Kristi gifted me with Listening Valley last year and I (no surprise) loved it. For my favorite books by Stevenson either take place in Scotland or the characters end up in Scotland.
After finishing that book, I looked to see if there were any sequels and I found, while not really a"prequel", Celia's House takes place in the same small Scottish town, ending just prior to when the main character of Listening Valley moves to the town.
A couple months ago, I used Amazon credit (thank you!) to purchase Celia's House. While I adore old and well worn books, it is quite wonderful that so many of these old favorites are now available in paperback (and some on Kindle) at a reasonable price.
I had to set it aside to finish a couple of review books but when I was finally able to read it, it had the same affect that many of Stevenson's books do... I felt I was in England and Scotland!
Celia's House is about a family who are surprised to inherit the family home from the husband's Great Aunt Celia. We learn some of Celia's past and we go through the years with Celia's nephew and his family as they love the grand old home.
As with other Stevenson books, the house and the land and the neighbors become central characters in the book. Which is why one feels they could smell the aroma of the Scottish sod.
Although it had only been last year that I read Listening Valley, I read it again immediately after finishing Celia's House. For that is where it belongs in its' proper reading. (Although I didn't know Celia's House existed before my research.)
While each book can be enjoyed on their own, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Listening Valley even more the second time around because I now knew the history of the people and the town. As with other Stevenson novels, I also noticed a name or two associated with the delightful series that begins with Vittoria Cottage.
I wrote recently about my need to "run to the lovely" and these are the kinds of books that help keep joy alive. I love books about Great Britain in WWII and the Scottish Highlands and how we all need each other in times of trouble. They will definitely be read again.
I also read a nonfiction book last week that I greatly enjoyed.
I will admit to following Amazon recommendations. You know, those "People Who Bought this Book Also Bought" rabbit trails. That's how I find great books that were not on my radar.
The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg came along just at the time I needed to read about Beauty and warm and fuzzy things. The subtitle is "Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge".
Pia now lives in Canada but was born in Denmark. This book is not very big but it is exactly what I needed. In reading about how the Danish cherish and live with the warm, cozy, lovely concepts of adding Beauty to their every day lives.
I purchased this as a Kindle download (it is still very inexpensive) and when I finished it, my Kindle loaned my daughter's Kindle the book immediately. I plan to purchase the paperback version when I have a little extra Amazon credit.
Pia explains in the book how the long, dark winters in Denmark brought about the simplicity of lighting candles, enjoying hot coffee or tea when arriving home in the cold, adding beauty to their homes to bring warmth and light in their stark environment.
While there are times I feel winter will never end in my part of the world (it has been a very cool spring), we don't live in an area where it is dark for months upon months at a time. However, we can learn a lot from the Danish people and their love of Hygge.
Reading this book while listening to a cold rain outside my window was in itself, practicing Hygge. Loved it.
Listening Valley can be found... here.
Celia's House can be found... here.
The Cozy Life can be found... here.
I mentioned D. E. Stevenson's wonderful Drumberely series which begins with Vittoria Cottage. I know I've given links to the three books before but I'll add them here, too.
The hardback is pricey but the Kindle Version for each of the three books in the series is only $3.99 each. They make perfect summer reading!
Music in the Hills (Book 2)... here.
Shoulder the Sky (Book 3)... here.
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