Monday, November 5, 2012

Three new/old books

Jean Hersey
The Shape of a Year
Lucky me! I scored three new/old books today and that always makes for a good day.

Read This! Handpicked Favorites from Indie Bookstores:

This little red book is, according to its back cover, "a reference for those who can never have enough to read. It offers booklovers an insider's guide to the treasured titles that have flown under the radar, but off of bookstore shelves."

In it 25 independent booksellers offer their picks of 50 books they love and love to pass on to readers. Michael Bogg's, co-owner of Carmichael's Bookstore in my hometown, has a list included here. Of his 50, I have read eight. I guess I have a lot of catching up to do. 

I hope to interview Mr. Boggs for Belle, Book, and Candle and will keep you posted on that project.

The Private Patient by P.D. James:
I picked this paperback copy off the Books for Sale table at the library. I just finished James's The Murder Room published in 2003. This is her latest (and last?) Adam Dalgliesh mystery published in 2008. 

The Shape of a Year by Jean Hersey:
This is a lovely prize also found on the library's sale table. According to the flyleaf, "it is a month-by-month chronicle of events in one woman's life, in her Connecticut house set in a meadow bounded by a rushing brook and hills covered with maples and hemlocks." 

It was published in 1967 and has chapter illustrations by John Pimlott.

I do so love a journal written by a woman that features the turning of the seasons and comments on daily life. It is in excellent condition for a hardcover book that is 45 years old. Not a tear or a bent page.

Here is her opening entry for November:

November is chill, frosted mornings with a silver sun rising behind the trees, red cardinals at the feeders, and squirrels running scallops along the tops of the gray stone walls.

Ahhh. A treasure indeed.


  1. The Shape of a Year by Jean Hersey
    Reminds me of Edith Holden's "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" I try to take a peek at this regularly, when I remember. She says of November "If there's ice in November that will bear a duck, There'll be nothing after, but sludge & muck"

    1. Hi Tullik. Thanks for your comments. I love the 'Country Diary'. I am thinking I will just read a chapter a month of Hersey's book, but based on previous experience, I will most likely devour it all at once.

      Have you read 'Mrs. Daffodil' by Gladys Taber? It is the same sort of delightful seasonal diary. I wrote about it here:

      One year I kept my own nature/weather journal. It was quite exhilarating to pay such close attention to the year's changes.