Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Book Talk

I slowly finished my decorating and now I remember why, each year when it is time to take it down, I feel the house is so blah.  With all the cranberry red, shades of green, silver and gold, and things that sparkle... it becomes a magical place.

When we have heavy snow falling outside, it even looks like Narnia.  I must admit, since I still have more errands to run, I'm kinda' hoping the Narnia beauty holds off awhile.  There is a gentle snowfall at the moment.

Today I thought I would share a few more Christmas favorites.  Some may seem unlikely Christmas candidates but there is a reason for them being included this time of year.  First the books and then a favorite Christmas tea.  ;)

Sorry there are no photos for the books.  I was having issues with them showing up so for the sake of getting this published before Christmas... I gave up!

Nigel Slater 
Nigel Slater is a British writer best known for his books about food but he is oh so much more than that. I had heard of him for years but my friend, Heather LeFebvre, told me I had to read his books and she knew I would love them. I did!

His book which is an ode to both Christmas and Winter is called Christmas Chronicles. I started reading it last year and enjoyed his writing so much. I couldn't finish it last year due to eye issues.

I love Christmas like many people but I also love Winter... a season many people do not love. I think it is those of us who are introverts who enjoy the short days, giving us an excuse for reading and candlelight. I adore snow as long as I don't have to drive anywhere.

He also made a podcast last year talking about Christmas Chronicles and it is available again this year by searching your podcast app for that name. You can also listen to it on the website. I can't think of anything better to listen to during the season (other than Christmas music!).

More information on the book Christmas Chronicles is... here. (Also available on Kindle.)
More information on the podcast is... here.

Marge Clark Books
I only own a few cookbooks specifically for Christmas and sometimes they don't even make it off the shelf in December.  I keep them more for reference.  However, one book I always take off the shelf is Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm by Marge Clark.

This is a book full of recipes, crafts, and lots of photographs of Marge's Oak Hill Farm all decked out for the Holidays in the 1990s.  It is good anytime of the year when you need recipes for when you have guests. Marge was a well known cook, gardener, and herb specialist.  I was saddened when I heard she lost her life in a traffic accident many years ago now.

I also own her cookbook called Best of Thymes, which I refer to often when wanting a recipe to use a specific herb.  It doesn't have photos but it has lots of recipes and information about cooking with herbs.

There are a lot of inexpensive used copies of both of these books.

Info about Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm can be found... here. (Third Party)
Information about Best of Thymes can be found... here. (Third Party)

Elizabeth Goudge Books
A City of Bells is one of my very favorite of the Goudge books.  At least part of it takes place at Christmas and as with most Goudge books, I came to love these characters.  It can be hard to find a reasonably priced copy but I hear (through @elizabethgoudgebookclub on Instagram) that these books may be published again.  One can only hope since other Goudge books have been republished in paperback.

The Dean's Watch is set during the Christmas season and it is a favorite Goudge book of many readers.  Pilgrim's Inn has a Christmas section, also making it an enjoyable reread this time of year.  I think Pilgrim's Inn is a great introduction for someone who has never read a Goudge book before.

Of course, there is Goudge's "children's book" called I Saw Three Ships.  It is a beautiful Christmas book, one of her rather mystical stories.  The black and white illustrations are beautiful.

I've mentioned her A Christmas Book on previous posts.  It is quite difficult to find right now but it contains Christmas scenes from the afore mentioned books.  I bought a very reasonably priced copy a few years ago that was a library discard.  I kept the title on my Wish List and would check when a low price was available.

More information about A City of Bells is... here. (Third party)
More information about The Dean's Watch in paperback is... here. (Also available in Kindle.)
More information about Pilgrim's Inn in paperback is... here.  (Also available in Kindle.)
More information about I Saw Three Ships in paperback is... here.

More information about A Christmas Book is... here. (If you are interested, I would keep it on your Wish List on Amazon for when more copies are available at reasonable prices... or look elsewhere.)

Madeleine L'Engle & Luci Shaw
These two women were good friends and their book called Winter Song is perfect for Christmas reading.  It contains prose and poetry written by both women, making it easy to pick up and peruse when you have a few minutes to sit and rest and enjoy a hot beverage.

More information about Winter Song is... here.

I have a few Christmas teas but the one I am enjoying this year the most is the Downton Abbey Christmas tea.  I had to try it when it said it was a combination of cranberry and pine!

Further information... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.

Image:  Book Shop by Kim Sung


Patti said...

I know nothing about Elizabeth Goudge books. You have me intrigued about her, though, so I will see what my library has. I always love discovering new-to-me authors.

I am an introvert, and I absolutely love the longer hours of daylight in the fall and winter months. Sadly, beginning December 21st, the days will begin to lengthen again. I love being home in the winter, curling up in front of the fireplace with a good book (or good movie). In that respect, I love winter. I just don't love being outside in cold and wind. To be fair, I don't love the heat either. My husband jokes that I have a 30-degree comfort zone---from 45 to 75.

Patti @ This Beautiful Life

Vee said...

Cranberry and PINE? Really? And what do you think?

So I have two more books added to my wish list. I have Abe books sending me notices here and there. As per usual, I am reading more blogs than any other thing. I think I’ll add some podcasts to my wrapping time.

I did not remember that you love winter. I do so definitely not, though I do enjoy a snow day IF I am not the clean-up person.

Merry on, Brenda...

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I have hardback copies of all of Goudge's novels but how I wish they were available on Kindle!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

well, they do have many on Kindle, but not the one I want! The City of Bells...

Deanna Rabe said...

I’m doing more blog reading, than book reading with my cataract. I am going to re-read the Christmas section, at least of Pilgrim’s Inn. I’m going to get my Stillmeadow Calendar out and read it too.

I’m enjoying podcasts so I’ll search for The Christmas Chronicles. Sounds delightful.

Carol said...

I love tea, but I am not sure about cranberry and pine. Interesting! I love the Christmas Chronicles!