Tuesday, May 30, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 5/30/17


Amazon link. The cover is a brighter green than this.


I don't own any of the Anne of Green Gables books, having read all eight of them, as an adult, via the children's department of my local library. I wouldn't mind owning them someday, though. I think I've purchased, quite inexpensively, some of Lucy Maud Montgomery's other works for my Kindle for PC, but I have yet to get to them in my reading.



But a few years back (3, 4, 5?), when I came across The Anne of Green Gables Treasury book, I had to have it. As I recall, I bought it directly from some Anne website, but I can't find which one it might have been. (If someone out there knows, please enlighten us!) My copy is personally signed by Carolyn Strom Collins. The other author is Christina Wyss Eriksson. Both live in Minnesota, but the book says Ms. Collins lives on PEI during the summers and is on staff at the LM Montgomery Heritage Museum. She is probably retired now, though. The book is copyrighted 1991, with an update copyrighted 2008. This edition is a "Special Edition Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Anne of Green Gables 1908-2008."



I don't think I can rave about this book enough to do it justice; I think it's that wonderful. It is a softcover (but firm, with flaps) book* with beautiful illustrations throughout. I especially like the timeline entitled "Through the Years," which lists what Anne's age would be, along with snippets from actual history. There are recipes for tea time treats mentioned in the Anne books; also instructions for crafts, including potpourri, sachets, an apron, pressing flowers, collecting buttons, crochet and more. There are floor plans for Green Gables, and maps of Avonlea, the farm, and of Prince Edward Island. 



There's a very sweet, thorough chapter on gardening, the meanings given flower names, and what Anne would have had in her garden each season. Finally, the Special Edition version of the book contains four itineraries with suggestions for the various attractions one can take in on a visit to the Island.

*My only criticism would be that the cover is a bit garish and doesn't represent the beauty of the contents as well as it could have.

I hope all you lovers of the Anne books out there are having the pleasure of owning The Anne of Green Gables Treasury. (I see the edition I have is more costly, but you can take a look, and maybe the price will drop: The Anne of Green Gables Treasury -Special Edition Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Anne of Green Gables 1908-2008.) The authors have also written a Little House Treasury and other books.

I'm going to immerse myself in my copy yet again!

Always thankful for the blessing of books that speak to my heart!
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much should you enter Amazon via any link on my blog.




Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Wise Word









Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

God bless you and yours,
Bess

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 5/23/17





Today I'm sharing about the Miss Julia series by Ann B Ross (photos are Amazon links). Probably many of you have read these books, but I didn't read my first one until maybe four or five years ago. Eventually I read the next two books in the series, and after that I took a long break from them, only recently reading the fourth and fifth books. I think there are nineteen, so I have many yet to read.





I was slow to get into these books, and I didn't think they were all that great at first. They were borderline for me, I guess. But something made me decide to read another one, which was Miss Julia Hits the Road, and I really enjoyed it! I just finished Miss Julia Meets Her Match and liked it, as well.




I guess that might be an advertisement for giving authors or series another try when they seem just so-so to us. I definitely think our moods and circumstances can affect how much we enjoy a book. Or sometimes a series just doesn't suit us. Especially not until the main characters begin to feel like old friends. Maybe reading just one more book will help us know for sure.



Miss Julia takes some getting used to; at least she did for me. She's a modest woman (love that) of a certain age (65-70?), a Southerner (love that, too), and she's sassy and sarcastic, although I don't think she realizes it. Her mainline church plays a fairly big role in the books, but that's where a lot of the humor comes in, and sadly, a lot of truth. Readers just might empathize with or at least recognize certain stereotypical church members. The books are written in the first person point-of-view, i.e., Miss Julia is constantly telling the story.





When all is said and done, Ms Ross has created a character whose heart is generally in the right place and as big as all outdoors. Now that I've become better acquainted with Julia Springer, I find I like her very much.

