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How Do You Celebrate National Book Lovers Day? My Book Invitations for Reading with the Season

 

“If you have a garden and a library, you have all you need.” Cicero.

Whether you consider yourself a bookworm as I do (so Cicero, no? ~ nesting the garden together with the book-as-moniker) or a bibliophile or bookaholic or lectiophile ~ there’s an official day to express your ardor: National Book Lovers Day.

While the literary event is now celebrated globally; like a true mystery, its origin and creator remain unknown to date…

What I do know is that I’ve come to recognize that I read a wee bit differently in each season. Do you read with the seasons? 

Let’s talk books.

Chef Eric Ripert & Moi at booksigning. I’m so proud that our home library has so many autographed books by the authors ~ from gardeners to chefs to politicos to… 

Reading with the Seasons

I feel that, not unlike our eating and drinking, we surely must also read with the seasons. 

Don’t you feel that Summertime reading is another breed from curling up in front of a fire with an epic tome?  I know I do. 

I think this difference is probably because we read outdoors, on the beach, or in the hammock, or in the park… 

I also noticed that I’d been feeling a wee bit more adventurous ~ reading not only biographies, the classics, and books that teach me, but fantasies, comedy and children’s stories, as well.  I used to think these kinds of books were, well, frivolous to a certain extent.  

But then, probably brought on by the pandemic and my need for consistent “wellness walks” where I listened to audiobooks, I returned to loving books just for the sheer pleasure and joy.  Books, once again, were taking me places just for the fun of it.  And maybe not so curiously, I have pursued those books that are spiritual and introspective, taking me on entirely new journey of discovery…

Do you choose lighter, more “entertaining” books this time of year? 

As part of celebrating National Book Lovers Day as well as marking the half-way point in my Goodreads “Year in Books Challenge” 2023. This year I’m ahead of my goal. Last year I fell short.  Like Goldilocks, I’m hoping to get it just right next year.  😉

Reading Habits 

It’s no secret that reading books has been my passion for my entire life.  

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I’m told my older sister helped teach me to read at a very early age.  Truth is, I can’t remember ever Not reading. 

I couldn’t get enough ~ of John, Jean and Judy, or The Bobbsey Twins, The Hardy Boys, or another Jersey Girl: Nancy Drew. 

Vintage Nancy Drew Book The Mystery at Lilac Inn – Nancy Drew Fans

I still treasure the books gifted to me by my godmother and grandmother ~ they have a special place in our library.  Treasure Island and The Wizard of Oz.

 

When our town’s public library launched a summer reading program structured like a combination of a scavenger hunt but with stickers that one could earn and paste onto our book roadmap like a passport, I was determined to not only speed-read through this kind of contest ~ winning! But also to read the entire children’s library from the start of the Dewey system to the end.  Not so winning! But A for effort. 🏆

My dear father would create bedtime stories about the squirrels and the birds. And as very young children, we were also read to.  My best friends were book lovers too.

I encourage you to read to your children. Volunteer at your library or school. Inculcate the joy of reading. It’s an investment in the future.

Books are a gateway. A transporting, Magic Carpet …

Reading Now

Reading habits launched as a child stay with you.  

While Bill surely appreciated the invention of Kindle for no other reason than when traveling our yearly February sojourn to our place in Aruba, the suitcases weren’t loaded down with books to read on the beach.  (This was before the annoying weight limit).

Today, I can read on Kindle, the “Books” App on my phone, Audiobooks via Simply E and my New York Public Library card.  

And then there’s the paperbacks I’ve been thrilled to receive. Just recently, at our Gotham home, I received an Advanced Readers Copy to review Ana Turns, Lisa Gornick which has an official publication date of November 7, 2023. Looks like a bit of a naughty romp!  

I also very much appreciate receiving books via Goodreads authors, including the fabulous, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  What a cool book!  And it’s  exhibit A for what I’m talking about here. I don’t think I would’ve selected this book myself, but boy did I ever love reading it.  In fact, it changed my book reading strategy. 

Another Goodreads’ Giveaway book I’m reading in paperback now is The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland. This is a horrific, true story about “the man who broke out of Auschwitz to warn the world.” It is a spellbinding, terrifying, but important read… 

Balancing out the right now, I’m entranced by Bittersweet, How Sorry and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain.  This exquisite telling of the “power of light and dark/birth and death” has me going back, and back yet again, to make certain I’m understanding and inculcating the author’s revelatory vision.

