Hello everyone! Time for another book party! But first – I must confess:
I am about to cut my hair! In one week, I will be sending you pictures of the new me! As I was kind of nervous about the whole thing, (I’ve had really long hair for a while now) one of my friends took a picture of me holding my hair up in a way to make it look short. I want to know what ya’ll think:
Do you think it’ll look ok?
Anyway, this week I wanted to include some books that I knew girls of all ages would enjoy – so here’s the picks for today’s Spice of My Shelves:
Let me introduce you to these fine volumes!
The first is a precious picture book, that will warm any lonely girl’s heart:
It is called ‘A friend is someone who likes you’ and it is written and illustrated by Joan Walsh Anglund. The pictures are absolutely precious and whimsical, and the words of the book are so simple and encouraging. Whenever I need a little pick me up, I read it.
‘Sometimes you don’t know who are your friends. Sometimes they are there all the time, but you walk right past them and don’t notice that they like you in a special way. And then you think you don’t have any friends. Then you must stop hurrying and rushing so fast… Sometimes you have to find your friend.’
The next one is appropriate for all ages as well, though originally meant as a children’s book, I think. I read the entire Ramona series when I was in elementary and middle school – those books keep me in stitches! This is the book that focuses on the relationship between Ramona Quimby, and her older sister Beezus, and it recounts many hilarious adventures! It is heart warming, hysterically funny, easy to read, and so relatable!
Here’s what the back of the book says:
‘Beezus has about had it with her little sister Ramona. She’s just impossible! Ramona ruins Beezus’ birthday party… marks up Beezus’ library book… locks Ribsy the dog in the bathroom… Good grief, what will she do next?’
The author, Beverly Cleary, is a master at portraying children and especially the sibling relationships realistically. This book is about a tidy, responsible, bookish older sister learning to live with her wild, enthusiastic, mischievous little sister – and even though I never had a sister, I totally relate to both of these girls! The back of the book doesn’t mention Ramona baking her doll in the oven, putting eggs (shell and all) into birthday cake batter, or following her sister to art class – but I think you get the idea!
Elegant, whimsical fantasy… touched with a bit of light, classy humor… lovable, adorable, admirable characters… a family mystery… beautiful descriptions of scenery, and crave-inducing descriptions of delicious meals… can a book be any better than the next novel I’m about to introduce? ‘A Little White Horse’ by Elizabeth Goudge is simply a jewel of literature, and it appeals to me in so many different ways – from the independent, but extremely feminine and classy main character Maria Merryweather, to the sweet but unsappy romance that unfolds between her and her old friend Robin, to the exquisite symbolism to the layers of adventure that keep peeling back – can you tell I love this book? It is on my top ten list of books, and probably always will be – there is so much beauty packed into this one treasure!
Now, please note: this book contains many long descriptions, and no blood and guts – it is not an action book! If you can’t handle a book like Pride and Prejudice or a book that describes what the characters eat, wear, and see on every page, this book isn’t for you – and that’s ok! I can’t handle a book with clumsy imagery – but this author pulls off the job incredibly and with eloquence! I really can’t do this book justice 🙂
How can you resist a book with characters with names like Loveday Minette, Maria Merryweather, Miss Heliotrope, Monsieur Cocq de Noir, Robin, Wrolf, and Periwinkle?
And though this entire book may sound like a trifling romance fantasy, let me say, it contains very deep themes about forgiveness, getting along with other people, compassion, patience, and goodness.
‘The brave soul and the pure spirit shall with a merry and a loving heart inherit the kingdom together’
‘Black William’s daughter was a beautiful girl, tiny and exquisite as a fairy child, slim as the sickle moon; not dark-complexioned like her father, but of an exquisite fairness, with silvery fair hair and silvery grey eyes and a skin like milk. Indeed so silvery fair was she, and so regal was her air, that throughout the valley she was called the Moon Princess.’
‘I said that his mother had not been a saint at all, but a very wicked woman to be so severe with a little girl as she had been with me over my love of pink. And no saint hates geraniums, I said. Saints love all the flowers that God has made, especially the salmon-pink geraniums of Cornwall, because God never made lovelier flowers than those.. And at that Sir Benjamin picked up all the pots of geraniums within reach and flung them out of the window into the rose-garden.’
‘It was a delight to watch Marmaduke Scarlet making pastry…’
The next book I have for my voracious readers is a non fiction autobiography by the woman who wrote the Ramona Quimby series. Beverly Cleary writes candidly and honestly in this book, called, ‘A Girl from Yamhill: A Memoir’. It is easy to see where all the anecdotes and hilarity in her fictional books come from – yet her life is full of tragedy as well that I never would have suspected… please note, that this book contains some mature content.
I’ll be honest: I usually hate biographies of any kind. They tend to be so dry! But I adored this one; every page is well written, and will leave you wanting to know more about her – fortunately, I believe there is a sequel to this book! This book also contains photos of the author, which I think is pretty cool.
The final book of this installment is a very feminine story, about a poor girl who lives in the swamps of the Limberlost:
As you can see, this book is by Gene Stratton Porter. This book is kind of the sequel to ‘Freckles,’ her other novel about the folks who lived and worked in the Limberlost swamp.
A poor girl who can’t really afford to go to school and who isn’t emotionally nurtured by her bitter mother, Elnora discovers that she can make her dreams of getting an education come true by collecting the rare moths that make the Limberlost their home. The story follows her and her mother’s journey to understanding and loving each other, Elnora’s romance with a boy from the city, and includes the two main characters from the prequel, Freckles and the Angel.
Again, this is not an action book, but it contains heart warming characters, raw scenes between a hurting daughter and an angry mother, and all the warmth and charm of the family that develops between Elnora, Mrs. Comstock (her mother), the neighbors Wesley and Margaret, Philip the love interest, and a wayward boy named Billy. This book is uplifting and funny, and almost exclusively takes place in the setting of the mysterious, beautiful Limberlost swamp. If you hope to get as much as out of this book as you can, read Freckles first, then settle down for ‘A Girl of the Limberlost.’
I hope you all enjoyed this issue of ‘Spice of My Shelves!’ Have a great day everybody!