Sunday, August 06, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Visit to the Library

"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. 

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

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.

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

Wishing you a beautiful day and a pleasant week ahead,


  1. The alpha and omega on the list! Thanks Brenda!

  2. What a nice thing to have books to keep you company when hours (or minutes) lie waiting. Nothing vexes me as much as seeing people opt to surf tv channels rather than read. Happy Reading, Brenda.

  3. I haven't been to the library in a very long time. I need to go and have a browse around. Also, I've done so much reading on my tablet and online that I think I'm in need of the feel of a physical book in my hands!

  4. I like the sound of The Reading List. You did find some very diverse and interesting books! Although I do use my Kindle, there is nothing like the joy of holding a real book!

  5. I would definitely start with the tiny houses. I'm so interested in this concept of smaller spaces. I went to the library and renewed my card last week! WHEW!

  6. Reading the title of this post made me think of the Betsy and Tacy book where she gets a library card for the first time. How exciting it was to choose books from the vast array at the library. I feel much the same - libraries are magical places. The tiny homes selection of books sounds right up my alley.

  7. Good Morning Brenda and All!🌝 It happens to be a clear, beautiful, blue sky morning here in Ohio!😊 A beautiful morning to see if Brenda has sent a new gift my way!!🤗👏👏 ~ and she did!!
    I loved and laughed at your photo of your “Library stash” as earlier this week I went to the library( one of 3 I routinely visit) to simply drop off a few Audio books from a trip we took! I was also checking to see if they had a copy of “Covenant of Water” by Abraham Verghese? This was not going to be my time to browse yet, I left with a stack of books!!!🤣 I wish I had them all in front of me. I would take a photo and send!! The stack included some serious reads ( Abraham Lincoln and God, “ Weathering” by Arline Geronimus(How injustice marginalizes people), Faith Moves Prayer by Harris Faulkner and “The Joy of Home by Ashley Galbreath, “The Color of Roses by Danielle Dall’Armi Hahn~ BEAUTIFUL photographs ~ Your “Peace Rose” Brenda belonged in this book.😌
    Also in my stack “The Art of BEAUTIFUL Tables “ by the editors of Victoria.
    My dear friend is unable to get “out and about.”😔 I am thinking about simply taking my library books over to her house and perhaps we’ll just sit and enjoy looking at the last few I mentioned!!!
    THANKYOU Brenda!! You fill my “Life is beautiful” bottle with happiness this morning!🤗💗

  8. We are so fortunate to be able to enjoy libraries ...
    Thanks for sharing these suggestions.

    All the best Jan

  9. Thank you so much for the book suggestions. I plan to get the Rules for Visiting at my library on Friday. Sounds like it would be a good book to put in one's guest room! :-) I placed an order for The Reading List. Both got great reviews apparently, according to my library's catalog.

  10. Brenda your book list looks wonderful. I love curling up with a good book and you look like several will keep you turning the page. Have a great day. Hugs!


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