Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday Afternoon Tea - A Little More Book Talk

After writing about bookish friends last week, I thought I'd share what I am reading now and some of my favorite books.  I get asked these questions a lot and I rarely am able to respond to individual questions.

I am always in the midst of multiple books because there are review books that must be read, books I want to reread, a Kindle book, and books on my "To Be Read" stack (which is ridiculously big and in more than one room), a couple devotional books, beautiful cookbooks to peruse, etc.

Right now I am reading The Life Giving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ by Clay & Sally Clarkson.  I will be writing an official review near the publish date, which I think is May 1st.  However, unofficially I will say it is quite wonderful.

My Kindle current read is Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practises in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren.  Warren is Anglican so her background is a little different than mine but so many people who know my taste in books told me I HAD to read this book.  I admit, three chapters in and I am smitten.

I want to reread some of my Edith Schaeffer books and I have had Anne Morrow Lindberg's five diaries waiting on my bookshelves to reread for ages.  They were collected over a few years from library book sales. I read them when I was very young and loved each one of them.  Her book, Gifts From the Sea resides on my desk.

Someday I want to renew my "Stalking Jonathan Edwards" reading, which I did a number of years ago.  That will require re-reading at least a couple of books, especially Marriage to a Difficult Man.  I want to read more of Edward's actual writings the next time.

I also plan to read more of Wendell Barry's Port William books.  I loved Hannah Coulter.  My mother's people are from near this part of Kentucky and as much as I enjoy Barry's writings, it also makes me feel I'm learning about a part of the land that resides in my DNA.  It is hard to believe that Hannah Coulter was written by a male, Barry's insight into the thoughts of an empty nest mom in the end of the book are remarkable.

Sitting on my desk to read very soon is another Berry... Mary Berry.  I adore her on The Great British Baking Show.  I want to be as elegant in the kitchen as she is!  Last year, I purchased a used copy of the the paperback version of her 2013 autobiography called Recipe For Life.  It arrived just after I had originally lost the vision in my right eye and I'd say it is far past time to read it.

To quickly answer some other questions... 

I have a few favorite series where I have read every book.  They are the Mitford series by Jan Karon, the Tea Room cozy mysteries by Laura Childs, James Harriot's All Creatures Great and Small series, and the original Nancy Drew mysteries.  Nancy Drew was my first book crush.

My favorite books?  If you ask me on any given day then the answer may be different.  I do have many favorites but a few titles are consistently near the top.

If I would choose books from how many times they have been reread, then L'Abri, Hidden Art, and What is a Family by Edith Schaeffer would be at the nonfiction top of the list. A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George has been read multiple times. I think I have read most of her books for women, some of them at least twice.  While not perfect (I find her suggestion to be constantly busy annoying), they are very good.

Books by Emilie Barnes and Anne Ortlund were also read numerous times.  They were the women who, along with Edith, shaped the way I saw being a wife, mother, homemaker, etc.

Emilie's book on getting organized called More Hours in My Day was especially good and her book If Teacups Could Talk was instrumental in many of us developing an obsession with teatime (and tea cups).  Anne's most famous book, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, is still in print.  I read just about everything both of these women wrote.

As for fiction, the first book I remember rereading many times was Christy by Catherine Marshall. I haven't read it in a long time since there are so many novels to be read but perhaps someday it will get dusted off again.

I only "discovered" Elizabeth Goudge and D. E. Stevenson since blogging (although my husband told me his mom loved Goudge novels) and I'd have to say those two authors have been read and reread the most since then.

Specific books speak to me at different times, for instance I love Pilgrim's Inn (such a lovely book!) and I do reread it but the third book in the trilogy called The Heart of the Family speaks to me deeply at this stage of life.  Which is probably why some readers do not like it, for it speaks more to those who have lived more years than are ahead of them.

Which is why rereading books is important, we don't look at a book the same as years go by and in well written books, there is a lot of gold to mine at various stages.

I especially like to reread favorite books when going through difficult times because they are like old friends that I have visited many times, I know what to expect and the comfort they will bring.

I hope that answers some questions and provides kind of a snapshot of where my reading is at the moment.

Some of the books mentioned in this post are:
The Life Giving Parent (available for preorder)... here.
Liturgy of the Ordinary... here.
Gifts From the Sea... here.
Marriage to a Difficult Man (third party)... here.
Hannah Coulter... here.
Recipe For Life... here.
At Home in Mitford... here.
First Three Tea Shop Mysteries in one volume... here.
All Creatures Great and Small... here.
Hidden Art of Homemaking... here.
What is a Family... here.
L'Abri... here.
A Woman After God's Own Heart... here.
More Hours in My Day... here.
If Teacups Could Talk... here.
Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman... here.
Christy... here.
The Bird in the Tree (Eliot #1)... here.
Pilgrim's Inn (Eliot #2)... here.
The Heart of the Family (Eliot #3)... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links

Image:  Interior with the Artist's Daughter by Duncan Grant


Terra said...

