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Archive for March, 2021

Library Lust

credit: Kim Ronemus Interiors

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badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I have been reading like a fiend lately thanks to a recent run of great books (also, obviously, lots of time.  Lots and lots and lots of time – I can only work and walk so many hours each day).  I’ve already read through half of these and look forward to starting soon on the others:

Library Loot

The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting – I spotted a review of this last spring and have been patiently looking forward to this historical novel set in 1880 in a small Norwegian village.  I read it as soon as I picked it up on the weekend and it was absolutely worth the wait – I loved it and am delighted to know it’s the first book in a trilogy.

Cuttings by Christopher Lloyd – a collection of Lloyd’s gardening columns for the Guardian.  I enjoyed Dear Friend and Gardener, a volume of letters (always intended for publication) between him and Beth Chatto, and am looking forward to reading more by him.

Walking Away by Simon Armitage – I thoroughly enjoyed Walking Home, poet laureate Armitage’s account of walking the Pennine Way, and am looking forward to his subsequent experiences walking the South West Coast Path.  

War: How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan – the newest book from the acclaimed historian.  

Prisoners of History by Keith Lowe – speaking of new books from acclaimed historians…Subtitled “What Monuments to the Second World War Tell Us About Our History and Ourselves” this is incredibly timely given the debates going on.

Beyond Belfast by Will Ferguson – I have had this travel memoir about walking the Ulster Way and uncovering family history on my to-read-list for ages.

Dancing in the Mosque by Homeira Qaderi – An Afghan activist’s memoir of her life growing up in Afghanistan, written as a way to explain to her son why she left her country – and him – behind.  

Harlequin House by Margery Sharp – seeing so much talk of Sharp recently (following the Dean Street Press recent reissues) had me searching the inter-library loan catalogue for titles I haven’t yet read.

A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson – a surprisingly gentle tale about three very different characters – a dying old woman, a newly divorced young(ish) man, and an anxious seven-year old girl – and how their lives intersect. 

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls – A spirited YA novel about three young women struggling for suffrage, this has been on my to-read list since Sarra Manning praised it back in 2017.  It took a few years to track down but inter-library loan came to the rescue!

And two cute rom-coms to round it all off: Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron and Love at First by Kate Clayborn

What did you pick up this week?

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Library Lust

via @michaeldevine on Instagram

Just the right library for spring!

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Library Lust

via Elle Decoration UK

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badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

How are you doing?  For most of us, this week marks a year since Covid restrictions first entered our lives and everything got very quiet very quickly.  I remember dashing around stocking up on library items in the days before the lockdown started, sensing that it would be coming and being very thankful in the months that followed that I had!  Of all the things I had to worry about, running out of reading material was not one of them.

A year later, hope is in sight – especially for those of you in the US and the UK where the vaccine rollout has been so miraculously fast.  What a thing to already have already given the first dose to a quarter and a third of your eligible populations!  We are administering whatever vaccine supply arrives (we cannot produce it domestically) but it will be a much longer wait – in my province the hope is for everyone to have their first dose by the end of July.  Until then, at least there are books!

No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi – I’ve had this tale of Italian POWs’ escape on my list for a few years but it was reading Eric Newby’s memoir Love and War in the Apennines last month that made me seek it out.  After reading about Brits escaping Italian captors, what better foil than Italians slipping past their British guards?

The Man Who Was Greenmantle by Margaret FitzHerbert – I feel rather guilty about this one.  Herbert has been on my periphery for a while but it was reading A Rage for Rock Gardening, an elegantly slim biography of his friend Reginald Farrer, that proved the tipping point for seeking this out.  Farrer, a plant hunter and gardener, had considerable achievements of his own but made extraordinary friends at Oxford whose achievements and exploits would outclass his.  I took away many things from the Farrer biography but chief among them was the determination to read about his friends, Herbert especially.

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes – The Trojan War as seen through women’s eyes.  Jane was enthusiastic when she read it last year and included it in her Box of Books for 2020.


Lost Children by Edith Pargeter – It’s hard too find too much about this but it appears that mystery-writer Pargeter (who wrote primarily as Ellis Peters) wrote “a love story set in post war Britain about the relationship that grows between an upper-class girl living in a grand house and a young national serviceman stationed nearby” (thank you Google Books).  I’m intrigued.

The Jewel Garden by Monty and Sarah Don – The Jewel Garden is the story of the garden that bloomed from the muddy fields around the Dons’ Tudor farmhouse, a perfect metaphor for the Monty and Sarah’s own rise from the ashes of a spectacular commercial failure in the late ’80s . At the same time The Jewel Garden is the story of a creative partnership that has weathered the greatest storm, and a testament to the healing powers of the soil. 

Kiftsgate Court Gardens by Vanessa Berridge – Gorgeous book about the family-run Cotswolds garden and the three generations of women who have created and cared for it.

A completely unintentional trio of WWI-themed books:

No Man’s Land by Wendy Moore – the story of pioneering female doctors and the life-saving military hospital they ran.  Published as Endell Street in the UK.

Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig – I read this as soon as I picked it up on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed Willig’s newest release, a novel about a group of Smith College alumnae who leave America in 1917 to provide aid to devastated French villages near the front lines.

Into the Blizzard by Michael Winter – I was looking for books about walking and came across this history-cum-travel-memoir in which Winter travels through the battlefields of the First World War while telling the devastating story of the Newfoundland Regiment and the battle of Beaumont-Hamel.

What did you pick up this week?

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Library Lust

via Wealden Times

Every reading nook needs an Eames chair.

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