Saturday, August 14, 2010


For years and years, people have recommended that I read the Mitford series by Jan Karon. While at Pine Tree Palace, Erin and I browsed through a copy of the Mitford cookbook.

"You of all people would love these books!" she tells me. "They are the sweetest books ever written, and cooking plays a major role!" I was once again the target of an incredulous look, as I have been so many times throughout the years, and shrunk into the role of outsider.

The one who hasn't read Mitford. The one who doesn't know about orange marmalade cake.

So, I trotted to the the library and tracked down the first in a nine book series. Later that night, curled up on the couch under a warm quilt and armed with a brimming mug of mocha, I cracked open that first volume and entered the world of Mitford.

Why didn't I do this years ago??

It's true what EVERYONE says. I, of all people, dearly love these books. I was drawn in at page one, flirting with true love by page five, becoming hopelessly committed by page ten, and a sold out fan by the end of the second chapter. These are my favorite fiction books of all time. I'm quick to mention to everyone within striking distance that I am reading these books, and if some poor soul dares to confide that they aren't familiar with them, I muster my best incredulous look and bore down my list of reasons why they surely should have read them years ago. :)

Mitford is an oasis, and Father Tim is an endearing parish Episcopal priest who nurtures a rag tag cast of residents whose huge personalities occupy the tiny town. Every single character is memorable, and brought to life expertly by Karon's masterful weaving of endearment and humor. I can't ever remember reading a series of fiction that required me to keep a notebook and pen stationed on my night stand. I'm constantly jotting down quotes and quips that I don't want to forget.

My friend Wendy is re-reading the series with me, and we decided to email each other from time to time with our favorite lines. Buzzard is reading too. He was assigned book one as bedtime reading, no arguments to be had! (He likes it, so I didn't have to convince him too hard.) Mitford is like the best vacation you ever had, or making a new best friend. Suddenly, you want everyone around you to experience the same thing. You want them to fully understand why you're pecking through the isles of Walmart gathering ingredients for rector's meatloaf, and trying to convince your husband you need an enormous dog named Barnabas.

I'm in book four right now, and I've decided to share some of my favorite lines from time to time. If you're looking for something fun and uplifting to stock up your nightstand for fall, meet me in Mitford. Leave me a comment from time to time to let me know how it's going. I solemnly promise, you'll be charmed!!!

Today's Mitford Musings:

"Only the mediocre man is always at his best."

"If it's not one thing, it's two!"

"No rest for the wicked, and the righteous don't need none."

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