Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday Morning: Autumn Reading



"It is fall now. And life goes past in the wind."
J.F. RIORDAN


This early morning has me wanting to wrap my fingers around a steamy cup of coffee. The air is nippy as I sit here at my desk, the olive green fleece blanket around my shoulders. I look down at my feet shod in the sandals I flapped around in all summer and figure it's time to trade them in for the cozy sheep fleeced slippers waiting in the closet. I could turn the heat on, but then I'd have to close my window which is open a crack to allow the morning in. It's nearly six o'clock, and there is no sign of dawn yet. The desk lamp creates a circle of light, everything else in shadows. I sit quiet, happily musing what to write about today.

I think about the weekend. It was such a beautiful day yesterday. Sunshine and cloud-studded blue skies, the air an autumnal mix of warmth and crispness that is as delightful a sensation to my face as a still warm, crisp-around-the-edges chocolate chip cookie is inside my mouth. It was so good to be outside, to crunch in the leaves gathered in the gullies along the street, and to catch sight of dogs happy on their walks. 

 


" For as long as she could remember, she had thought that autumn air
went well with books, that the two both somehow belonged with blankets,
comfortable armchairs, and big cups of coffee or tea. "
KATARINA BIVALD, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend


I had a couple of books due at the library, and while I was out doing that errand, I had such a hankering to visit Indigo Books in person (a place I haven't seen the inside of since March). It didn't take long to gather an armful of books. Haven't read Jane Austen's Emma in years, and I never did read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Except for Big Magic, which I'd just finished the library's copy and I desired my own to mark up, and the lovely autumn issue of Bella Grace magazine, the rest were at bargain prices at 3/$10, plus my plum card which had a 20% discount on top of that—well, as you can imagine, I came out a happy girl.

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Just found a lovely new-to-me author J.F. Riordan the other day on Twitter. Someone had retweeted her blog post Pandemic Idyll. In it she beautifully explores her thoughts and feelings about these past few months, and it so resonated with me I had to share it with you; here's an excerpt....
"It was the most beautiful summer I can remember here. Day after golden day unfolded in rich, scented glory. The sun, the heat, the lushness of the woods and garden, the perfect refreshment of the lake were everything anyone could wish for. But it was an odd summer too: no picnics with friends, no Memorial Day, no parties at the lake, no baseball in May and June . . . no farmers market, no family reunion, no Labor Day end of summer celebrations. There were no markers, no points in time. Just the silent turning of the earth, the move toward the sun and then away from it, the days turning, too, from morning to afternoon to evening. The light lengthening, the light retreating, The restless sleep. Then morning again.

It's difficult to explain the dreamy quality of life these days. I tell myself it should be a time of joy and productivity, but somehow it isn't. It's not a happy dreaminess—I don't know how it could be—but it's not unhappy, either. It's a sense of unreality; as if time is over." 

After reading Ms Riordan's blog, I went in search of her books. She has written several novels (award-winning), but for this time of year when we draw close to the heart of our homes, I was drawn to her essays Reflections on a Life in Exile so I ordered it from Amazon (on sale for $5.00); two days later I had the paper book in my hand. She writes about her beloved dogs, walks in the woods, grieving her mom's death, writing, and all manner of other poignant or entertaining musings of life. She's thoughtful and gently humoured, and I really like the way she expresses herself. 


A neighbour's front garden as seen on my walk yesterday


" It was one of those perfect fall days when the air is cool
enough to wake you up but the sun is also kissing your face. "
ANITA DAIMANT, The Boston Girl


* * *

Wishing you a beautiful week.

Heart Hugs,
Brenda
xox





34 comments:

  1. Your desk looks so cozy in that circle of light. And thank you for introducing me to J.F. Riordan, I will be searching out some of her books now too.

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    1. I found that essay book of J.F.'s on Amazon for $5 and some cents (CDN) the other day; this morning I looked and it was back to regular price ($19.80) for the print copy. Only the kindle was around $5 today. I feel especially blessed now - the window of opportunity opened and I walked in at the right moment. I look forward to reading her novels but I'll wait for another time.

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  2. Nothing like a lovely new pile of books to make the heart go pitter-patter! :)

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  3. Love the quote from The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend - autumn goes well with many things! You have a wonderful stack of books there. I've not heard of J. F. Riordan, but I will be looking her up pronto! Have a most beautiful week, Brenda.

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    1. That's what I did too, Lorrie. I looked her up pronto after reading her pandemic piece. Thanks for your good wishes.

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  4. I will be looking for J.F.Riordan! I am missing Bella Grace! Needing to feel safe making that bookstore visit! Reading this post today has been a great way to “make peace with Monday!”

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    1. Nellie, I didn't realize Bella Grace has a bookstore. I just buy the magazine in the local bookstore. It's always a treat!

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  5. May you have many pleasant hours reading the classics and the new to you (and me) author J.F. Riordan. Autumn is perfect for so many things...

