Some of my favorite books are right here in Special Collections

Cross Creek
First page of Cross Creek

It is great to work in a place that contains editions of your favorite books.   I love Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings books and especially Cross Creek, which was published in 1942 and is an autobiographical account of her life in rural North Central Florida.

Cross Creek Cookery was published in 1942.  Rawlings was a wonderful cook, using fresh dairy products from her cow, Dora, vegetables from her garden, and citrus from her grove.  She was known for her dinner parties and entertained famous people at Cross Creek, including Robert Frost.  We have a signed copy of this book.

Rawlings also wrote The Yearling, which was published in 1938 and earned her the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939.  While shifting in the Florida collection,  I came across an Armed Services Edition in paperback published in 1938, which is printed in two columns on each page.  We also have a signed copy of The Yearling,  School Edition, published in 1941.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
From signed edition of The Yearling, School Edition

Another favorite book of mine is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee published in 1960.  We have a first edition advanced reader’s copy of this book with an interesting cover that we have used in our Banned Books exhibits.  This book has been banned due to its racial themes.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Cover of first edition, advanced reader's copy

For me, Cross Creek and To Kill a Mockingbird are books that gave me a feeling of a time and place and stayed with me long after I finished reading them.  I have read Cross Creek a few times and the others only once, but I feel certain that I will read them all again in the future.  If you enjoy cooking and reading books about old Florida and the South like I do,  I highly recommend these books.

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