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Rachel’s Reads – March 2019

Book lovers know the power of a great book. They know that inside those magical pages lies a story that can change lives. As Charles W. Eliot said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” Books allow readers to paint pictures and create their own visions of the world. They are like talking to an old friend and yet can be the sole means of understanding another person’s voice or soul.Books are a mirror that reflects the person reading them.

Sometimes the best book is one that shows the power of reading along with other books. There are books that show a character collecting books, being changed by books, or escaping the world due to books. There are collections of essays on writing, literary criticism, and reviews, and then there are those that tell the stories of books, authors, and publishers. My bookish heart is never happier than when I am reading a book about books, because it helps me better appreciate what I read and why I read it.

A few of my favorites:

  • Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal
  • Where I’m Reading From: The Changing World of Books by Tim Parks
  • Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Ann Fadiman
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett

As for me, I am currently enjoying The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett, Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Enchantée by Gita Trelease.

Happy Reading!


Rachel became the publisher of The Independent in March of 2017 and then married her husband Jake in May. Their goldendoodle Einstein joined the family in 2019. Rachel is an avid reader and loves to share book recommendations. (Don’t miss her column, Rachel’s Reads in the Magazine!) She can always be found with a book nearby, especially while traveling (another of her favorite things).

Bailey Pianalto Photography



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