"I have found the most valuable thing
in my wallet is my library card."
LAURA BUSH, former First Lady
Ping! A message from the library says the book I reserved is now ready for pick up. I rush off to get it as I'm eager to read The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, the novel having been recommended by Miranda Mills on a recent YouTube book vlog.
Having parked in the 15-minute zone, I could not loiter. No matter... for even in that space of time, I easily came out with five other books: four from the 'Books About Small Things' display at the entrance, plus a novel from the Staff Picks shelf that looked interesting. On my return home, I've been sitting in the garden sipping a glass of iced raspberry-flavoured sparking water and browsing through my stash.
Titles and covers beguile, and quick glances at back covers, inside descriptions, and a flip through a chapter or two usually settle whether or not the book comes home with me. It's all a matter of 15 seconds or so. And, just to be clear, I have not read any of these so far, so I cannot recommend them.... but I will share a peek at what drew me in. Perhaps something below will catch your eye.
by Lester Walker, 1993
"the book that launched the tiny-house movement"
It really is a tiny book, about the size of a small greeting card. I loved the look and feel of it in my hand. It's the author's collection of plans, models and photographs of seventeen tiny houses - from the Cape Cod honeymoon cottage to Campground cottages built in mid-nineteenth century to Henry Thoreau's cabin to George Bernard Shaw's writing hut. This slim volume was written to provide readers "with plans for very, very inexpensive small dwelling projects that would take a week to two to build . . . to inspire people of all ages and degrees of carpentry skills . . . to take hammer in hand and build themselves a little dream."
Although my sister might be intrigued, I'll stick to being an armchair carpenter and dreamer of these cute little cottages that would make a perfect art or writing studio.
Six Square Metres (memoir)
Reflections From A Small Garden
by Margaret Simons, 2015, 2020
"Sometimes you reap what you sow.
Sometimes you reap what other people sowed."
I really enjoy memoirs. I like reading about other people, how they live, what they've experienced and believe is important. Australian journalist and gardening enthusiast Margaret Simons "takes readers on a journey through the seasons, through her life, and through the tiny patch of inner-urban earth that is home to her garden."
Looks like a nice little read while sitting in my own garden on a sunny afternoon.
Little Weirds (essays)
by Jenny Slate, 2019
"From the title, maybe I could try a little weird reading.
I'll see how it unfolds. I like the book cover—
a feel of the eclectic, would you say?"
Jenny Slate is an actress, stand-up comedian, and author. From the inside cover, "In her dazzling, impossible-to-categorize debut, Jenny channels the pain and beauty of life in writing so fresh, so new, and so burstingly alive, we catch her vision like a fever and bring it back out into the bright day with us, and everything has changed."
Though I am not familiar with the author, I am intrigued enough to take some time to read these essays.
Small Wonder (essays)
by Barbara Kingsolver (2002)
"Out of the chaos the future emerges
in harmony and beauty."
A book of essays with parrots on the front cover. How intriguing. Exotic. I'm drawn in.
"From its opening parable gleaned from recent news about a lost child saved in an astonishing way, the book moves on to consider a world of surprising and hopeful prospects, ranging from an inventive conservation scheme in a remote jungle to the backyard flock of chickens tended by the author's small daughter." - from the inside cover
Rules for Visiting (novel)
by Jessica Francis Kane, 2019
Found on the Staff Picks shelf at the library, this novel is about "a woman who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year . . . (it's her) exploration of friendship in the digital age."
A quick browse, and yes, there's an actual list of rules for visiting. Here are a few in the list: Do not arrive telling stories about the difficulties of your trip. Bring a gift. Help in the kitchen, if you're wanted. Don't feed the pets.
The Reading List (novel)
by Sara Nisha Adams, 2021
And now for the novel I had on hold. The title grabs me - who among us doesn't like a recommended reading list? You'll be happy to know that The Reading List is described as an "unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb." - from inside cover
I'm ready to settle in with this one. You?
Do any of these book covers or descriptions make you want to explore more?
"The library in summer is the
most wonderful thing because
there you get books on any subject and
read them each for only as long as they hold
your interest, abandoning any that don't,
halfway or a quarter of the way
through if you like, and store up all that
knowledge in the happy corners of your mind. . ."
POLLY HORVATH, My One Hundred Adventures
quote found at HookedtoBooks.com
Wishing you a beautiful day and a pleasant week ahead,