Friday, January 30, 2015

Books, Books, and More Books

Did I mention that I've been ordering books? I do that in the wintertime. Reading is a great winter activity when the cold winds blow and the couch beckons. Light a fire, sip a cup of tea, and sink pleasantly into a book. A while back I ordered these two:
a semi-autobiographical book
Would you escape cold London, to warm Italy and wisteria?
I've loved the movie Enchanted April for years, but was unaware of the book. Elizabeth von Arnim is an interesting lady of the late-Victorian era, married twice rather unhappily, who wrote quite a few books. The Enchanted April is apparently her most light-hearted, but I found Elizabeth and Her German Garden (her first book) quite fun and delightful. I love her humor. Just as in regular human interactions, so it is between reader and writer:  if there is sympathetic humor, two hearts that giggle together, nearly anything is possible.
I could share passages with you to prove my point, but that's so exhausting. Suffice it to say that I giggled in bed quite often while reading, and Adam even noticed. I don't mind pages of paragraphs of description (or in her case) fleshing out of characters and their thoughts. She was a people-watcher, I'd say.
The advantage of a book over its movie version is that a movie is over in 90 - 120 minutes. Poof! Gone. But a book is luxurious; it lasts for days or even weeks ... if you dole it out to yourself each day. That takes self-control! I can't wait until my 50-something brain has forgotten both books sufficiently for me to reread them with new enjoyment :)
So, I closed Elizabeth for now and turned back to George MacDonald, who is good but not quite as engrossing.
Then in the mail today came these:
 I found Susan Branch's first three books, used at, and snatched them up.
Heart of the Home is now out of print, I think (it says so on her website, anyway), so I was thrilled to find it. Each of these lovely, like-new-inside hardbacks cost me only about $3.50 with free shipping! I love Abebooks. The Von Arnim books also came from there, also for cheap. Yay!
Susan Branch's books are not engrossing fiction, but they're fun, homey, warm, up-lifting. They're cookbooks and more, with snatchets of story and sweet quotes from all over the world of literature. These books warm the cold cockles of the heart when winter hangs on with its icy claws and one thinks longingly of soups and hot beverages and deep pots of stew.
What are you reading these days?


  1. I just discovered that a few of von Arnim's books are free for Kindle and downloaded them just last night. Enchanted April is not one of them, but German Garden is....

  2. I'm slowly making my way through Laura Bush's autobiography. She has some wonderful descriptions of life in West Texas and her family which I have enjoyed. I am also reading A Loving Life by Paul Miller and it is excellent so far.

  3. Oh, you ladies, tempting me with more books! :) I just started "Second Innocence", and I'm just really getting into it. My son sent me "Jesus Wants to Save Christians" by Rob Bell. I hear he's a controversial chap, but halfway through the book I don't see anything too controversial. I'm just reading it because my son gave it to me. Probably wouldn't have otherwise. I started The Inklings a while back and haven't gotten very far. I need to concentrate on one book at a time and finish it before reading something else! I'll check out these von Arnim books. :)


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