Pages – Becoming Mrs. Lewis and Hoopla

I’ve been planting in the garden like a madwoman, hence, not as much time as I’d like to blog and keep up with the never-ending housework. Happily though, I’ve been reading, or should I say listening, to a good book while I am tending to the weeds and seeds. Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan is a wonderful novel about the friendship and love of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. As with the best of books, any nagging thought or worry I’m facing at the moment disappears when I’m listening to the story. You can read a good synopsis of the story on GoodReads/Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I’ve found that fiction based on true-life often prompts me to delve further into biographies and photo records of the subjects; this has been the case with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis, the main characters in the novel.

I’m listening to this book on a digital streaming service called Hoopla.

Hoopla Digital is a web and mobile library media streaming platform for audio books, movies, music, ebooks, comics, and TV. Hoopla allows library patrons to download or stream media content. Hoopla Digital is a division of the Holland, Ohio-based company Midwest Tape, and is housed in the same facility.” Wikipedia

I joined Hoopla free through my local library. Many libraries offer Hoopla. Check with yours to see if you can download and use this free service.

I am sometimes hesitant to use photo images of book jackets for my ‘pages’ reviews. Here’s a good article written by The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh, that puts most of my fears to rest over violating copyright laws when I use a book cover image on my blog: Book Cover Images.

Pages & Philm – Vanity Fair

I’ve been watching, and enjoying, an Amazon Prime Original of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.

I have also found a free Librivox  recording of Vanity Fair. I’m about to start Chapter One today. I can listen on my tablet as I work at completing odds and ends around the house. Librivox is a wonderful site filled with free audiobooks of public domain works. There are many classics available for your listening pleasure on Librivox. Since I’ve never read Vanity Fair, I’m looking forward to meeting Becky Sharp through the audiobook as well as Amazon’s well-done series.

Pages – Crafty Books

On a recent trip to Longwood Gardens we admired this arch created with books folded into interesting shapes and flowers. The base appears to be created with gnarly branches and moss.

As a lifelong lover of books, I have mixed feelings about using books for crafts, although I have done so on numerous occasions. I enjoy cutting phrases out of books to use on greeting cards. You can see a sample and how-to on using these cut out phrases on The Flower Ark/Tulip Greeting Card.

I might try to make a few of these book page flowers for a Valentine’s Day Centerpiece.

Pages – Indoor Plant Decor

What do you do when a dreary Saturday has you rained-in (again) and you’re fighting a ‘humbug’ attitude because of too much to do? Well, my solution today has been to eat a handful of cookies (I’m in the midst of beginning the third batch of the day), and read a good book while more Christmas cookies bake. My book choice is Indoor Plant Decor by Kylee Baumle and Jenny Peterson. Thoughts of houseplants thriving and this book’s ideas and photos have actually elevated my mood. (Or is that the sugar I’ve eaten?😒)

The photograph of a plant inside a handbag gave me an instant uplift of mood. I also smiled over the plants in old instruments and the bottom of chairs. The book features 142 pages of tips and stunning photographs. I know I’ll come away inspired  to create fun houseplant displays throughout my home.

“With more and more people (5.9 million-plus) working from home or retiring from the workforce (10,000 new baby boomers retiring every day) the quality of the home environment is becoming more important than ever. Jenny and Kylee know that adding living plants to the decor pays off in enjoyment, pride of place, and an increased sense of well being (not to mention lower blood pressure, higher creativity and cleaner air quality).”
~ Goodreads

Pages – A Piece of the World

I recently finished reading Christina Baker Kline’s fictionalized account of Christina Olson in the book ‘A Piece of the World.’ If you love a good story that has many actual events woven throughout, this book is a perfect choice.

Most of us have seen the famous painting of a girl in a pink dress looking towards the house depicted on the novel’s book jacket.  Christina Olson is that girl/woman. Christina’s World, a painting done in egg tempera, is one of Andrew Wyeth’s most well-known works of art.

I enjoyed every page of this book. I felt like I was living alongside Christina Olson throughout the story, and very much enjoyed the insights into the painting style and life of Andrew Wyeth. Terrific read!

Pheathers & Pages – The Life of Birds and Bird Cams

life-of-birds

I can’t remember where I found this book on ‘The Life of Birds,’ written by David Attenborough, most likely on a library, thrift shop or yard sale treasure hunt. I’ve read through the first chapter, and have found the accompanying BBC/PBS series available on Amazon. This weekend I’ll watch the coinciding show of the series and then read another chapter in the book.

One of the joys in my life is the birds that I see and hear throughout the day. This week I took my camera with me on a walk around the block. The trees were filled with red-wing blackbirds, grackles, starlings, and other birds that flock with them.

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I have included the Cornell Lab of Ornithology bird cams in my posts many times, and will probably point the way to them in the future also. They are amazing, and just about now some of the birds might be ‘feathering’ their nests in preparation for new life.

Take a look at the Sapsucker Woods Bird Feeder. I enjoy the sounds as much as the sights of these live cams.

All the bird cams can be found here: Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Cams. Some aren’t online now, but will probably be back soon.

Pages – Surprises

I love to search through antique shops, flea markets, and boxes of books at yard sales. I often find treasured volumes I’ve read in the past and feel as if I’ve reconnected with old friends.

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I came upon a pleasant surprise when I opened “The Book of Trees” by Alfred C. Hotte, published in 1932. Within the pages lay a letter and pressed leaves. I wonder as I study the letter, the brittle leaves, who placed them inside and why.

trees 2

Underlining and personal notes written on book pages never fail to make me wonder why the readers were moved enough to comment or underline. It’s funny, I’ve even come upon my own written comments in book margins, long forgotten, but often still applicable to my life now. A week or two ago, I found pressed plants in a book gathering dust on a shelf, several four leaf clovers found in a patch of grass on a long ago day. I didn’t remove them, instead I shut the cover and laid it away once more, to rediscover “good luck’ another day.