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Thursdays at my blog are supposed to be about books I’m reading, but since I’m too busy garage sale-ing, home remodeling, and keeping up with having both hubby and dear daughter home for the summer, I haven’t gotten through last week’s books. So I’m going to instead give you some links I’m loving lately.

First, I can’t get through a day lately without popping over to Chez Larsson for my daily dose of clean, pristine, beautiful and inspiring.  Benita, like me, is a Martha Stewart fan (though she, I would say, is much more of a fanatic than me–she keeps every issue of Martha in a cabinet whereas I always pass on magazines after a few months).  I think it’s the only “clutter” Benita has, though, and she certainly doesn’t let them become clutter–like everything the magazines have their designated place in her home.

She writes from her small home in Stockholm, Sweden.  Her English is perfect, somehow–someday I’d like to ask her about how she got to be so good at it, the slang and everything.  She is an organizer par excellence and she and her husband Martin and their teen-age son Willie make the most efficient use of their little Swedish house.  I get so inspired by all her projects.  And even just peeking into her kitchen drawers is a thrill!  (I think maybe you have to be a little bit of a neat freak, or at least long for neatness, to feel that way…)

Another blog I’m checking often is The Farm Chicks.  Being an “urban homesteader” and a farm girl at heart, I love that Serena and Teri celebrate the beautiful things about our nation’s farm heritage.  They, like me, love vintage aprons and all things “country”, but with a modern touch.

I had a chance to look through their new book, The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen: Live Well, Laugh Often, Cook Much, at Barnes and Noble the other day and I loved it!  In fact, I keep wanting to go back just to look at it and read some more.  They have great recipes and cute homey ideas, but I also loved the background stories of these two women.  Serena grew up with hippy parents and Teri grew up on a farm; they both tell their story well in this Country Living-published book.  I am definitely going to buy it come pay-day!

Some other fairly new-to-me blogs I’m really enjoying lately are Lizzy Lane Farm, Cherry Hill Cottage (I linked to Tina’s Chocolate Cobbler recipe yesterday), and The Nourished Kitchen, just to name a few.  You can see other blogs I like on my various blog rolls in the sidebar.

Have fun perusing!

Long title for what will (hopefully) be a quick post:

Books I have read recently:

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
A murder mystery set in suburban Connecticut–think “Desperate Housewives”.  It was a fun read that I actually managed to get through all the way to the end–meaning the writing was decent, not too trite.

The Cider House Rules by John Irving
This is a long but intriguing read, well written.  I feel the underlying theme of this epic fiction story spanning many years in Maine is very important as it deals with abortion, single motherhood, orphans, etc. in a very readable way.  I have the movie from Netflix sitting in the TV cabinet, and I’m waiting for a couple hours free time to watch it.  The book did get long and I skimmed the last few chapters (as I too often do when I get impatient–a trick learned while majoring in English Lit.), but it’s well worth picking up at the library.

What I’m wading through at the moment:

The Jasmine Moon Murder by Laura Childs
This is one in a whole series of Tea Shop Mysteries.  I’m having a hard time reading it; it’s a little dull to me.  It has all the elements I would seem to like–tea, tea shop, a quaint town in the South, and a mystery (actually I’m kind of new to mysteries, as I’m trying for some light reading that keeps me interested), but the writing is only so-so.  This is a problem I have with being an English Major and a writer; I’m too much of a critic!  I’m going to keep at it, and if I end up liking it I just may read some of the others. Edited to add:  I tried, two more pages–to page 56–but I just couldn’t do it.  One shouldn’t have to trudge through a book that’s supposed to be light and entertaining, right?   On the other hand, I started Burning Bright (see below) and I love it so far!  Very well written.

Uppity Women of Medieval Times by Vicki Leon
This is a fun read, a bit of history to try to get myself interested in attending the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism–that crazy Medieval re-enactor group) events which our 12-year old son will “drag” us to this summer.;-)

Books Waiting On The Shelf:

Light in August by William Faulkner
Talk about un-light reading!  Faulkner is a challenge.  I just attempted to get through The Sound and The Fury, a book I loved in high school.  I didn’t have the patience to sit through Faulkner’s stream-of-consciousness-where-the-bleep-are-we-now writing when it came to that book this time.  However, I’m hoping that since I haven’t read Light in August I will be more interested in it.  I really love Southern drama and would like to read more Faulkner.  If it doesn’t work now, I’ll try again when I’m 50 and have the luxury of more time. (I will have more time when I’m 50, right?  Kids will be grown up…)

Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
I remember one year on our annual Virginia vacation at the in-laws, I saw Chevalier’s Girl With A Pearl Earring on my mother-in-law’s book pile, sat down on their front porch and read it all in one sitting.  I’m hoping I like this book as much!  Girl With A Pearl Earring centered around the making of the famous painting by Vermeer and Burning Bright takes a similar tack with the life of poet William Blake.  I can’t wait to start this one and hope for a long, peaceful day to do so.  Edited to add:  I’ve started this one and it’s very good!

The Shack by I-can’t-remember-and-it’s-not-here-next-to-me…
My aunt gave this to me to see what I think of it, and it’s on my pile.  It’s rather well-known, I think, but I hadn’t heard of it before Mother’s Day when she asked me to read it.  I’ll get to it, I promise!

What are you reading?  Anything you think I’d like?

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