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Kathy

Dear me, I want to read all of these! Home and garden, both non-fiction and fiction (think: heroine inherits run down house and finds love/happiness/fulfillment while remodeling) is one of my favorite subjects.

iliana

Amanda Quick is American and yes, pure escapism but I like her romance novels. They have characters that actually seem real. You've got lots of great books to choose from this month. Can't wait to hear what you find!

LizF

What a lovely selection of books!
Wild Hares and Hummingbirds is a lovely book - I read it month by month last year and really enjoyed it. Stephen Moss has a really likeable 'voice' and knows his stuff too.
The Magic Apple Tree is one of my all time favourite books - my copy is well over 30 years old and a bit battered now from the number of times I have read it but it is still one of my go-to comfort reads - I think you will love it.
As for The Morville Hours - I am about fifty pages into it at the moment as a late night read and really loving it.

Pam

The Magic Apple Tree sounds wonderful. How have I not run across it before?? Must add some Stephen Moss to my list also.

I read Merry Hall a few years back and loved it. We are currently in the midst of moving so my reading time has been greatly curtailed not to mention that most of my books are in boxes. But it will be such fun to unpack and decide what to read next!

cath

Like LizF I read Wild Hares & Hummingbirds over the course of a year. I wish I had the author's knowledge of birds. Amazing. It's a book very worth while spending time with.

Readerlane

You always come up with such wonderful, tempting lists! Must make it hard to pick just one ;). I know my TBR list always gets a little longer...

My prompt for this month is Life Stories. I’m thinking about reading a memoir by Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family, but since it’s short, maybe I can read two? I didnt quite make two Peresphone’s last month for Domesticity (Bricks and Mortar and 1/3 of Doreen), but Excelsior!

Danielle

Don't they all sound good? I agonized over the choice, but in the end decided on Merry Hall since it was literally house And garden and the other NF books seem to be mostly nature/gardening books (which is okay, too). I like those books, too, where people reinvent their lives while at the same time reinventing their physical world! :)

Danielle

I really must pick this one up--I have had other readers mention that they like her and have enjoyed this story. I am in need of something fun and frothy and a little romance is always fun when it is light hearted like this. I decided on Merry Hall, but I have only just started it--I like his writing style--I think it will be a fun book, too.

Danielle

I am pretty sure you mentioned The Magic Apple Tree to me and I bought it thinking I would read it right away. I like the idea of reading it during the seasons she writes about, but so far I just keep looking at it. (You know how that goes). I like Stephen Moss, too, and was very tempted to read it first. You'll have to let me know how the Morville Hours goes--I have heard good things about it. Of course I want to read all of them! (Right now, that is...).

Danielle

Stephen Moss reminds me of Roger Deakin--if you have had the pleasure of reading his work (he is a lovely writer! I think the Magic Apple Tree also sounds really lovely. I need to read more nature books this year and I guess I have my stack to pull from. Yay--I have picked Merry Hall, and from the first few pages I think it will be a delightful sort of read. Good luck with your move--just think of all the rediscoveries you will make when you unpack your books and put them back on your shelves!

Danielle

I think you actually inspired me to read a book over the course of the year like that. I have done it a couple of times now and the Moss book would be a perfect candidate for it. I would love to just read it now and will get to it sooner (hopefully) than later.

Danielle

I am very fortunate indeed as I have lots of good books on my shelves. I should really curtail my library borrowing just a bit and focus on my own shelves for the summer. I hate to sound dorky, but I do agonize over book choices sometimes. I like your prompt (I think I will jot that down for next year). I always *want* to try for two books for a prompt, but usually am just happy to finish the one I set out to read. Did you like Bricks and Mortar? I have looked at that Persephone lots of time but cannot decide. Yes, onwards! :)

Readerlane

I was disappointed in Bricks and Mortar, maybe partly because my expectations for Peresphone books are so high and I just thought it was so-so, although there are lovely descriptions of an English country retreat.

Margaret Powling

For once, I've read several of these, Danielle - and I loved Merry Hall but, of course, while Nichols renovated a house in the country, this is a work of fiction (so many think Merry Hall non-fiction.) I love Howards End is on the Landing, too, and The Morville Hours (and The Morville Year). The Magic Apple Tree is also a delightful read. I've not read Amanda Quick to my knowledge, but Wild Hares & Hummingbirds sounds a real 'find'.
Margaret P
www.margaretpowlingl.com

Margaret Powling

PS Danielle, I know how you feel about print-on-demand books, but they just don't have the appeal of the originals, do they? Yes, they have the words, but not the 'feel', difficult to describe, but I love the original print editions of most books, and those of Beverly Nichols take some beating. See if you can find an original, not an expensive one of course, of Merry Hall. You will love it all the more, I assure you.
Margaret P

LizF

I adore Roger Deakin's books and Stephen Moss does have his warmth although the current nature writer I think most has his spirit is John Lewis-Stempel who writes about the land he farms in Herefordshire. He is knowledgeable and funny and I find his books are a joy - the first one I read was Meadowland and since then I have tried to get hold of all of them. I am reading his The Wild Life about his trying to live for a year only on food he collected from the countryside, as one of my month by month reads and loving it though I'm not sure I could do it!

Jeane

Ooh, the gardening books sound lovely. I'm adding a bunch of those to my list!

Danielle

I am going to be on the lookout for an original copy. I would even prefer a much loved copy that was loose in the spine--but for now will settle for the facsimile-better than nothing I guess.

Danielle

Another new nature writer to explore. I want to read Roger Deakin's book about trees and the Moss I have in that pile in the photo. I love nature books but I read far too few of them. The Wild Life sounds like what Susan Hill did with her books. I am not sure I could do it--I know it is better to rely on local products and people did historically, but there would be less variety. (Not that I am a adventurous cook, but I want to eat my bananas and figs and dates and....).

Danielle

Glad you have found something to try, too. I am thoroughly enjoying Merry Hall if it is something that appeals to you! I think even with being just a third into it, I can warmly recommend it!

Danielle

I didn't realize that Merry Hall was a work of fiction-will have to keep this in mind while reading it now! They all sound good and I will get to them all eventually....

Danielle

Interesting--one that I will look at from the library but with so many that looks so good, I will order something else first! I tend to have high expectations with Persephone books, too!

LizF

I am completely addicted to nature books and I always have one or two in progress - for me they are an antidote to day to day urban life. In an ideal world I would live in the countryside but so far that hasn't happened!

Both Stephen Moss and John Lewis-Stempel have written quite a lot and Lewis-Stempel has also written books about the British Army and the First World War and combined his military and nature writing in Where Poppies Blow about the soldiers' relationship with nature in the trenches which is in my immediate TBR pile.

It was Roger Deakin's posthumously published Notes from Walnut Tree Farm that really set me onto reading nature books and that was thanks to Dovegreyreader's blog for which I will always be grateful.
I used to spend a lot of time in the countryside when I was young but adult life got in the way and reading these books is a way to reconnect with it.

Danielle

I wonder if you recommended that Deakin book as I read it, too, and loved it. Then I bought several of his other books. When I am reading a nature book I love them--NF always seems to get pushed to the side with me. Maybe as soon as I finish the Hill book and Merry Hall, I will pick up one of these other nature books I was contemplating. Do you have a favorite Lewis-Stempel book? I might just order one...there are a number that look tempting!

LizF

The first one I read was Meadowland and that got me hooked so that is probably a good place to start although I have loved all the ones I have read so far.
Hope you like him!

Danielle

Sold! ;) Especially as the description mentions his 'exquisite prose'! I am such a pushover when it comes to books.... (I am sure I will like him, too!).

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