Friday, January 7, 2011

BOOK~ ish Delights and a GIVEAWAY!

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Winter is the perfect time to settle in with your best of " book friends" old and new!
Did Santa bring you any new books for Christmas this year? Are you yearning for a new book or two to drink in over the coming winter months?
 I want to tell you about a couple of intriguing  (and well propped ) books that caught my eye in my friend Sharon Lovejoy's  Christmas post.

This book titled Writers' Houses
  had me right from the start and inspired my blog header photo for this month too! 

It features a brief biography on some of the most famous writers of the last 100 years with beautiful photos of their writing spaces and stories of how they chose and became so emotionally connected to their homes. Hemingway, Twain, and Faulkner to name a few. This is a book to savour and I'm taking my time with it!

The Writer's Brush was another book that caught my eye in Sharon's post. I'm awaiting it's arrival as I write! 

 I emailed Sharon around the first of December to ask her about each of these books. We ended up going back and forth on how fun it is to decorate with books whether they be stacked, piled, shelved or propped  here and there about the house. Then Sharon emailed and said, " Lets's do a co-op BOOK Post in January like we did for An Honest COTTAGE Kitchen back in August. Here's Sharon's honest kitchen post too.

 Naturally, I said YES!'

 So, let's ring in a New Year of  DISCOVERY, learning, and READING together!

  Grab some tea and put your feet up!  

You're in for some  BOOKISH DELIGHTS! 

A house without books is like a room without windows.  ~ Heinrich Mann

( sunrise photo taken by my dearly beloved) 

Talk about sequestered nooks! As I went around our house I noticed we have quite a few of them in nearly every room of the house. Oh sure, I fantasize about one room being set aside some day as our own personal library with a roaring fire, large over stuffed chairs with soft aged velvet covers, a hand painted ceiling with aged celestial maps and angels hovering over head from each corner playing violins. Large crown moldings, brightly colored Turkish area rugs, hand painted occasional tables, English china tea cups at the ready, and music playing softly in the back ground with a view out to the garden.

 my birds and butterflies garden  

sweet white peonies

 What's that you say?  You think I've been reading too many books on English Country Manor's? Perhaps you're right, but one can dream and winter day dreams are just as sweet as summer day dreams in my book!

The books we keep on our personal book shelves speak volumes about who we are and about who we'd like to be too. 

( birds nest found in a horse barn stuffed with chicken feathers)

As I went around taking these photos I realized it's just not possible to cover all of them in one little ole blog post, so I am highlighting our favorites old and new. 

My Mary Jane's Farm Kitchen recipe book is my latest favorite because it's  filled with easy Organic comfort food recipes on a farmgirl budget. 

 I return to Susan Branch's Vineyard Seasons year after year for her yummy Lobster Bisque recipe ( a long time Christmas Eve tradition) and a few treasured others too! 

Another gem !
 Our interests vary widely and with two home-schooled children in the house we have our fair share of BOOKS on Art, nature, classic literature, music, poetry, photography, gardening, farming, horse keeping and hen keeping, picture books, home building, homeschooling, home making, home cooking and homesteading.  

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  
 ~Anna Quindlen, 

 We keep some of our Drawing books with in reach on top this hand painted dresser. Some books we grow out of and give away to friends or donate to the Library. Others will be with us until we grow old and dusty together or passed onto the next generation of book lovers!

 Books that have been given to us or our children from loved ones remain a fixture on our shelves, taken out and re read cementing the memories of the time when they were given and by whom. 

  I painted these book shelves bright colors because I love the way the covers look against them. Many books have brightly colored covers and they just sing against a colorfully painted back ground. 

 A few classics tucked in behind a hand painted sign on drift wood.

 My treasured  signed copies of Sunflower Houses, Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars and Roots Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy are right at home on this shelf with the rest of our nature/gardening books.  I was so happy to attend her last workshop on her most recent book tour in Falmouth, MA. last June so we could meet in person!

We also love to add our twist on the decorated book shelf idea... This cherished wooden bird house painted by our daughter when she was young is right at home on the shelf next to some of our nature books and field guides. Sticks, birds nests, antlers, sea shells and photos are some of my favorite " foundlings" to place among our books. I think they add a bit of  tangible texture to the books and shelves.

In her room another sequestered nook with a hand painted ( by her ) wooden storage container for keepsakes 

and a sketch book just in case the mood strikes to draw. One thing I've noticed is that we don't have any books about books... I did notice in my recent Pottery Barn catalog every styled room prominently features BOOKS in all shapes and sizes and various forms of display. I found it very inspiring! 

Who says a china cabinet can't move to a bedroom and become the perfect book case? 
Lady Violet does a wonderful job of holding some of my most treasured books and trinkets given to me by my mother, husband our children and those I've given to myself too! 

I / we  love BOOKS plain and simple.  I love knowing that if there is a topic I'm interested in I can search and find a book to help me learn more about it. And we can't forget the Internet and so many wonderful blogs to help us along in our discovery of new books.

I believe books help us build a better life for ourselves and others. They inspire us to reach beyond our dreams when we see that others have already accomplished theirs. 

( photo credit Mary Janes Farm

These three are on my list to add to my home library. I' am a certified Farmgirl and sister #1199 and I can't get enough of Mary Jane's Farm back to basic farmgirl ways. I love any book that takes me back in time and inspires me to act on the very ideas I've just read about.

This winter I've made a promise to myself to visit my local independent book stores more often. There's nothing quite like hanging out in a book store on a cold winters day, except perhaps sitting in the comfort of your own home with your favorite book of the moment in hand in quietude.

Our daughter made a special book/notebook for me for Christmas... She said it was for writing Dandelion House. I often write in the lobby of the conservatory where she takes piano twice a week and I've been known to write on small scraps of paper or on the back of the printed flyer's lying on the table there. I had just gotten myself a red leather bound book for writing and I was really enjoying it, but my heart simply melted when she gave me this one. 

