When I was very pregnant with my first child I spent most of the daylight hours over about 3 days sitting on our front verandah in the sunshine reading this book:
This is a mystery wrapped in a childhood memoir and has been criticised for its uncertain ending. I love Ms Tartt with a passion. I love the fact she takes 8 years or more to write books, her chain smoking, her clipped enigmatic interviews, her hermitlike characteristics. Please write another book Donna.
Of course porches are a great place to sit and read Southern Gothic books. Some books are meant to be read outside. Especially dark and twisted stories. To me, an Edgar Allan Poe book is not for curling up with in a darkened bedroom.
Tennessee Williams described Southern Gothic as 'an intuition, of an underlying dreadfulness in modern experience'.
So how about this shingled porch:
for a bit of Tennessee Williams preferably The Glass Menagerie, featuring the slightly annoying and out of touch with reality Amanda:
And this verandah suggests mint juleps, lush gardens and a bit of heartbreak, so I would recommend:
Gone with the Wind, not Gothic at all, but Southern and hot and feisty and a really great read no matter how unfashionable Margaret Mitchell may be:
Back to porches and verandahs. I need seating, cushions, a mirror to reflect the garden back, a little side table or two. Very simple. Like this:
Or this, but with no cane furniture. Even though I love cane, someone else here does not.
Maybe a painted bench:
Or this, what a clean and crisp, wonderful spot:
Late last year I read what is possibly the scariest book ever. I read it in about 6 hours, and kept thinking and thinking about it. Of course now it has been made into a film so it is widely known.
This is not a book to read late into the night. It is a book to read with the sun shining down on you, perhaps a little breeze through the bougainvillea, to remind you that the world is not as horrifying as Cormac McCarthy makes it seem.
So for The Road, I would suggest:
This lovely trellissed porch:
Or something with a stiff drink on hand:
And to finish, something slightly run down and peeling, for another frightening book (so much so I couldn't finish it), written I am sorry to say by a man I would not like to have dinner with:
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.
(Images: (2) Apartment Therapy (4) Country Living (6) Skona Hem (7) Coastal Living (8) Ideal Home (9) My Sweet Savannah (11) not sure sorry! (12) Country Living (13) Traditional Home)