The books you describe here sound wonderful and I would like to read some of the titles.
I may buy the Emilie Barnes book on tea, she is so charming. I discovered D.E. Stevenson and Elizabeth Goudge from blogging, probably from you. Happy reading.

rebecca said...

Your list parallels my own quite closely.
I feel reinforced as I read of your favorites and those you've re-read....

Elizabeth said...

Oh, how I love bookish posts! I absolutely loved "Liturgy of the Ordinary"...I read it at the beginning of last year, and it has indeed found its way on my book list for 2018, too! I'm hoping to return to it was magnificent! I appreciate all the thoughts you shared, and I, too, share your sentiments on Elizabeth George. I just picked up Anne Ortlund's book you mentioned at the used book sale our library had, and I'm excited to read it! Elizabeth Goudge is an author that I so want to get into...I have "A City of Bells" and can't wait to dive in! Emilie Barnes is a favorite of mine, too, and I have a couple Edith Schaeffer books on my shelf just waiting to be read!

I so enjoyed this post...anytime you want to share another bookish post, I'll be there to read it!

Wishing you a beautiful week! Joyful blessings to you ♥

Anonymous said...

So many little time. Just not enough time to read all the wonderful books I would like to read. I have read and re-read my Grace Livingston Hill books so many times, the characters seem almost real to me. Love your post today and hearing about the books you have read or plan to read. Like you, we have bookshelves in almost every room in the house. Blessings , Sharon D.

Vee said...

I feel sorry for anyone who feels she must be busy all the time...crazy talk. How does one have time to ponder, observe, even “be” if busy all the time? Your advice to reread favorite books in challenging times for the comfort of them has been helpful to me over the years. Enjoy your reading. ☕️

Anonymous said...

I Just ordered the 50th anniversary edition of Christy, by Catherine Marshall the day before I read your post! I started watching the DVD series with Kellie Martin, recently, and hunted down my original paperback copy of the book, only to discover the pages are yellowed and the print is quite small! It is quite ancient, I suppose! (Almost 50 years old!) I like your statement about how we view favorite books differently as time goes by. I know I probably wouldn’t have liked a lot my favorites books that I treasure now, when I was younger! Oh, how my perspective has changed now that I’m a grandmother! 😊
Thanks again for sharing!
Hugs and Blessings,
Laura C.(WA)

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

We have so much of the same taste in books, that I’ve taken your suggestions about Goudge and Stevenson and enjoy them very much! I will look for Liturgy of the Ordinary, an dMary Berry’s book. She’s delightful!

I love Mitford, the Tea Shop Mysteries, Sally Clarkson...

Susan Humeston said...

One of my favorite books of all time is "Christy". I did research on Catherine Marshall's mom and found out she had listened to a talk by Dr. Edward O. Guerrant at her church about Appalachian missions and decided to go. I've been to the actual site of the mission, which, at the time, was owned by a descendant of one of the characters in Christy. They were trying to restore various areas, but time and funds were limited - that was about 10 years ago. We still loved visiting the real place where "Christy" took place.

Camp Mac said...

Nancy Drew was my first book crush too! I would have dreams of visiting the library and they would have shelves and shelves holding the entire order...available to read! Hahaha!
My wants are still almost as simple today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! I just love your posts about books! I'm now a passionate fan of E. Goudge (thanks to you!) Just finished reading The Castle on the Hill for the first time. Not my favorite story of hers, but loved it just the same. The remarkable thing is to remember that the author was writing this story while living in the midst of the war and not knowing how it was going to turn out! Highly recommend you look this one up if you haven't read it yet. -Joy

Amazon summary FYI: It is the summer of 1940 and England is fighting for her life. In a rural corner of England the vagaries of war bring together a group of people wrestling the enemy within--fear, despair, loss of faith.

This is Elizabeth Goudge at her best. In this compelling drama of human trial and triumph, she takes us from London air raids to country sunsets and weaves a story of courage and understanding from the threads of history.

Karla said...

Like many others have said here, my list looks a lot like yours. I love the series you've listed and have read many of the others you mentioned. Gift of the Sea is my alltime favorite non-fiction/self-help book. I read it when my girls were little tots and it brought such freedom and healing to my soul.

I'm adding several others to my growing list that I've not heard of before but appeal to me.

Thanks for sharing!