She decorated the cover of a plain notebook with various scrapbook papers we have here at home. I added the sparkley letters for the title. The pages are blank and the year is young. Words and ideas  still sleeping will leap onto these pages... all in good time ~ 

 To celebrate the wonder of books and the simple JOYS of reading, ( and my 100th post ) I'm starting off the New Year with a wonderful give away for you!

I've chosen the book Sunflower Houses written and illustrated by, YOU GUESSED IT,

  As I've gotten to know Sharon through her blog and emails these past months I've come to believe that she is the dear sweet Grandmother we all wish we had and the one we'll always remember if we did. She's the one who touched our hearts and ignited our imagination. The one who always had a little something magical up her sleeve and taught you things with out you even knowing it's happening...She calls her friends ( from far and wide ) dear, and that's just what she is to me...

Spring is ever so slowly on its way. NOW is the perfect time to curl up with a good, inspiring gardening book and make some plans for your garden. This is a book to share with the children in your life and re-kindle that same childhood wonder in yourself. 

 For a chance win Sunflower Houses leave a comment on this post or send me an email.  I'll randomly draw a name and announce the winner in my next post on January 16th. 


 I wish you a world of  BOOKISH DELIGHTS in 2011 

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
Henry David Thoreau

Happy Reading 

Deborah Jean ~ who is off to find more sequestered nooks for more books!  

PS. Sharon's writing and illustrating a new book about Birds . I personally can't wait! And if you've ever wondered what it would be like to take a vacation where there was more than the usual  hard  hotel bed and a room service menu, you must check out Sharon and Jeff's little apartment in Maine  Comfort Found Literary Lodging in Damariscotta, Maine.
The name says it all!


Lynn said...

I would love to be entered in your giveaway for Sunflower Houses. I am another one who loves to read... One can always find me curled up with a good book most anytime of day!

Have a great day and weekend too!


Leslie said...

I saw many a dear friend pictured in this post. You have a fabulous library of books. ~Leslie

Peggy Smith said...

Hi Deb. I would love to win your book give away. You are like I am in the fact that you seem to adore books. I'm with you girl I cannot begin to imagine a world without books. Because books make our World a bigger, broader, better place to live. And I love the saying "So Many Books and So Little Time".
From one book lover to another!
Peggy Smith

Pink Princess said...

I'd love to be entered too if I may. I LOVE to read and always have a few books near my sofa and a nice stack near my bed too. It is hard to put down a good book isn't it :)

Hugs from Marian/dutchy from MJF

marcia said...

This post is very special to me because I LOVE and COLLECT books, especially older books.
They complete me...and my house. It's like living with old friends.

You have inspired me to do a blog post of my own on Books in the upcoming months.

Ohhh and The Writers Brush is a very inspiring book! I LOVE it!

And Hurrah for Sharon! She IS a treasure, isn't she? I have all her books so I don't need to be entered in your giveaway.

happy day!

Brenda said...

Hubs and I both love books and have them all over our house. I own the Maryjane books you covet. Hope you get them soon. I need to join the farmgirls soon myself.

Unknown said...

The photos are beautiful. I love the quote about children who think decorating means building enough bookshelves - we have nine full sized bookcases in our small two bedroom apartment. It's the first thing most people notice when they visit for the first time - our walls are lined with books.

I enjoyed reading the post and plan to stick around and read some more.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hello dear Deborah Jean,

I've been away today and just got settled in to catch up a bit. OOOPS, we thought we had a hot link to your site. Jeff said he will do that now. We did a link, but something went wrong.

Anyhow, I love this posting and could see so many books that are my favorites.

Of course, Sue Branch is an old and treasured friend, but I'm not prejudiced by that. I think her book Vineyard Seasons is my all time favorite, closely followed by the Autumn book. I love them all, but those are my top picks from her UNTIL she finishes the new one she has been illustrating and writing for over a year.

This is wonderful and I will return often. Thank you for doing Sunflower Houses as a giveaway.

Sending love,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Well dear,

Jeff fixed it in a flash. Hurrah!

I love it that we both fixed on A Child's Garden of Verses. Without even knowing it!

I have about 6 different versions, but my Grandmother's book is the most treasured, though it is also the most tattered.



Teri Stevens said...

Please enter me in your contest...the three children and I would love to discover the wonderful book together!

Happy New Year,
Love, Teri (Stevens of course!)

Kaye said...

Please enter me into your contest as well-this looks like a wonderful book and would make a great addition to our homeschool library!

Happy New Year!

Christine said...

I would love to be entered into this giveaway. My son wants to start a garden and I have a brown thumb, so this may be just the ticket to help us on our way to gardening.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this giveaway! I loved your post because I love BOOKS!! Janie Greene

Martianne said...

I love your blog's photos, style and content. I also love books, book,s and more books. So, I am excited about this giveaway, since I have had the book out several times from the library and would love to own it. Thank you for the chance to enter.

mmstangerbus (at) comcast (dot) net

Julia said...

Books, cozy corners and tea...a most beloved pass time. I love to decorate with books too! Seems every corner has its own literary mark. (A great give away idea).

Unknown said...

I just found your blogs via the Mary Jane's Farmgirl forum and I LOVE them :)! I'll be a frequent visitor here, I do believe.
I love Sharon Lovejoy's books ... and one about birds is almost certain to become my favorite.
Lovely giveaway, lovely blog!
Catherine :)

AmyLou said...

Please enter me!! Love the blog!!!

Terra said...

Please enter me in the give away for Sharon Lovejoy's book. I love her writing and illustrations, and am a book lover too. Thus my career choice of librarian and writer.

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