As I write this, the Direct TV satellite radio is on the 1960s channel playing a Beach Boys tune, the sun has decided to shine upon the flowers on my deck after they have enjoyed a gentle rain, fried chicken is "oven frying", and the sound of my neighbor's lawnmower is heard in the distance... already the sounds and smells of summer even if we are in the last week of a May which has been quite cool (warming up fast, I may add).
If I didn't feel the affects of age, I'd be ready to grab the Coppertone, spray on some Heaven Scent or Wind Song, pick up the latest copy of Seventeen Magazine, put the top down on the Mustang, turn the radio to WLS Chicago... and head out to pick up my girlfriends. All of which did happen in my youth. :)
Instead I put the dishes to soaking, took an Advil for my hurting shoulder, placed the reading glasses on the end of my nose... and typed away on the laptop. The only computers I knew of in my high school years took up entire rooms which were temperature controlled. Technology isn't all bad. :)
So... what is my "summer of all things lovely" reading list for this summer? I've decided most will be books I already own with the few exceptions of books to review and rare library finds. Rare because I tend to stay out of the temptation of the library this summer... except for the DVD section of the library near campus which has the best selection of British comedies. Laughter is good for the soul, too.
I do enjoy library books, especially when I can check them out to decide if I want to purchase or just keep borrowing a book. For instance, after reading through Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen a couple of times, I knew I wanted to buy it with amazon credit right away. However, as much as I enjoyed The Gentle Art of Domesticity, I'll wait for it to come down in price and hopefully be able to buy it used. Such options can only be made by viewing them first. Libraries are a good thing. Just not what I need this summer.
(To answer the comment, I am very fortunately to have not only a huge county library but also a library near the University. I have library cards for both. Each library has amazing book sales, where I have purchased most of my books. Our Goodwill and the Mission Thrift Store also has good books... cheap. I am a very blessed frugal Bibliophile.)
I've decided I'm going back and reacquainting myself with old friends... titles and authors. Those that calm my soul, lift my spirits, and remind me of the lovely in life. So for June, I have taken off my shelf...
Three books by one of my favorite authors, W. Phillip Keller. Strength of Soul: The Sacred Use of Time and Taming Tension are two re-reads, actually books I've read over and over and over. Love those two books. I've also decided to read his A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 during this time as I've been spending a great deal of time reading that Psalm recently. Keller was a wonderful writer, naturalist, and poet... he had the gift to be able to see God in the world around him and share what he experienced with his readers.
I have John Eldredge and the late Brent Curtis' book called The Sacred Romance on the stack of re-reads next. The was one of my life changing books, one that I nodded and smiled as I read it the first time... they knew how I felt, they had experienced the same emotions as I have when I felt the Presence of God in my life.
They, too, knew what it was like to begin to stray off course and have the Hound of Heaven reach out and retrieve the one He loved. It is time for a re-read. (Eldredge is one of those writers people seem to love or um... not love. Obviously I enjoy his writing very much.)
I started Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers about a year ago and then passed it to my husband who needed something to read at the time. I never got back to it, although I've planned to from time to time. I immediately took it off the shelf for my "all things lovely" reading.
I also plan to re-read First We Have Coffee by Margaret Jensen. Stephanie mentioned it in the comments of the "I Heart Hobbit Houses" book list. Another lovely book to bring a smile.
I will continue reading Stand by John Piper and Justin Taylor as my "quiet time book". Since each chapter is self contained, I can easily read and re-read them as desired. Christopher may get it back someday. He's busy with a Calculus summer class soon, anyway.
As there is plenty of housework, lawn work, and gardening to do in June... this will probably be enough books.
July will bring more opportunities to read... I'm thinking E. M. Stevenson books (I have two sent to me by lovely blog friends and one I bought cheap through Amazon) and a couple Elizabeth Goudge possibilities, and maybe a Gladys Taber... although I do love her most in the Autumn. We'll see as the summer progresses. :)
Picture: Daniel Barger; allposters.com