“A book that did not stay on my bedside table very long, because I read it so fast is ‘The Ride of Her Life’ by Elizabeth Letts. In 1954, Annie Wilkins, age 63, from Minot, Maine, took off on horseback with her dog in tow on a journey across the country to California. You couldn’t make it up!

“What I loved about this book was learning about Annie’s grit and the collective spirit of this unlikely trio. A close second was reading about America in a climate of trust and support. Imagine knocking on a stranger’s door and finding not only a bed and a meal but a stable for your horse! Imagine navigating with a paper map or staying in a jail cell (with the door open) when the weather got too tough to search for a friendly host.

“As I read parts of this remarkable story out loud to my husband, he finally asked me to stop, because he wanted to read the book himself. That’s proof that this is a story that appeals to a wide audience. I bought it for the horse on the cover, but learned about so much more. My husband read it for the history of our country in the ’50s but became a horse lover!” — DEBBY MURRAY, Portland

Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it. As spring comes, as beach season nears, we want to hear what you are reading and why. Send your selection to pgrodinsky@pressherald.com, and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.

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