Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Books, baking, and beautiful things

What a difference one cold front makes in my well being! It is still warm outside but the humidity has Gone With the Front, hehehe. Okay, enough humor (or attempt at humor) today.

Anyway, while it was still quite hot and humid yesterday, my friends Sheila and Suzie decided to bicycle out to the country for a visit. These two are my "usual suspects--former neighbors" with whom I have written about meeting at different ethnic restaurants near campus. It amazes me how healthy people can handle the heat, although they were ready for air conditioning and cold water when they arrived.

We admired how beautiful the flowers on the deck and in front of the house are looking these days. I may not appreciate heat and humidity but Nature does...the drive into town is beautiful. It is this memory I hold onto in the midst of a blizzard in January. :)

Sometimes... what I usually find beautiful... is not under certain circumstances. I was doing dishes yesterday and noticed how pretty a sunbeam looked on the fresh peaches sitting in my deep blue graniteware colander. Normally I would stop and admire the still life, instead I moved the peaches out of the light so they would not over ripen before they could be transformed into peach cobbler today. Art appreciation goes only so far in this humidity. :)

I had an e-mail from the library yesterday morning that a long awaited hold was finally available. It was Barbara Kingsolver's book called Animal Vegetable, Miracle; A Year of Food Life. I was so anxious to make certain I didn't lose the hold, I made a trip to that library before picking my son up at work (I hold library cards to two different libraries). I'm hoping to start reading it by the weekend.

Right now I am re-reading A Wrinkle in Time again...absolutely delicious, the words are as much poetry as prose. I remember when I first read this a few years ago, asking my daughter why she didn't make me read it sooner! It causes me to feel as if I'm ten years old again and reading on the blanket underneath a tree in the backyard. I took it with me to the doctor's office this morning, to read in the waiting room during the hour my husband was with his doctor. After about ten minutes, I set it aside and pulled an old Martha Stewart Living Magazine off the rack instead. This book is the kind that must be enjoyed while comfortable, preferably with a cold drink and a snack nearby.

It appears I have "too much of a good thing" right now, having also found real treasures at the library sale over the weekend. Here is a list of books purchased (mostly for $1.00 each):

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
(loved the movie, viewed it many times)
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
(sequel to the above, I'd heard about it but this was the first time I've seen a copy at a sale)
Francesca's Kitchen by Peter Pezzelli
(I haven't read any of his novels but this one looked good)
Christy by Catherine Marshall (hardback, purchased for a friend)

Amazing Faith, the Authorized Biography of Bill Bright by Michael Richardson
Falling in Love with Jesus; Abandoning Yourself to the Greatest Romance of Your Life
by Dee Brestin & Kathy Troccoli
Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home
formerly titled The Spirit of Loveliness) by Emilie Barnes

Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden by Emily Whaley
(a hardback copy so I can send my paperback to a friend's mom)
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken (originally read long ago)
A Woman's Call to Prayer by Elisabeth George
Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer
(original hardback extra to keep on hand)


ta dah!!!

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver (Yes!!!)

Not to mention a bunch of Victoria magazines found for twenty-five cents.

I remember seeing an interview with two real book collectors (as in old, first edition, expensive books) on Book TV a few years ago. They were asked what the silliest question is that people ask them when viewing all of their bookshelves. They both agreed it was the question..."Have you read all of these?"

I understand completely.


MandyMom said...

I LOVED A Severe Mercy. I came out of an odd "Christian" group and in this book, the author talks about that whisper in your head "Is this it?"... and that's exactly the experience I had before God really touched my life.

Mrs. G said...

I need to go to your library! what a book sale :)

and I just picked up Kingsolver's latest on a whim while picking up another book from the library...

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,
I love the book being a Mary in a martha World. I am doing her other study right now. Having a Mary Spirit.Give the kitties a kiss.

Anonymous said...

< We admired how beautiful the flowers on the deck and in front of the house are looking these days. >

Okay girl, we are overdue for some pictures here. I didn't say anything when you posted about your newly arranged kitchen or recent finds, but this is too much. I simply *must* request some pictures. :)
I promise to try very hard to NOT covet your Victorias if you'll just satisfy my longing for some recent pictures of your house and yard.
joanna :)

DebD said...

I have enjoyed many of the same books. You're making me itch for a long read with old book friends.

Connie said...

Brenda, Reading this post made me want to run to the nearest bookshop and find some of these books! I LOVE 84 Charing Cross Road and hope to find the book and the sequel. And I'm a Christy fan big time. Thank you for sharing all these titles, I sometimes need some recommendations as the best sellers don't always fit into my personal likes.

Isabella in the 21st Century said...

Hi Brenda!
Thank you for visiting my blog. It seems we have a lot in common. There is nothing nicer than finding a pile of good books going cheap. I visit town every Friday and it is such a thrill to find second hand literary treasure! Also, if your taste is for womanly, domestic novels of the early part of the 20th Century visit Persephone Books, the link is on my sidebar. They're a treasure trove of great, unappreciated novels with beautiful vintage endpapers...not cheap though!

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Oh, Brenda! Reading your post just now was like a wonderful shot in the arm. It hurt, but it was for my own good!!! I've not read the way I love to do, or even the way I normall do, for weeks. I've missed it so. It's just been a season, I guess, where other things have taken precedence. Reading your list of wonderful books found at the library sale, and seeing a few old friends there as well as some titles I've not heard before, have really motivated and inspired me to get through my stack of books currently in my basket so that I can move on to something new and different! Thank you, my friend!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

As I commented on another blog, I'm considering given up cooking and housework to read a lot! :)

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I am SO jealous! What fantastic finds!

Would you mind emailing me? A little bird told me something fun, and I want to pass it on, but privately. For some reason, I can't get my computer screen to show me your whole email address.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Never mind- I got it! emailing you right now.=)

Lallee said...

I'm glad you have a break in the humidity. It came here instead ;-) There was so much moisture on the outside of the windows this morning I couldn't see out. But that's Florida summer for you.

I love 84 Charring Cross Road. I'll be eager to see what you think. I hunted down the movie made from the book on video and bought it a few years ago. I love reading letters period.