re not eating pig at Christmas.
Dorothy L. Sayers
Charlotte’s not a completely cold-hearted killer. Before eating a fly, she explains, injecting a poisonous bite, “…I knock him out, so he’ll be more comfortable.”
The titular heroine of this novel is a death-defying pilot. I believe Charlotte was inspired by her aerial moves, living high in the rafters of the great barn herself.
The Story of Philosophy
Charlotte is a natural born philosopher, owing to her nature as a killer. I’m pretty sure she kept a collection of miniature Philosophy tomes somewhere in her web. “After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
Charlotte chose to make her life in the bosom of the farm, among the animals. She and James Heriot would certainly agree that each and every animal was worthy of care. Perhaps even Templeton the rat.
From the moment of Charlotte’s first “Salutations!” we learn she’s a bit of a wordsmith. She keeps a keen eye (or hundred) out for delectable adjectives to write in her web, so a good dictionary would come in handy. I personally think she’d appreciate this particular volume as belonging to ‘Webster’.
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A Little More About Teresa
Please tell us a little about yourself and your reading life
If I were to let my bookshelves speak for me, they’d tell you I’m a genre junkie. Sci-fi and fantasy hang out next to historical fiction and YA, while most of the shelves are a mingling ground for classics and literary fiction. But on the most prominent, eye-level shelf of them all resides my Anne of Green Gables series, my Betsy-Tacy books, and my collection of Little Women editions. As an avid, lifelong reader those childhood favorites are very dear to me.
If I were to hush my shelves and tell you myself, I’d explain that when I was twenty-three, fresh from college, and alone in my first apartment, I started reading Sense and Sensibility one Saturday morning. That same evening, I turned over the last page with a sigh of satisfaction and walked to my tiny kitchen. In the sink were dirty dishes from the NINE BOWLS of cereal I’d consumed throughout the day to fuel my reading. I am now forty-five, with a husband and three children. But if you were to give me a free Saturday to spend however I pleased, I’d probably spend it the same way as twenty-three year old me: bingeing on books. And possibly cereal.
What are you reading right now?
Last night, in a flood of tears, I finished reading Richard Llewellyn’s How Green Was My Valley. Today I’m starting on something a little lighter: a biography of Charles Dickens, one of my favorite authors, written by Claire Tomalin.
What’s a book you wish everyone would read?
The first title that springs to mind is South Riding by Winifred Holtby because it’s one of my most beloved reads. But I convinced a book club to read it once and for reasons beyond my understanding it met with tepid reviews. So I’ll go with East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Beautifully written, moving, and with perhaps a wider appeal.