Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Pack A Few Books For A Sunny Afternoon

" Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air;
drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself
to the influences of each. "

Individuals across social media are doing all sorts of creative things these days to help people cope during the pandemic: reading poetry aloud; singing and playing music; creating amusing videos; even posting on their blogs more often. Sharing excerpts from my own book collection is my small online contribution to help create community in isolation. Should you arrive at this series mid-stream, you can find earlier posts HERE or click on the Tab above.

I'm off to find a sunny, warm spot in the garden, and I've brought a few books for browsing. Books that harmonize with the songs of newly arriving birds and the increasing warmth of the sun. A few of you have mentioned you find yourself unable to read anything too deep or heavy these days. I feel the same and have been reaching for books that I can wrap around me like a comfy old sweater through these—as one blogging friend named it—tilting times.

Today I'm sharing three books with a tiny bit of detail. I've also made a list of other titles which sing the theme, a few of which you've seen in earlier posts. 

But first, a glimpse from the emerging garden....a bit of glory amidst winter-worn leaves and rabbit droppings.

   Dawn is peach stained.
Air is birdsong drenched.
Spring bulbs bloom in purple patches.

A Year of Secrets, Recipes, & Pleasures
by Mireille Guiliano (author of French Women Don't Get Fat)

A lovely book to read, especially if your soul home is France. The book is divided into four sections to follow the seasons—Spring into Life, Summertime Smiles, Fall Ahead, Winter Pleasures. Mireille Guiliano inspires readers by sharing her advice and seasonal stories, recipes, and other aspects of living life with pleasure.

" Eating with pleasure is about pacing yourself during the meal.
Losing weight is a matter of finding your equilibrium of intake
and exertion week by week. But the plan for life involves us in
the perpetual cycle of adjustment that is the seasons of the year.
The art of living is pacing yourself in the long run. "

by Sarah Gristwood

Published in 2016 the year we visited England, this beautifully illustrated book is a celebration of the much-loved children's story writer and artist, Beatrix Potter. It covers the extraordinary journey of her life, from her constricted Victorian childhood to the successful publication of her books, to her later life as a farmer and a pioneering conservationist in England's Lake District.

"Beatrix once expressed her puzzlement that
more people did not love and value the simple ordinary
old things of everyday life."

The Natural World of Winnie-The-Pooh
A walk through the forest that inspired the Hundred Acre Wood
by Kathryn Aalto

" To the walkers of the world who know
the beauty is in the journey "

Did you know that the fictional world of Christopher Robin and Winnie-The-Pooh is based on a real place that still exists in England? The author, enchanted with the Pooh stories since she was a girl, went on a journey herself to find those places where A.A. Milne lived and wrote his enduring stories. The book—part biography, part nature book—is expertly researched and charmingly written so as to fascinate readers who love nature and the Pooh stories.

* * *


Enchanted April
Elizabeth von Arnim

A Fine Romance
Falling in love with the English Countryside
by Susan Branch

she walks in beauty
A Woman's Journey Through Poems
by Caroline Kennedy

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
by Edith Holden

An Island Garden (see earlier post)
by Celia Thaxter

Elizabeth and her German Garden (see earlier post)
Elizabeth von Arnim

Foxgloves & Hedgehog Days (see earlier post)
Secrets in a Country Garden
by Daniel Blajan

Our Hearts Are In England  (see earlier post)
Editors, Victoria Magazine

* * *

" To read a book is, at least for a time, to try on a
different way of thinking, a way of seeing, and in this case,
a way of eating, moving, and living. "

* * *

Wishing you a sunny, book-filled day.

Heart Hugs,


  1. You have chosen some lovely books, especially the book about Christopher Robin's forest. As a child I so wanted to go there to see if I might find Rabbit, or even Kanga!

    1. The summer we were in England we traveled through that forest on our way to something else. Because we were on a tour at the time, we couldn't stop there, but I sure looked as we wound through the forest to wherever we were headed.

  2. It is one of the pure and luxurious delights of the warm seasons, to be able to find a comfy spot in nature and read the afternoon away!

  3. Thank you for sharing your bench in the garden. I have enjoyed the book chats and quotes for today.

    1. There's always room on the bench for a fellow kindred spirit. We could share favourite passages when we find them. And marvel at the warmth of this spring day.

  4. Hello Brenda! Thank you for the small smile I get every time I see "It's A Beautiful Life " in my inbox! My list of Books to Read grows longer each time you post. I'm blessed to be one of your readers. Appreciatively, Terri

    1. Terri, now you made me smile. Thank you so much for popping in and leaving a note. Happy day... B

  5. You and I have similar tastes in books. I love spending an afternoon with a "dreamy" book like The Diary of an Edwardian Lady or a copy of Victoria magazine. Right now, I have England is a Garden by Catherine Hamilton on the side table and Paris Paris by David Downie beside me. I once hosted an Enchanted April party. We read Jane Eyre for book club last year and I enjoyed rereading it. I am taking a long time to read The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel. It could be that I know the ending. It's not a beautiful story.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo