Ah, there's nothing like a stack of books and a cup of tea, is there? Add a cozy fire as the temperatures fall, a lap cat, and an afghan, and it's a little bit of heaven.
My book club met last night, and I told them of our plans to add more bookshelves to our family room. It was either: 1) get rid of a bunch of books, 2) never buy another book for the rest of our lives, or 3) get some more bookshelves.
I'm all for minimalism in clothing and kitchen gadgets, etc., but walls of books surrounding me with their friendly and inviting faces are really a necessity.
I'm looking forward to using an app a friend told me about that scans ISBN numbers, so that you end up with a catalog of all your books with title, author, publication date, etc. I'm excited to reorganize all our books, many of which are stacked all over in chairs and on tables and on the floor.
We even have a family contest going as to how many books we have. The guesses range between 1000 to 2000, which I think is a modest collection. My friend has more than 3000. How many do you have?
Our book club recently finished The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson. It is a fictional story of life in modern-day North Korea. Not for the faint-hearted. Graphic and disturbing. Several of our members couldn't finish it. I found it well-written and compelling despite the difficult subject matter.
Last night we discussed Mountain Rain by Eileen Fraser Crossman, a biography of the author's father, a missionary in inland China in the early 1900s. Well-written, with many of her father's letters and journal notes included, it emphasizes the importance of prayer. Very inspiring.
Next on the agenda is Still Alice by Lisa Genova, about a woman's descent into early-onset Alzheimer's. I have to admit I'm not really looking forward to reading it. Reviews call it "heartbreaking."
I get most of my books from the library, and love their interlibrary loan service, through which they borrow books from libraries all over Michigan.
One of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Goudge, is getting harder to find, even through interlibrary loan. Those hard-to-find, much-loved books are the ones we should add to our home libraries. I ended up ordering this trilogy from Amazon, new. Amazon is also my go-to source for hard-to-find used books.
My friends reminded me last night of the huge library book sale that is held three times a year. I had been staying clear, because we had no shelf space. But now . . . uh-oh.
Look what Marcia from marciapilar.net (formerly A Table Named Love) recently sent me from one of her giveaways . . .
Aren't they gorgeous tags? The colors and design are beautiful. I think I'll use at least a couple as bookmarks.
She also sent me this lovely bookmark.
Thank you, Marcia. I love them!
One of my all-time favorite authors is Wendell Berry. He has written a number of essays on the importance of maintaining the family farm and agrarian way of life, none of which I have read (but mean to someday). But I think I've read all of his novels, set in a fictional farming community in Kentucky.
If I ever write a book, Wendell Berry will be my muse. Such simple, powerful prose. (My sister thinks it's very funny to have an 80-year-old farmer as a "muse"!)
It's a rainy day, perfect for setting aside a little reading time (Ha. Do I even need an excuse?). I have several books to choose from. I think I'm going to read The Blue Hills by Goudge, as it is due back at the library on Friday. There's no way I'm going to get through Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye; that will have to be renewed.
What's on your bookshelf? Do you have a favorite author(s)?