Anna Campbell

February 2020

The Best of My Favorite Things Part 2 – Fabulous Books!

More best of the MFT columns over the last 13.5 years. This time it’s the turn of some of my favorite reading. I recommend a lot of books here – just check the list at the bottom of the main My Favorite Things page if you’re looking for some great reading!

As with the previous column, I’m going to give a short introduction to each piece and then show you the first few lines, hopefully enough to tempt you to want to read the whole article.

I’m going to start today with my favorite comfort reading, the gorgeous A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson. This piece originally appeared way back in May 2008, but I still stand by every word:

Do you have comfort reads? You know, those books that warm your soul the way a good fire on a winter day warms your cold feet? The sort of book you turn to when life just gets a bit much to handle and you need somewhere to escape to? I have quite a few comfort reads and I’ll probably end up talking about most of them here before I finish because they’re definitely among my favorite things. But the one I turn to first is an old (1981) historical romance called A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson. Read more…

My next reading recommendation describes my craze for Agatha Christie. This took over my reading habits in 2016 and 2017. Here are my thoughts on some of my favorites of the great Dame’s mysteries. This piece first appeared in February 2017:

I’m sure it will surprise a lot of you to know that a girl who’s always been book mad had never, until about six months ago, picked up any books by Agatha Christie. I’ve read a lot of Golden Age crime fiction – my favorite is Dorothy L. Sayers, but I love Margery Allingham and Josephine Tey too. Even more puzzling, I’ve long loved the TV adaptations, particularly the ones featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. Over the last six months, that’s well and truly changed. Read more…

My final reading recommendation – and recommendation for checking out of MFT posts! – is an in memoriam post for the marvelous Elizabeth Peters who wrote the rambunctious Amelia Peabody mysteries set in Egypt between the 1880s and the 1920s. If you haven’t read these, you’re missing out on a real treat! This post first appeared in April 2014:

I was deeply saddened last August to read of the death of the wonderful, versatile author who wrote as Barbara Mertz, Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters. I thought as a tribute, I’d talk this month about one of my favorite series of all time, the Amelia Peabody mysteries which MPM wrote in her Elizabeth Peters incarnation. I’ve always had a very soft spot for books set in 19th century Egypt. Two of my all-time favorite romances are As You Desire by Connie Brockway and Mr Impossible by Loretta Chase. Read more…