Stretching out on the sofa each evening with a great book and a cat at my feet has been my reward for work well done in the house, lawn, and garden. Just as Earl Grey Green tea and a throw felt great in January, stretching out with a cup of tea at my side and a window open was quite cozy in our unusually cool May. (By the weekend the humidity made it necessary to close windows and turn on the air conditioner for the allergy sufferers.)
I've been asked what I thought about Jane Brocket's book The Gentle Art of Domesticity since I mentioned bringing it home from the library. Oh, my... I definitely have found a kindred spirit and I have "read to know I am not alone".
While in many ways we would be different, Jane's way of looking at life is so similar that I have read and read and read... and smiled, laughed, took notes, and generally had a grand time with this book. She has a wonderful way of writing and communicating her journey in the love of "domesticity".
The style of the book caused great controversy on her Amazon page... it seemed one either loved it or hated it. If you're expecting recipes, there are few (and I understand they had to be corrected as the original conversions from metric by the publisher were incorrect). It is definitely not a how-to book.
However, if you enjoy reading the thoughts and experiences of one who has come to see the various aspects of homemaking as an art form... you have met a kindred spirit. She's famous for her pictures on her blog Yarnstorm and her beautiful photography is well utilized in this book.
I loved this book so much, I added it to my Amazon Favorites. It is one that if I actually owned it (as opposed to the library copy it is), it would eventually become stained with chocolate and coffee and tea as it is reread through the years. You should see my copy of The Hidden Art of Homemaking (hardback from the original year it was published... not only food stains but water marks from reading it in way too many bubble baths over the years).
A few other books I read this past week...
Laura Childs' new Tea Shop Mystery called Oolong Dead was delicious. I found it to be the best in the series she's written in awhile. I enjoy every one of her Tea Shop Mystery books but I thought this one had a particularly good plot. I haven't read any of her new Cackleberry Club series but I'll be on the lookout, especially since they have been recommended by a few readers.
I've been skimming the two Gooseberry Patch cookbooks from the library. I am not a warm weather cook but I did remember both of these cookbooks having good recipes for summer cooking... there are now little red flags peeping up from a few pages... waiting to be written down in my spiral bound notebook where I copy such recipes.
Except for Joel Rosenberg's latest book, Inside the Revolution, all my other reading is going along with my "summer of thinking all things lovely". Joel's book was available at the library so I did bring it home while I had the opportunity. I've only read the first couple of chapters but I've already renewed it to read the remainder of this week. It is a fascinating look at the political and religious situation in the Middle East from someone who has lived and worked there.
It is his first nonfiction book I've read (as many of you know, his political thriller series of novels are among my favorites) but it is so well written, it is easy to read and understand. I'm looking forward to finishing it before returning to my light and lovely reading... much needed for my soul this year.
Besides reading, I've been enjoying watching The Good Neighbors on DVD (the British comedy that first got me hooked on British comedy in the 1970's... a great series to watch when planting your garden). The Good's attempts to be self sufficient while living "in town" is just as timely and hilarious as it was back then. We didn't have time to watch all the episodes but we did watch a few of our favorites before returning the DVDs (overdue) to the library.
Speaking of British comedies, I've been watching episodes of Last of the Summer Wine... off and on when I can catch it on TV by staying up way past my usual bedtime. Who would have thought the antics of older British gents could be laugh out loud funny?
I must now return to the review book I had set aside to read these books, all of which jumped off the shelves and into my arms at the library. :)