Somewhere around fifteen years ago, I followed the example of my kindred-spirited Great Aunt Miriam and started copying favorite passages from books, quotes, poetry, and other oddments into notebooks. I’m on book #12 now, and flipping through past books is pretty much like taking a stroll through my mental development and rather makes me want to pat my past self on the head and tell her how far she’ll come – but that would be condescending. (Don’t be that person.)
What a season it’s been! I rekindled old friendships, made new ones, practiced new photography skills, and generally had a completely wonderful time.
You can see full albums of photos at my facebook page, but here’s a sampling of some of my favorites.
Tonight my friend Maureen over at BySingingLight asked for recommendations for excellent non-fiction by female authors, with a focus on history and biography.
Well, you can’t ask for book suggestions within earshot of a librarian without getting a detailed list back, so without further ado:
A Royal Experiment: the private life of King George III, by Janice Hadlow. I just finished this and I learned so much.
How To Be a Victorian, by Ruth Goodman. Detailed and incredibly well-researched – everything you need to know about daily life in Victorian times.
The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickons’ London, by Judith Flanders. Are you seeing a theme here? I’ve read a lot of books about England/English history in the last six months. A lot.
A Journey Through Tudor England: Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London to Stratford-Upon-Avon and Thornbury Castle, by Suzannah Lipscomb. Here’s another.
And now for a few that aren’t about English history:
Twelve Little Cakes, by Dominika Dery. I absolutely loved this one, but it seems like it’s slipped under everyone else’s radar. Dominika Dery has a charming way of writing and even though life was very difficult growing up in communist Czechoslovakia – especially if your parents were dissidents – each tale of her childhood is presented with such love and humor that it really is a “feel good” book.
And Then There Were Nuns, by Jane Christmas. I’m never entire sure how II feel about Jane Christmas, but this is by turns funny, deep, and thought-provoking.
A Homemade Life: stories and recipes from my kitchen table, by Molly Wizenberg. Yes, it’s recipes … but it’s a lot more than that.
Consider the Fork, by Bee Wilson. You don’t have to be food-obsessed to enjoy this, but it probably helps.
As Always, Julia, edited by Joan Reardon. This is a collection of letters between Julia Child and her good friend Avis. Both women are so intelligent and funny, and their personalities shine through their correspondence.
I could go on … and on … and on, but I’ll leave it at this for now. Basically, if you like food or British history, you’ll probably find something on this list to love.
My very first spring flower (a crocus planted who knows how long ago by my grandmother) in a tiny cream pitcher from a tiny tea set given to me by my very first overnight guest, BlackLips Bonny Moffatt. Both of these things make me incredibly happy.