When I come across vintage books, I am often surprised by the beauty of the covers – and the amount of time and effort and creativity that went into them.
It reminds me of how important artwork and photography were for the record album covers of my generation and how people lamented the loss of “creative space” when cassettes and then CDs replaced them. Which isn’t to say that covers are not still extremely important, even in this digital age. I have spent countless hours working with designers on my own book covers to try to capture the mood and tone of the stories inside.
But there is something immensely appealing in the original artwork of those old hardback covers that evoke the aesthetics and charm of an earlier era.
Like other people, I sometimes use old books as decorations around the house, just to enjoy the vintage feel and beautiful colors of these little works of art.
The next time you’re at a used book store, or a garage sale, or at an odds and ends shop, keep you eyes open for these beautiful treasures from another time.
Ah, the bustle of Christmas! Decorating your house for the holidays, cooking traditional family favorites,
shopping. Braving the crowds, the weather, the choices —
and returning home to relax with a mug of hot chocolate or a cup of tea.
In the Christmastime Series, Christmas shopping adds a sense of merriment and celebration to the season — whether it’s Lillian preparing for Christmas Night at the Brooklyn department store where she works (Christmastime 1939),
or Mrs. Murphy taking a store escalator up to the “North Pole” toy section to do some shopping for her nieces and nephews (Christmastime 1941),
or Izzy stopping to enjoy the window displays as she walks to work (Christmastime 1943),
or the sisters Ursula and Jessica browsing at the small-town stores in rural Illinois.
Christmas shopping. The sparkle of lights and tinsel, the scent of pine and cloves, the sounds of bells ringing and Christmas caroling heighten enjoyment of the season and deepen the pleasure of gift-giving.
“A dream garden is better than no garden at all. At least your mind is filled with flowers and color and beauty. And I think, without even being aware of it, we slowly move towards what we hold in our minds.” (Words from Millie to her daughter Vita in my novel And So We Dream)
If I had a garden, I’d take my breakfast there.
I’d find a hammock or a garden chair and enjoy the peaceful shade.
I’d invite a friend to join me for lunch among the blooms,
and I’d find a quiet spot in the fragrant afternoons.
In the garden’s comfort, I’d indulge in a book or two,
and include a pot of tea and a floral china cup.
And in the scented evenings, the garden all aglow,
I’d sleep among the flowers and dream the sweetest dreams.
Now that it’s officially spring, reading outdoors has even more appeal. Opening a new book amid the first flowers of spring or under blossoming trees speaks of new beginnings, a sense of well-being, and hope.
There’s the promise of longer days and milder weather, and hopefully, more free time to indulge in the discovery of new books.
And if it’s still too cold where you live to read outdoors, bring a bit of springtime inside with a few blossomy sprigs or some fresh-cut flowers to remind you of what’s up ahead.
Once in a while I put out a request for book reviews. I’m always trying to increase my numbers, especially on Amazon and Goodreads, as it leads to greater discoverability.
If you have read The Garden House, I would deeply appreciate a review (and by that I mean a few words or even a simple star review).
If you have not read The Garden House but would like to and are willing to leave an honest review on Amazon, please contact me at email@example.com and I will send you a free ebook through BookFunnel.
And to all of you who have left reviews, thank you ever so much. Your stamp of approval means the world to me!
Lately, I’ve been thinking about a movie I’ve always loved, Enchanted April, based on the 1922 novel by Elizabeth von Arnim. I remembered that I had bought the book a few years ago and decided to read it — and watch the movie again. Set shortly after WWI, the story is about two women who are unhappy with their dreary, loveless lives in rainy London.
After seeing an advertisement for “Wisteria and Sunshine,”
they become filled with the dream of renting a villa in Italy for the month of April.
The impetuous Lotty convinces her friend Rose to make the dream a reality.
They find two other women, who are also dissatisfied with their lives, to join them in order to help lessen the cost, and set off for Italy.
A month of strolling through the terraced hillsides, enjoying the rocky shore, dining al fresco, and resting in the tranquility of the gardens enables their spirits to heal.
The result is a reawakening to life, love, beauty, and newfound friendship .