What say we get off our computers and go immerse ourselves in a good book of our choice! Enjoy!
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

I Love Me Some New Journals


My son and d-i-l sent me two journals from Papyrus for Mother's Day. I love them! They are "deconstructed." Not sure what all that entails, but they lay open flat and are 6.5 by 8.5 which is a nice size for writing or art journaling.

As I told my son, I would keep them in my "journal drawer," and one day, probably before too long, they will beckon to me and I will know just what I want to use them for. Could be as a commonplace journal or an art journal or a scrapbook or a Bible scripture journal or ...  (If you are interested, you can check my sidebar for a couple posts on my journaling.)



You might notice the dying maple leaves on the ground, a gift from our recent hailstorm. We have a man who takes care of our yard because neither my brother (obviously!) nor I are in good enough physical condition to mow and rake. Although I did do it for years. It's just too risky now however. Our yard man is kind enough to come only every other week since our budget is limited. He is a huge help to us. But as it's his week off, the leaves will be with us awhile longer.


My yard has dandelions and other weeds, and I am so thankful it does (this is more so in my backyard, than the front). I think of it as a little nature preserve and am constantly blessed by visits from rabbits, large and small; squirrels; local birds; and birds just passing through. My desk faces out from my bedroom to the backyard, and I love watching all my critters. Most of the neighbors have more pristine yards than mine, but that's OK. I'm glad my yard isn't full of fertilizers and herbicides. In fact, I hope to, someday, make it a Certified Wildlife Habitat, per Brenda's post from Cozy Little House, here. I must wait until I can earmark the funds for the few things I'd need to complete the requirements, but I've got a good start!

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath
but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:9

I hope you have been experiencing a most enjoyable weekend! We are having a gorgeous day after a stormy week. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Blessings,
Bess

Friday, May 19, 2017

Before the Wind and Hail




 

I took these photos early yesterday afternoon, before we were in our basement in the late afternoon due to tornado warnings. We had a lot of hail, and now the flowers are in pretty bad shape. But they were enjoyed while they lasted! 

Alas, today I found a dead robin amidst all the downed leaves. Wind and hail is awfully hard on little critters.

That's all I have today. If you are in the path of severe storms, please, please always take any warnings seriously. It is not "uncool" to do so; it is lifesaving.

Be blessed always,
Bess

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 5/16/17


Today I'm sharing my most recent DE Stevenson reading: The English Air. I'd become a little bit discouraged because my least favorite Stevenson books were ones that I had read most recently (mostly in 2016). In case it interests you, I've read (because I keep a list or I'd forget) 27 of her books, and my least favorite have been Rochester's Wife, The Baker's Daughter, and Crooked Adam. Some of my favorites have been the Miss Buncle books; The Young Clementina; Katherine Wentworth; Celia's House; Mrs. Tim Gets a Job (3rd of 4 Mrs. Tim books); and Sarah's Cottage (or perhaps Sarah Morris Remembers).

So I was very pleased to discover that The English Air was a book that held my interest from the beginning. It takes place from about March 1938 through early 1940 in England and Germany. It is lighthearted, then sobering, but not too sobering. The story is wonderful, and Stevenson's superb writing shines in this book.

A young (22?) indoctrinated Nazi German is sent to England by his Nazi father to learn more about how the English feel about Germany. He does this under the guise of visiting the long-ignored family of his English mother, who died when he was fairly young (6 or 7?). Sorry, I'd have to find the exact age references if any, but these are close enough. Pleasant times ensue, and he falls deeply in love with the daughter Wynne, whose mother, Sophie, was a cousin to Franz's mother.

Franz is elated when Chamberlain signs the pact in September 1938. He is certain everything will be alright now, and that he'll be able to marry Wynne and take her back to Germany. But the head of the family, Dane, makes Franz wait. And in the meantime, Hitler begins to move. Franz returns to Germany. Is all lost?

I didn't provide an Amazon link because the book is pricey, but some copies are in the $35 range. Well, I'll put a link in My Amazon Picks at the bottom of this post. I suggest you try your local library system if you're interested. The Amazon reviews were interesting. One or two didn't like the book precisely because it was about the war, meaning the subject was too serious for a Stevenson book. But there you go: To each his own.

