Come pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup of tea, or, perhaps, something stronger. Pick your poison. 😉 It’s time to talk about one of the most pleasurable of pursuits: reading. Autumn puts me in a homebody frame of mind, and reading is something I enjoy doing at home.
One of the best things about autumn is the preparation for winter. Since I live in California, it’s still quite summery here. Though we have the occasional morning and evening fog, the days are all in the high 70s and low 80s. This weather is great for doing things outdoors. It’s not so great, however, for someone like me who enjoys the seasons. How I envy you readers who live where trees actually turn colors and shed their leaves to mark the passage of time. I have one such tree in my backyard — a Japanese maple. I had it planted so I could look out the living room window and pretend I live in New England in the fall. (I’ve never been to New England, but I know I’ll love it when I get there; however, I’d probably want to move back to California for the winter.)
One thing I do to help myself feel in the spirit of autumn, beach weather be damned, is to decorate for fall. I’ve added tiny pumpkins, scarecrows, sprigs of berries, and fall leaves (fake, bought at grocery store, but it’s the best one can do here) in various nooks in my house to give myself and my family that fall feeling. Here is a photo of some of my tacky fall decor:
Pictured above are:
Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion magazine (look at that article on the cover called “Cozy up to a Farmhouse Cottage”. Given my adopting-an-abandoned-farm-fantasy, how could I not buy it?)
Cooking Light magazine’s “Hearty Fall Flavors” issue. Hoping to find some good new recipes here to keep those boys fed.
The Road to Monticello, by Kevin J. Hayes. Recommended by that librarian of impeccable literary taste, Jeremy at PhiloBiblos. I have been waiting a couple of months to read this book. Jeremy also recommended my favorite book of the summer, The Billionaire’s Vinegar, by Benjamin Wallace. I’ve been saving The Road to Monticello for October because it focuses on Thomas Jefferson and his reading and writing habits. It just seems a perfect read with a glass of bourdeaux wine and a blanket in the chill autumn twilight. (I know. I’ll have to imagine such weather, but you’ve probably already noticed that I’ve got a huge imagination.)
As we’re lucky enough to have loads of extended family, it’s never too early to start planning for the holidays. I’ve added Amanda Blake Soule’s The Creative Family and The Ultimate Southern Living Christmas Book to the list to inspire me for both home-made and boughten Christmas gifts.
To add to the coziness of home in the cooler months, I also plan to read Jane Brocket’s The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art, and the Comforts of Home, which contains meditations on all sorts of things that the housewife side of me likes or wants to learn more about. It is by no means a manual of housecleaning; rather, “Domesticity gives us the opportunity to express ourselves, and the gentle arts are the most satisfying and achievable means of doing so. Domesticity frees our hands and eyes to enjoy often-neglected and undervalued skills, textiles, color, textures, patterns, and comforts, all of which can bring pleasure to both the domestic artist and those around her.” As someone who sometimes doesn’t appreciate the relationship between housekeeping (like the clean house, don’t like the housecleaning) and home-making (there’s a subtle but important difference between a house and a home) I’d like to write a review on this one when I finish it.
You are probably wondering what I am reading that is so controversial it requires a plain cover to conceal its incendiary contents. A political screed? A religious tract? Pornography, perhaps?
It’s none of the above, but to those of us who love the world of print, it certainly is provocative. It’s Amazon’s electric reader, The Kindle. I got it for my birthday.
Shocking, I know. Don’t choke on your tea. Take another sip and calm down. More on The Kindle tomorrow.
See you in the stacks!