It’s been yet another wonderful week of reading. On Monday I wrote that I’m riding a wave of wanting to read nearly everything and that continues to be the case. I want to curl up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and just dig through a stack of books every chance I get. And yet – real life beckons and other tasks must be completed. Happily, I can share a couple finished books with you today.
Plant Dreaming Deep by May Sarton
“I knew, from having watched my father hack down the incredible amount of work he accomplished day by day and year by year, how supportive a routine is, how the spirit moves around freely in it as it does in a plain New England church. Routine is not a prison, but the way into freedom from time. The apparently measured time has immeasureable space within it, and in this it resembles music.“
“(If someone asked me what my idea of luxury is, I think my answer would be: flowers in the house all year round.)“
Plant Dreaming Deep is another May Sarton journal, this one set a little earlier than The Journal of a Solitude which I shared a couple of weeks ago. This details Sarton’s experience buying her home in New Hampshire and how she went about making it her own, especially the gardens. And of course, she talks a lot about how she set up her days to get the most out of them based on the season she was in. I found this journal to be less engaging than the Journal of a Solitude, yet it was still comforting to read.
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
“I have been running through the dark, trying to save all who have need of me. I have done good and I have done evil, but I am neither. I am only myself.”
This is the last in the Winternight Trilogy. Set in Medieval Russia during a time when some believe in the old gods and others are turning towards Christianity. Vasiya, our young hero, is a witch who can see the magical creatures that her ancestors once believed in. Those same creatures help her through this incredible novel as she fights to save her family and the way of life that she loves.
I really enjoyed this series. I gasped with delight at the magical word that Arden created. It’s full of talking horses, enchanted forests, cottages hidden in the woods, and demons walking among us. It was endlessly atmospheric and I loved being steeped in a giant Russian fairy tale. I was sad when it was over!
I’m close to finishing a wonderful book of essays (The Book of Delights), have started a murder mystery on audio (Moonflower Murders), continue to pore over Cool Flowers and the Flower Farmer, and am studying poetry with Mary Oliver (A Poetry Handbook). The reading life is good, friends. I wish you all a good week for reading!