Monday, October 15, 2012


(Image courtesy of Harper Collins)
   Today is the 60th anniversary of the publishing of Charlotte's Web, an iconic book of American literature inspired by a real spider in E. B. White's barn.

   I wasn't what you would call a book nerd as a kid, but I had a few active reading spurts growing up. One of the earliest and most influential books I can remember from my childhood has to be Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. I often imagined that was me on the cover, it does sorta look like me, and I wished my name was Fern. I have no doubt this book helped shape the person I was to become, fostering a connection to the natural world that still burns inside of me today. In case you've never read it, I won't spoil it and tell you what it's about (animals, nature, life, friendship...), just ignore the fact it's considered a children's book and give it a read. Even if you read it as a child, how about a re-read, just for old times sake. I bet you'll be surprised how much you enjoy it. I get choked up just reading the Wiki description of the plot, and plan on re-reading the book myself, followed by a book called The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature by Michael Sims. Perhaps Charlotte is the reason I still have an affection and respect for spiders, especially writing spiders (Argiopes).

   For all of you Charlotte's Web fans (and future fans), click here for a wonderful interview with the author Michael Sims about his book The Story of Charlotte's Web on NPR that aired last year, and click here for an audio review of his book, also from NPR.


  1. Urging folks to read Charlotte's Web and your "Quote of the moment" is from the film The Big Lebowski!?! Sounds like your interests cover the possibilities pretty thoroughly

  2. Hey, what can I say, I guess I'm a Renaissance Woman.

  3. Oooooo! One of my favorite books evah! (I just had to use my Maine accent there and drop the 'r'.) :) And i WAS a book nerd when i was a kid. I grew up in Maine, and spent lots of time at my grandparents' 500 acre farm, where there was an abundance of barn spiders. I sort of thought of myself as Fern. Thanks so much for this post. I'm going to march into Powell's Books tomorrow and get a copy. And this errand will go to the top of my to-do list. I'd no idea this is the 60th anniversary of the book. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I loved reading Charlotte's Web to my kids. EB White's wife Katherine did some wonderful garden writing.

  5. I haven't read that book. I don't know if it has been tranlated to Finnish. I doubt it..

  6. I have never read the book, probably because my sister did. That meant it had to be a girls book. "I aint gonna read no sissy book!" I just listened to the NPR review and now think I will have to read it ASAP. Thanks for the tip Julie!