I just love old books. I love the weight of them, the feel of the paper, that slightly musty smell. One of my favorite bookstores in San Diego is D.G. Willis in La Jolla. Every time I come here, I find an out-of-print title I've been looking for, or a new author to love, or a first-edition in great condition. A couple of years ago, I found a first edition of a book by Harriet Beecher Stowe, complete with inscription and date. So that's how I came to read this book in the first place.
Poganuc People by Harriet Beecher Stowe
In her loosely based autobiographical work, Harriet Beecher Stowe depicts the life and times of a small Puritan town Poganuc, based on her childhood in Litchfield, Connecticut. It features colorful characters like Miss Dolly and Colonel Davenport, local politics, small town religiosity, and anecdotal recipes for life.
My take: I should preface this by saying that I don't have the most conventional taste in books. In grad school, I did my thesis on New England regionalist literature of the 19th century. I've been told that "normal" people find this very boring, but I love it. Poganuc People is one example of this type of literature, so it's right up my alley. Literary value aside, it's a really sweet book. The characters are so loveable, and although it was written 100+ years ago, I think a lot of people would enjoy it today.
My recommendation: If you have any inclination toward historical fiction, it is a must-read. If you only like to read contemporary literature, you probably wouldn't like this book very much. This book is out of print now, but I know you can read it online or download it for your Nook/Kindle/iPad/other device.
And as a side note, if you haven't read Uncle Tom's Cabin, (Harriet Beecher Stowe's most famous work) it is a really really really good book too.