Maybe you have a cold, or maybe it’s rainy out, or maybe you are procrastinating from doing something “important.” You could probably come up with a better excuse, but the truth is, when it comes to reading you shouldn’t need one. We should all be able to curl up with a good book whenever we choose to without having to explain ourselves. And today, if you need a good companion for this purpose, I highly recommend MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND, Helen Simonson’s witty, charming novel about a widower (the aforementioned Major) and a widow (Mrs. Ali) who navigate the social slights and rigidity of a small English village in ways that—as my high school Latin teacher used to say—will warm the cockles of your heart.
This book came out in 2010 and was a New York Times bestseller, so I recognize I am late to the party, but it doesn’t matter. And in fact it might be a good thing, because I hear Ms. Simonson has a new book out. Which is very convenient.