A slow living rhythm and a book list....
|My latest book stack...|
I hope you and your loved ones are well. As the weeks pass we have settled into a slow living rhythm. So slow at times that I feel the need to pinch myself to make sure I am still here. Have March and April really slipped by just like that? I am heartened to see hues of green and spring flowers in the horizon. Spring never felt so good! 😊
In an effort to help where I can while our local businesses are closed to customers due to COVID-19 restrictions, I eagerly ordered a number of books from our local bookstore. Many of the books came highly recommended by friends and members of my blogging community via The Brown Paper Book Club.
As I read, I find each book taking me back to somewhere I have been before, my childhood, travels and often times to a bookshop I frequented regularly, in another place and time. What I remember fondly is the book chats the shop owner and I would have about books. She would start by saying "If you enjoyed this book, you will enjoy this one, and this one" and so my reading days went, so many books, so many wonderful experiences. As I finished each of the following books, I thought about the bookshop owner from years ago, wanting to say..."yes please, more like this one".
Do you have a special bookshop in your life? I have linked each book to Indie Bound, a site for independent local bookstores. I am a big supporter of shopping local whenever possible.
Here are a few books I recently read or am about to start....
ME: All I can say is wow and thank you to my friend Katrina for recommending this book. I swept through it in two days...literally, as it takes place on familiar ground in Cape Cod. My daughter read it last weekend and gave it a thumbs up as well. The very last line of the book was my favorite. You will have to read it to find out what it is. ;)
SYNOPSIS: On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me....
Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It's a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us.
ME: My neighbor, Linda, urged me to read this book, she thinks I will love it and knowing Linda, I am sure I will. It is next on my list.
SYNOPSIS: As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific as sacred as it is historical as clever as it is wise" (Elizabeth Gilbert) .....
ME: Living in self-isolation, writing by my window everyday, looking out at my spring garden, the passing creatures, large and small...puts me in tune with nature in ways I had never imagined before. It seems the perfect time to consider this book which I happened upon in my blogging travels.
SYNOPSIS: The Lady Farmer Guide to Slow Living includes stories, tips, recipes resources, ideas, and questions to get you thinking about your on relationship to the planet, what you eat, what you wear, where you live, and how you live. It even contains three weeks of daily thought exercise to lead you into the process.....
ME: Another recommendation by my friend Katrina. This book took me a few pages to well and truly get into it. The pace is different from other books, but once you are in you are in. I was sorry to see it end and look forward to reading the author's next book, Weather.
SYNOPSIS: In the beginning, it was easy to imagine their future. They were young and giddy, sure of themselves and of their love for each other. “Dept. of Speculation” was their code name for all the thrilling uncertainties that lay ahead. Then they got married, had a child and navigated the familiar calamities of family life—a colicky baby, a faltering relationship, stalled ambitions...
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
ME: I want to thank a prolific reader, Maria, in our Brown Paper Book Club for recommending The Salt Path. I wasn't sure if this was the time in my life for a book like this but within the first chapter I quickly found myself cheering Raynor and Moth on in their life changing quest. A true story, they face the insurmountable....and I will stop there... because it you haven't read this book, I would like you to consider it..
SYNOPSIS: Just days after Raynor Winn learns that Moth, her husband of thirty-two years, is terminally ill, their house and farm are taken away, along with their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, through Devon and Cornwall.
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?
The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd
ME: I have a talented English gardener @rotherramblings to thank for recommending this wonderful book written by Scottish writer, poet and hill-walker, Nan Shepherd. The Living Mountain, a memoir, was written during the Second World War and remained untouched for more than thirty years until it was published in 1977. I listened to the book on Audible, read by Tilda Swinton...it was one of my all time favorite books in 2019. I do love nature writing...
SYNOPSIS: In this masterpiece of nature writing, Nan Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingly harsh at others. Her intense, poetic prose explores and records the rocks, rivers, creatures and hidden aspects of this remarkable landscape.
ME: Today I am in Tehran, in 1953, deeply immersed in The Stationary Shop written by Marjan Kamali. This book is another recommendation from The Brown Paper Book Club...and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
SYNOPSIS: Roya, a dreamy, idealistic teenager living amid the political upheaval of 1953 Tehran, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood stationery shop, stocked with books and pens and bottles of jewel-colored ink.
Then Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—and she loses her heart at once. Their romance blossoms, and the little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.
The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister
ME: A few years ago I read Erica Bauermeister's book The School of Essential Ingredients and enjoyed it. When I spotted a new book by her, I added it to my Audible library and have marveled in the character's journey and her memory of scent.
SYNOPSIS: Emmeline lives on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in glass bottles that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world--a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.
The next book list....and "Tani"
I am curiously cultivating the next book list for our local bookshop. Any thoughts as to what I should consider? I want to get the list in soon because before we know it, this little fella will be at our doorstep. If you follow me on Instagram you will have noticed me "gushing" over the arrival of "Tani". You can read the story of his name here.
"Tani" hails from Montana, along the Canadian border. What were we thinking when we decided on a puppy in Montana during a pandemic? Who knows but we are rolling with it, literally! Sweet little thing, it will be good to have a dog roaming our fields again!
Wishing you a healthy and safe...slow living rhythm
and for those of you celebrating Mother's Day this weekend,
a very Happy Mother's Day to you!
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