 

Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus,  White Noise, Don DeLillo (and I have to add that you really need to see the movie directed by Noah Baumbach, starring dreamy Adam Driver and the woman of the moment, Greta Gerwig, Noah’s partner.  I get so tickled that both these talents are our Gotham building upstair neighbors.)  

Another book I enjoyed this year is Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age, by Katherine May.  

In addition don’t miss this fun frolic: Kiki’s Delivery Service, translated from the Japanese by extended family, Emily Balistrieri ~ who also earned a Pen Award this year for The Tatami Galaxy. Sooo exciting! 

Kiki's Delivery Service: The classic that inspired the beloved animated film   

I also read a few of Jane Austen’s (I know, I know but I never read them, even in school!) 

The Beauty and the Ledger by Jane Hirschfield and The Art of Death: Writing The Final Story by Edwidge Danticat, drew me in because of my doula studies and interest. All three of these books are delicately crafted and beautifully written. 

  

You can follow along with my Year in Books on Goodreads.  And at the same time, you can follow me on Goodreads. (smile) 

And finally, because you are the savant, here are a few books that I highly recommend because they are good, published this year, and because I personally know the authors!

   Made in New York, written by my friend, Frank Vizard just landed ~ in stores, and on our doorstep! I preordered.  And if you haven’t read Frank’s Screamers ~ it’s a fast-paced thriller fantasy that takes place in Ireland and New York across time. I’m looking forward to discovering all the personalities researched and highlighted in Made in New York. I already know one of my favorites: Nicolai Tesla, as well as a nurse I can’t wait to learn about. 

Speaking of made in New York, my fellow Les Dames D’Escoffier, Rozanne Gold, penned Mother Sauce.  

Roz is beautiful. She is a chef ~ she worked for NYC’s Mayor Ed Koch, is the winner of many James Beard awards, and a death doula.  We are in simpatico. Truth be told, I bought two of Roz’s books straight away ~ one for me and one for a favorite aunt who loves poetry and writes her own. This clean and beautifully written poetry trades “the language of food for the language of words, the poems reveal a search for spiritual nourishment…”   

Another “poetic glimpse into the heart and mind” is Jon Feraro’s debut book, Moratorium of Saints. The short stories and poems are a kind of hopeful catharsis – his ascent to living in this challenging world after the tragedy and loss of his father. 

Moratorium of Saints

My Books

Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my books with you, wouldn’t I?! 

And of course it gives me a chance to honor all those who worked with me to make these books a success, including the editors and photographers.  And for me to thank those who included me in their books. 

Art of the Garnish                            The Art of the Garnish: Over 100 Cocktails Finished With Style

The Hamptons and Homegrown Long Island Cookbook        The Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook: Local Food, Local Restaurants, Local Recipes (Homegrown Cookbooks)

Savoring Gotham, A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City ~ I researched and wrote three chapters that I’m very proud of: the history of Gotham’s Greenmarkets, Farm to Table, and the Ladies Who Lunch. Subsequently, those dames help inspire my now monthly videocast, Ladies Who Lunch Conversations. Sweet!  Please check it out and Follow.  You too will be inspired by my talented guests.   

Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City

The Mansions and Cottages of the Jersey Shore ~ I couldn’t have been more excited when author Carolin Seebohm included two of my garden designs in her beautiful and enduring book.  Still am… 

I sincerely hope you enjoy my book suggestions. Further, that you take the recommendations from the National Book Day and perhaps join a book club, Follow an author or three (including me!), support a local Indie author, suggest books to others, and “even start writing your own book.”

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“Books are a uniquely portable magic,” Stephen King.

 

2 Comments

  • Garden Glamour

    I welcome fellow book lovers with unabandoned ardor and complete joy! We are a special tribe who love adventure and wisdom and possess great compassion… Don't you agree? I am honored that you will look into the wonderful books here that I've enjoyed. (and we're only half way through the year 🙂 ~ Please do let me know what you think after you complete reading a few. Enjoy! and Thank You for your kind feedback.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you about books ( and many other suggestions ). but I love to read. I will look into many of your list. Thanks for sharing.

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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