Hope Returning

The weekend’s weather was stunningly beautiful, full of promise for open windows, walks in the breeze and warmer blankets on the bed. These are the days when being outdoors is a much missed treat, one we haven’t been able to experience comfortably since March. And thankfully, it seems my reading desire is returning just when it is possible to sit on the porch with a good book.

There are four books that have helped to engage my brain this weekend and saturate it with the joy of a well-told story.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This children’s classic is full of adventure and incredible atmosphere.

Great Ghost Stories is a collection published by Dover Thrift Editions that I found at a used book store  a few months ago. It contains stories by E.F. Benson, M.R. James, Charles Dickens and Jerome K. Jerome.  A perfect little volume for this time of the year, don’t you think?

Katherine Mansfield’s collected stories is the book that vaulted me over the reading block on Thursday evening. Lisa suggested I try short stories and this is the only volume of them (other than the ghost stories) that I had on my shelves. Mansfield’s writing is very fluid, wry and concise – just what I needed to get me started on the reading path again.

Agnes Grey is a short novel by Anne Bronte. I ordered this a while ago and when it came in the mail on Saturday I was pleasantly surprised (do you ever forget you ordered something?) I started reading it right away and can tell that it is a keeper. Agnes’s deep innocence yet humble confidence have already endeared me to her. I’m so happy that a novel has made me so excited.

Did you all have magical weekends? Or, at least, content ones?

17 thoughts on “Hope Returning

  1. I especially love the photo of the web, the way you’ve caught the light on it. I’ve forgotten I’ve ordered on occasion, usually if items are split into different packages. My weekend was rather like yours, lots of reading, though it was very cold.


    1. The Book Depository always splits theirs into separate little parcels so I forget how many are coming and am frequently surprised by a rogue package.
      Our weather is beautiful, but I do long for the cold sometimes. I like being bundled up.
      Isn’t the spider web lovely? I was trying to take a picture of something else and noticed it just under my nose!


  2. I lost count of the amount of times I read Wolves of Willoughby Chase as a child, there is a very battered copy lurking somewhere in my parents house! Glad you are enjoying Agnes Grey too 🙂


  3. Sounds like a great weekend and a great group of books. That’s a very pretty edition of Agnes Grey, too. Sometimes that makes a good book even better.


  4. Beautiful pictures! It actually snowed here on Friday night, though not much and it was gone by Saturday afternoon. I’m glad you found some good books to help get over your reading slump.


  5. Oh, that’s great to hear! and you have some great books lined up. I enjoyed Agnes Grey, though it made me devoutly thankful that I never had to be a governess or a nanny.

    The pictures are lovely. Our greenery is wilting a bit as we’re edging into a drought again – ironic, with a hurricane pouring rain & snow on the east coast.


    1. I am thankful, too, Lisa! I know I would have been a terrible governess!

      It is really odd to be sitting in heat & dry weather while the damage from Sandy rains down on the east. I wish things were a bit more balanced!


  6. The photos are lovely. Just as you are all green, we are gold and red, soon to be bare trees. I’ll be just about hibernating any day now as it gets cold and icy here. It’s time for reading lots of books. I enjoyed Agnes Grey and Katherine Mansfield’s shorts stories, I have a lovely Folio edition.


    1. Gold & red is a spectacular combination, one I wish we had more of.
      Do you have any plans for your cold-weather reading? Or, are you just going to see where your whims take you?


  7. Now I’m envious of your weather, sitting outside to read in late October. I’ve read a little Katherine Mansfield & keep wanting to read some more. I do enjoy reading short stories.


    1. It is really nice to be able to spend time outside. The evenings, especially, are perfect.
      Short stories are wonderful. I also have a collection by Eudora Welty at home right now and marvel at the little gems she is able to create in just a few pages.


  8. Lovely pictures and lovely books. I came across some of Katherine Mansfield’s poetry a few days ago and I reminded how lovely her writing is and that I really must read more of her work. And Agnes Grey came up when I looked under the tag ‘governess fiction’ in the library catalogue, so I think I might take your first impressions as a sign that I should place an order.


    1. I didn’t know that Mansfield wrote poetry – I will have to look for her poems.

      Governess fiction is a great tag – there could be a whole section of it in the library!


  9. Beautiful photos. I do like your Agnes Grey cover, she looks exactly as I imagine Agnes to look. So glad your are enjoying this.


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