Afternoons Filled with Books

Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl by Donald Sturrock

On many afternoons this summer, I have been found on our front porch reading. As I wrote before, I’m trying to focus more–turning off the distractions and just concentrating on the words of the author. One of my favorites of late? Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl written by Donald Sturrock.

When I was little I didn’t read much Roald Dahl. My mother didn’t want the attitudes of the characters to rub off on her 7 year old bibliophile that already had an attitude  problem. But last year I started reading a Dahl book every few months: First, Matilda. Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Giraffe the Pelly and Me.

“From then on, Matilda would visit the library only once a week in order to take out new books and return the old ones. Her own small bedroom now became her reading-room and there she would sit and read most afternoons, often with a mug of hot chocolate beside her…
It was pleasant to take a hot drink up to her room and have it beside her as she sat in her silent room reading in the empty house in the afternoons. The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She traveled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
-excerpt from Matilda by Roald Dahl

Do you like to read? I used to read under the covers with a flashlight when I was little and always carried a book in my bag. Then, in high school, I got tired of being told what to read, as I suppose happens to a lot of people, and gave up the practice almost entirely. Then, last summer, a switch was flipped again and suddenly I love opening the pages of a book and experiencing a world completely separate from mine. Personally, I prefer reading children’s literature or biographies. But regardless of what one likes to read, the essentials are always the same, right?

What do you like to read? Looking for something new? Here are a few blogs & lists I’ve found recently that are adding titles to my ToRead List:

NPR Books’ 2013 Critics’ Lists

200 Books Recommended by TEDsters

Goodreads: 2013 Summer Reading List

What are you reading right now?

Hello, Gorgeous!

Just a little random link guaranteed to totally brighten your day! Enjoy!

I cannot get enough of writer-illustrator Joanna Avillez’s interpretation of one of my favorite literary stars: Eloise, for New York Magazine’s Childhood in New York series. (The series is totally worth digging into when you get a chance with stories from legends like Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers, & Barbara Walters just to name a few.)

So what would happen if Eloise was currently growing up in Brooklyn’s famed Wythe Hotel?  She’d tip with Adderall and run a killer instagram account… Naturally.

Click here to check out Joanna’s site or follow her on Twitter.

What Are You Reading?

The Duke of Devonshire Taking a Nap in the Library at Chatsworth, Shot by Christopher Sykes

The Duke of Devonshire Taking a Nap in the Library at Chatsworth, Shot by Christopher Sykes

This afternoon, over on English Muse, I shared some beautiful little reading rooms and posed the question “Where do you read?” I got several responses on the blog and on Twitter, which eventually (& I suppose inevitably) turned into a “What are you reading?” conversation. So I thought I’d share a few of the lovely books I’ve been delving into for the past few days.

currently reading


1.) Oddfellow’s Orphanage by the lovely Miss Emily Winfield Martin

I prefer children’s books to just about anything else, and this one in particular is right up my alley. It’s the most magical book I’ve ever read, and when I finish it (right after I post this), I will probably just start at chapter 1 again. An added bonus? Delicate, beautiful illustrations by the author.

Visit the Oddfellow’s Orphanage site.

2.) Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of Country Life by Julia Rothman

When I heard Julia Rothman on Grace Bonney’s podcast “After the Jump” last month, I knew I had to get this book. It’s a beautiful illustrated guide to the farm–from the combs of the roosters to the layers of the soil–created by a Brooklyn artist who happened to marry a Nebraska farm boy. How sweet is that?

Visit Julia’s site.

*Please Note: If you are a lover of illustrations, you should add both of these books to your collection as soon as you can. You can thank me later! 

3.) You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning by Celia Rivenbark

This book is next on my list, but I haven’t started yet. It’s been recommended by multiple people so I’m very anxious to get started. From what I understand it is funny, has short enough chapters to keep me engaged, and has numerous tasty recipes throughout. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Visit Celia’s site.

So what about you? What are you reading?

Hello, Gorgeous!

Hello and happy Monday! Today your random links are really just one link. Might I suggest you click on over to The New York Times and read The Author Himself Was a Cat in the Hat.Dr. Seuss & the Mrs. wearing one of his many hats.

This fantabulous photo is from the New York Times.

In retrospect, it is really no surprise at all that Dr. Seuss was a hat man. A hat is, after all, the most whimsical of all accessory choices. I especially loved this quote from his wife….

 “Believe me, when you get a dozen people seated at a fairly formal dinner party,” his widow, Audrey, said in an interview… “and they’ve all got on perfectly ridiculous chapeaus, the evening takes care of itself.”

Doesn’t that just make you want to change your dress code for all house guests now? Looking for a fab new hat for yourself? I found a few that I particularly love over at Anthropologie. They have just the right amount of quirky, don’t you think?

hats from Anthropologie

Looking for a little more Dr. Seuss inspiration to bright up this February Monday?

To learn more about the man: Watch this.

To find out where Seuss got his inspiration: Read this.

Want to hear a really great story? Listen to this.