Gentle Reads for Autumn Days

Village Diary by Miss Read

The morning fog is rolling in and the leaves are turning here in the Pacific Northwest, a sure sign that we are well into autumn. Despite my trepidation that winter will soon close in, I’m so enjoying this season. My knitting needles have come out, my tea is once again served hot, and my library bag is bulging. The cozy spirit of this time of year demands, I think, gentle reads. Here are some favourite authors I always return to when the weather cools.  Continue Reading →

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Thirty Chic Days by Fiona Ferris

DSC_0090 One afternoon a couple of years ago, my mom and I were having tea together. Skimming our way through many a topic, my mom suddenly exclaimed, “Oh! I’ve been reading the most wonderful blog. It’s by a lovely lady who lives a Parisien-inspired life in New Zealand. I’ll send you the link!” Duly she did so and, many an inspiring blog post later, I’ve been reading Fiona Ferris’ “How to be Chic” ever since. Elegant and chic, Fiona manages to be both someone to aspire to and someone you feel you could easily have a cup of tea with. I especially admire the freshness she brings to her blog; her content is always unique, thoughtful, and well worth my reading time.  Continue Reading →

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The 10 Best Bookmark Makers of Etsy

I’ve just been counting my bookmark collection. It seems I own, give or take a few stuck in current reads, 34 bookmarks. They’re a motley crew, and none of them inspire me to kick a filthy habit: turning down the corners of books. And me, a librarian’s granddaughter!

To effect a cure, I headed to Etsy to see what bookmarks I could find. There was such a variety of beautiful, cleverly designed bookmarks that I decided to share the shops that make them. Very kindly, each shop owner I contacted agree to give you, dear readers, a discount for their goods.

As I’m sure you’ll agree, anyone of these bookmarks is a gem. I’m equally sure that they will get me away from turning down those dratted corners!

Here they are then: The 10 Best Bookmark Makers of Etsy.  Continue Reading →

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Mystery Monday: Jason Goodwin’s Investigator Yashim

Jason Goodwin's Investigator Yashim Mystery Series

Today is Monday, but don’t despair. I’m taking the edge off the start of the week by reviewing an excellent mystery series: British author Jason Goodwin’s “Investigator Yashim” books.

Let’s begin with a little biographical note on Mr. Goodwin. I think the first thing to say is that he likes tea, which makes him our sort of person indeed. (Actually, his first book was all about tea.) He studied Byzantine history at Cambridge University, which I imagine took a lot of well-steeped black tea to get through. In addition to writing a very readable history of the Ottoman Empire, Mr. Goodwin has written five books in the Investigator Yashim series, to which we shall now turn.

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My Favourite Teas from Murchie’s Tea & Coffee

As promised, I’ve been compiling my favourite teas to share with you. (What a sacrifice to drink cup after cup for my readers.) I’ve come up with so many that I’ve had to separate them by tea company! This isn’t a bad thing, as it gives us a chance to get to known some tea purveyors just a little bit better. Today, we’re delighting in the offerings of Murchie’s Tea & Coffee. 

If you’re Canadian, and if you’re from the West Coast especially, it’s likely you’re familiar with this heritage company. Murchie’s was founded in 1894 by John Murchie, a chap who cut his teeth in the tea business by delivering tea to Queen Victoria when she was in residence at Balmoral. An auspicious start, we would say!

I love Murchie’s because their teas are delicious, but also because they have some wonderfully evocative names: Library Blend (crafted to celebrate the opening of Vancouver’s Library Square), Hatley Castle (better known today as Royal Roads University), and CBC Radio Blend (created to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).

Murchie’s offers an extensive range of teas (and coffee), so much so that it’s been difficult to choose my favourites! Indeed, it’s closer to the truth to say that these are some of my favourites. With this caveat, let’s pour our first cup.

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My 2 Favourite Book Podcasts

1950s Bush Radio
Cool radio, isn’t it? You can purchase it here, podcasts not included.

I’ve always loved walking, but since I became the proud (and slightly exhausted) owner of a dog, walking has became a necessary routine in my day. While I love to listen to birds, lawn mowers, and muted piano playing, sometimes I get bored of these usual sight and sounds. Enter the podcast, saviour to all commuters, travellers, and dog-walkers!

Today, I’m sharing two of my favourite book podcasts.

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A Time for Tea

Tea Cup Illustration - "Hit Me with Your Best Pot"

Darned if I don’t appreciate a good tea pun. This one comes via bluewillow.

I am so much the quintessential (stereotypical?) book-reading tea drinker. Brew me a strong pot, lay out a lovely mug, and pass me a book. There is nothing more I need! (Except perhaps a nice slice of pound cake.)

I’m currently at work putting together a post on my favourite teas of the moment, but while that brews, I thought I would also share some images from one of my Pinterest boards, “A Time for Tea.” After my book boards, this is my favourite place to pin. Tea puns, quips and quotes, beautiful cups and mugs, and delectable looking scones with cream and jam – you can find them all here.

But first, as a sneak peek to my upcoming favourite teas post, why not enjoy what I am currently relishing: Murchie’s loose leaf “Scottish Breakfast” tea. A strong black tea, it offers a satisfying briskness that is not as strong as an Irish Breakfast, for instance. It’s pure Highland comfort. I keep it in this lovely loose-leaf tin, also from Murchie’s.

Now back to the scheduled program!

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3 Pinterest Book Boards

You must all know by now that I am, first and foremost and forever, a reader. Raised on a diet of Nancy Drew and Anne Shirley, tremulously stepping into adulthood with the help of Jane Eyre and Bertie Wooster (disparate, I know), and flowering (hopefully) under the watchful eye of dear Hemingway, Chandler, and Fitzgerald (where to stop?), there is good reason that I own seven pairs of glasses.

It’s not only the words inside of books I love, though. It’s also a book’s appearance. There are few sights more aesthetically pleasing than a beautifully designed book cover. Unless, of course, it’s a stack of many such books on a table, shelf, or windowsill. Indeed, I think books are the ultimate decorating tool: no room should be without them, and every room looks better with them.

I have three Pinterest boards devoted to books: Books, Books & More Books, A Place to Read, and Interiors: The Library. Out of my 61 Pinterest boards, I think they are probably the ones I pin to most of all. So if you too love book visuals, I would heartily suggest following me there! And if you come across new books, shelves, or libraries that I need to see, please share your pictures with me!

Here’s a little sampling of what you’ll find on said boards. It was sure hard to choose only a few!

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