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    1. Vee, Autumn really is perfect for so many things, including a brush up on the classics, filling in the holes, as it were.

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  6. Coffee cup cheers! Enjoy your picks :)

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  7. What a great stack of books! You can't beat 3 for $10!

    I haven't been inside an Indigo for months, but I recently ordered a teapot and glass tumbler. I had been eyeing the teapot since January...it finally went on sale for 25% and I redeemed $10 from my Plum rewards.

    I'll have to check out J.F. Riordan's blog and Twitter account!

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    1. How lovely to see something you really like and have the patience to wait until it goes on sale. Good for you, Margie!

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  8. Autumn is the perfect time to burrow into some wonderful books! I haven’t read A Tale of Two Cities since 7th grade. I remember being daunted by its size.

    I love Emma, it’s one of my favorites.

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    1. I can imagine being daunted by anything Dickens in 7th grade.

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  9. Hi, Brenda. I recently encountered that Riordan quote and I would be interested in reading more. It funny but I took a Dickens course at university but never read A Tale of Two Cities. Maybe this winter. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas would be interesting too. Reading/cocooning might be a Pandemic 2.0 activity. Enjoy.

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    1. I do look forward to diving into my little stash of books. It's an activity fit for the current situation.

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  10. I think you have introduced a new author to many of us, Brenda.

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  11. Love your musings Brenda. Like your other readers I will check J F Riordan pronto. A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorite books and a great historical novel. I have read it more than once.

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    1. Now that you mention Tale of Two Cities is one of your favs, I'm going to read it especially carefully. I always like to read what resonates with fellow readers. I'm always glad when you stop by, Mary!

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  12. Hi,
    I have read some of Elizabeth Gilbert.. but I have not read Big Magic. I will have to check it out.
    Thank you for the lovely post.
    Carla

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    1. Carla, I first read the library copy, but I had so many spots I wanted to underline. I wrote out a few lines in my journal, but now that I have my own copy, I want to go back and catch some of those spots and mark it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Lovely post, Brenda. And, many thanks for the introduction of a "new to me" author. I have not heard of her. As the old saying goes, "So little time - So many books." At least I think that is the way it goes.
    Have a great week.

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    1. I have so many unread still-to-be books in my house, but when someone mentions an interesting new book, I have such a hankering to add it to the growing pile(s). I may have to tell myself to stop and focus on what I have and just close my eyes/ears to what else I think I must have. Thanks, Sandra, for stopping by!

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  14. Your first paragraph drew me in! I am by nobody's definition a morning person, but I wanted to be as I read your pre-dawn observations.

    And then, the excerpt describing the pandemic summer also resonated with me. I imagine many of us had similar feelings. Thanks to Ms. Riordan for supplying the words.

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    1. Cheryl, I never used to be a morning person (I was a true night owl), but I learned over the years to truly appreciate early mornings - writing comes best now in those wee hours. (Hormone changes had something to do with that too!)

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  15. Another beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Your stack of books is lovely. It is approaching that time of the year where I also will want to curl up with a good book. The past several days have felt like summer has not quite given up its hold on our area. But autumn is almost here. I can feel it. Thank you for posting about Riordan. Her writing sounds lovely and I can't wait to check out one of her books. Happy Wednesday, Brenda.

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    1. Cassandra, no summer here this week. Hopefully soon for you. It was gorgeous yesterday - today it's overcast and crisp. When I took a drive yesterday afternoon to do an errand, the streets were deep autumnal. My eyes feasted on the colours and slant of the light. Hope you find Riordan and enjoy.

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  16. I think everyone is writing down J. F. Riordan's name! I loved A Tale of Two Cities when I was a teenager, read through the set of Dickens that came with our Encyclopedia Britanica back then. A long time since I've read Emma but I think I read the Earhart book when I was on my Charles and Anne Lindbergh phase decades ago. Fall reading is so satisfying! I'm ever so ready to go to bed early with a good book now.

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    1. Brenda, I'm back to say thank you for writing of the post on J. F. Riordan's blog. I was saying oh yes and amen all through it. If this blog post is a sample of her writing then I do want to find more of it.

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    2. I noticed that too, Dewena. She'll have a surge of books being read by new readers. I just finished Reflections and really enjoyed it. Her writing subjects often reminded me of my own memories, so the book is all marked up now with reference notes and underlined and starred sentences. I read various Anne Lindbergh work over the years and especially love her Gift From The Sea. Happy reading!

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  17. Hi Brenda❤️
    Reading your posts is like taking a bubble bath. It’s warm, relaxing, different, satisfying and pure luxury.
    I try to remember your way of writing when I do a post. But I’m afraid I will always be a “learning student”.
    In the mean time, soaking in your thoughts and words, with pleasure.

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    1. Your words are a gift, thank you, Christine. I agree, we're always learning students, even so, you've already got the hang of writing wonderfully in your own posts. I always enjoy the delightful glimpse into your life and family.

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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 xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....