Stevenson's books are often humorous, but not all of them are by any means. She was a very versatile writer. Have you read her books? Any favorites or recommendations that should not be missed? I have referred to her in a post previously, here. Since that post I've read all her books our library has, and a few from our library system (50+ libraries). I guess she's written 50+ books, so I still have much enjoyable reading ahead.

Happy Reading, Friends!
Bess



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 5/9/17


If you're a fan of all things Jane Austen, and have not yet acquired these books by Kim Wilson, may I be so bold as to say that I think you'll want to!

Although they contain many photos (Tea with Jane Austen mostly contains old prints and paintings), the books are replete with informative and interesting prose. I love them all and hope the author is working on another. In order of release (photos are links), they are:










The first two are about 7"x9" and approximately 120 pages. At Home with Jane Austen is the largest book (10"x10", 144 pp). They are all lovely hardcover editions. At least, that's what I purchased.

Note: In case it matters to you, Tea with Jane Austen was republished by Frances Lincoln Limited. It comes with a nice book jacket, which the first publisher didn't have. I used to have the first version but donated it to the library because the Frances Lincoln edition was nicer, imho. Frances Lincoln also published In the Garden..., but At Home with Jane is published by Abbeville Press. 

It looks like In the Garden with Jane Austen is only available via third party now. It tours several gardens, and offers a plan for the garden at Chawton. I do wish At Home with Jane Austen had more actual photos of the houses and surrounding areas, but it makes for wonderful reading, and does contain photos (just not enough!) and illustrations.



I hope you'll enjoy these pretty books as much as I do!
Be blessed,
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little desperately needed credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.





Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Reminding Word






I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1,2  NKJV

Take a deep breath. Breathe out. Let it all out.

God is on His throne. Peace be within you.

Love,
Bess
PS: My mother made the geese for me during her "ceramics" phase. And she painted the little birdhouse, too. I'm so thankful for my keepsakes and memories. (In my thinning out, these won't be going anywhere!)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 5/4/17






Sorry for the delay on posting this. It has been a low energy week for me. I will blame it on the variable weather!

This week I'm sharing the Aunt Dimity cozy mysteries by Nancy Atherton. The photos will take you to the Amazon page. The first book was published in 1992, but there are over twenty books, with a new one coming out May 9. I have only read the first three so far, but they have all held my interest.

Aunt Dimity is a lovely, helpful lady. She just happens to be a ghost who visits certain places and people as needed. But she is not in the books all that much, and I wouldn't let her being a spirit keep you from reading the books. She is not visible, but leaves her handwritten messages in a journal. The books so far have taken place in England and Boston.





The first in the series, Aunt Dimity's Death, does have some swearing, almost all of it by the protagonist's former employer. I thought it unnecessary, but it was short-lived at least. Still, I wish authors didn't feel the need to use cursing. I personally think anything can be written without such words. Editors probably pressure writers to "update" manuscripts by adding some cursing. There are even just a very few curses in the Miss Read books. So I'm just letting you know, in case it matters, that the Dimity series is not totally free of swear words.

The "mysteries" in the books have not been murders so far (unless I've spaced something out, which is entirely possible!). The writing is good; above average for the cozy mystery genre. In fact, sometimes I get confused as to what's going on and really have to think about it! For one thing, Aunt Dimity and the Duke is a prequel to the first book, yet I still wasn't 100% sure that Dimity is alive in that book, at least by the end. But she was visible, plus she's just(?) died in the first book, but...? Maybe someone out there can enlighten me! And I have a bad habit of reading a few books between books of a series, so that it takes me awhile to remember connections among characters. I can see me rereading this series and picking up more the second time. I am curious to see what the next book brings into play.





All in all, I'm enjoying these books, and will continue to rotate them into my reading. I hope you'll give them a try, too!

Hoping you have an utterly beautiful weekend, my lovelies!
Bess
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.