We are between book club titles right now, so my daily reading has been even more customized than normal. For Monica's Five Senses Tour this week, here are the five books most frequently cracked open around the Lazy W:
In the early mornings I have been devouring inspirational writing from Norman Vincent Peale, along with excerpts from the Bible. Do you know much about this man? I find his book to be practical and solidly based in scripture, which is important to me personally. His suggestions on positive thinking and daily thought conditioners as an extension of prayer are so straight forward and nourishing. I tend to live in my head a lot, and this book has led me to much brighter, stronger thinking about prayer and how God operates.
It seems that my thirst for spiritual invigoration is matched only by my appetite for planning and daydreaming about the soon to be tilled Potagerie. This gardening book was given to me by my sweet and vibrant ol' Grandpa Rex, the world's classiest, funniest, most talented and most affectionate gardener. I have read it cover to cover at least seven times and, as evidenced by these crinkly pages, have left it out in the rain almost that many. It is informative and energetic, and when the book itself finally gives up its spine, I plan to wallpaper my kitchen with the pages. Another thing nobody should tell Handsome, please and thank you.
The other gardening book on my table right now is all about herbs, since that is the intended focus of the new garden at the Lazy W. The paper cover makes my mouth water every time I see it, with its olive green, white, and turquoise artwork. And the black and white photo you see here is about as illustrative as the book ever gets, leaving its 634 pages free to over inform me. I am completely enamored now with the magic and science of cultivating herbs, and I cannot help but see parallel after parallel between this and the art of cultivating joy.
I've also been gathering up and taking inventory for my Thanksgiving and gift giving recipes, so Martha Stewart's classic volume has made regular appearances in the kitchen. And on the couch while I watch movies, notebook and pen in hand.
In the two photos above you can see our little family's favorite quick-bread recipes, complete with handwritten notes to the cook and dried splatters of their respective batters. For the banana bread, I highly recommend stirring candied walnuts into the mix. Also, butter your pans then dust with both flour and cinnamon before filling them. This is good for both recipes.
With what time is left for recreational reading, I nibble at a piece of new fiction titled The Memoirs of Little K. It deserves and will receive a full review when I am done, but in the mean time there are so many thought provokers!
Here is one for you that got my attention, especially as the daylight wanes and the calendar fills up. "You must remember we had no television, no radio, no cinema. Russia's winter days are short, and there are many dark hours to fill." This was written about a late 19th century culture. How differently we live today! Now our days are brimming with technology and entertaining distractions. We rarely complain about the days being too long, but about how they speed past too soon. Maybe the solution is simpler than we want to admit.
So that's my coffee table these days. My sense of sight is happily overwhelmed by books as well as by the changing landscape. Oklahoma is enjoying one of the most dazzling autumns I can remember, so I am trying to soak it up daily, between chapters.