Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Essential Reading: Gift of Time

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The holidays are past and now we can take a deep breath. We asked Literary Mamas to tell which title they'd select if given the gift of time. And each one here would require just that! Enjoy!


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Literary Reflections Editorial Assistant, Merle Huerta, shares, "If time were no object, I would read Shakespeare's Macbeth which was one of my daughter's favorite plays, and one she's memorized verbatim. In high school, I had an aversion to the classics and wasted years before returning to them. So much to read. So little time. But, I also have the ten-volume set of Edgar Allen Poe, a gift I received from a dear friend on the birth of my youngest son. The set, published in 1904 was given to my friend by his mother when he was child. Although each page is still separated by tissue paper, I'd like to honor him by saying that I read each fragile page."


Kristina Riggle, Fiction Co-Editor, says, "I just perused my bookshelf and I believe my oldest unread book -- and there are many to choose from -- is The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. I don't know why I haven't read it yet, but now perhaps is the time to crack it open. I know I picked it up somewhere shortly after reading The Pilot's Wife, which blew me away, both as a reader, and a writer in awe of Shreve's storytelling gifts."


Ezine Co-Editor Jessica DeVoe Riley, says, "Uh, that would be long Russian classics. Take your pick: Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, or The Brothers Karamazov. These four books sit on my bookshelf, taunting me. To make matters worse, my husband adores these books and references Crime and Punishment so often that I almost feel like I have read it. One of these days..."


Suzanne Kamata, Fiction Co-Editor, shares Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. "A friend who is a die-hard Jane Austen fan gave me a set of her novels for my birthday a couple of years ago. I have yet to read an Austen novel, but I'm quite sure I would enjoy Pride and Prejudice, among her many others. I sense that there is a gap in my reading. Austen's books seem the type that one would want to read in a cozy armchair with a cup of tea, not while waiting in the parking lot while picking up my kids from school. I hope to delve into these novels soon."


And finally, Literary Reflections Assistant Editor, Christina Marie Speed says, "When my grandmother passed away this past January, she left me a well-loved two-volume set of The Complete Works of O. Henry, published by Doubleday in 1953. I started reading Volume One at a cafe shortly after receiving them, but have since not resumed. His stories are rich with character, nuance and a style not seen before or since. If given the gift of time, I would not only read it in its entirety, but I would seek out someone with whom to share the literary experience that is O. Henry."


Christina Marie Speed writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, including Caper Journal, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune Online, and The View From Here. She lives with her husband and two sons in a sunny fourth-floor walkup in Brooklyn, New York.


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