Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Puppies and Books, A Summer Reading List

Puppies and Books
A Summer Reading List

Andrew doesn't like the owls.  They come in the gloaming; just at that evanescent moment when the light of day turns mysterious, when it's almost possible to mistake their black silhouettes for things more expected, like a squirrel's nest or an insomniac crow.  They soar to the treetops in silence.  It's easy to miss them, especially if you've never seen one before, and if your introduction to the world of owls is an audible one, well, who can blame you for being just a tiny bit unnerved? 
 I always know when they're out there.  Andrew will burst through the back door like a gust of winter wind and dash to my side where he will sit down quickly at my feet and proceed to pretend nothing whatsoever is wrong. It's an act he has yet to perfect.

I'd forgotten how entertaining it can be to watch a puppy discover the world.
 Everything is a new experience.
Andrew is six months old now.  And over sixty pounds.  We have no idea what he is or how big he will actually get.  In the three months that we've had him he's found out that he loves carrots and watermelon but is decidedly unimpressed with Apple's favourite food, the green bean.  Birdsong fascinates him and he will sit for the longest time under the trees with his head pointed straight up in an attempt to catch the singer in action.  He is bewildered, loudly so, by dogs on television and will come running if he even suspects one has made an appearance.  He has a habit of climbing up into any chair in which I happen to be perched and resting his face in the crook of my neck for a few minutes before happily continuing on his way.   I find this both amusing and comforting and it is something for which I am rarely prepared, often yanking a book, or knitting, or a computer screen out of his way in the very nick of time.
His puppy chewing path of destruction, though varied, has thankfully not been very wide.   He has decimated three newly planted vinca, a couple of well-established hostas, four knitting needles and one of The Songwriter's hats.  We are still learning not to leave anything vital at his eye level which is not as easy as it sounds as his eye level is rising with each passing week.
But, bless his furry heart, he hasn't destroyed a book.
This is a more impressive fact than one might think because books are everywhere here.  
They are stacked beside chairs and on tables;
 sometimes a stack of books is used as a table. 
 They lie open on ottomans, chairs and beds.  
Big books, little books.
New books, old books.
And Andrew has left them all alone.
I am both impressed and grateful, particularly because it's the season for adding new books to my collection for summer, and I have my eye on quite a few.  Here, in no special order, are some of the ones I'm considering as well as a few I've recently loved.  I hope you enjoy browsing around.  As always, click on the photo and you'll be able to read more about the book.
Reading is one of the best parts of summer, don't you agree?
And come to think of it, Andrew doesn't know what summer is either.
This ought to be fun.

Summer Books

I Am I Am I Am
by Maggie O'Farrell

The Overstory
by Richard Powers

by Michael Ondaatje

The Art of the Wasted Day
by Patricia Hampl

by Tara Westover

The Soul of America
The Battle for Our Better Angels
by Jon Meacham

Life in the Garden
by Penelope Lively

Perfect English Townhouse
by Ros Byam Shaw

Mr. Lear
A Life of Art and Nonsense 
by Jenny Uglow

A Larger Table
by John Pavlovitz

by Maira Kalman

The Secret Gardeners
Britain's Creatives Reveal Their Private Sanctuaries
by Victoria Summerly

The Cottage Kitchen
Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside
by Marte Marie Forsberg