A Week in Books: Star gazing, poetry and Advent begins

On a Sunday evening, I like to clear the shelf next to my desk, in preparation for the week ahead. There will always be a pile of books that have accumulated beside me. These will include stories my daughter has brought over for me to read to her and those that I have quickly grabbed to find a quotation, or check an ingredient for a recipe. There might be a seasonal book or two where I have looked up a flower name or gardening wisdom.

I enjoy the moment when I scoop them up and shelve them again, the titles on the spines evoke a diary of the days just passed:  A Week in Books.

I Am The Seed That Grew: A Nature Poem for Every day of the Year by The National Trust

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020 by Lia Leendertz

This week’s reading reflects a change in the seasons. As winter begins, our daily poetry book, I Am The Seed That Grew, encourages us to listen to the sounds of the night-time garden and watch the “silent moon.”

My Almanac also reminds us that the “Full Cold Moon is the highest and brightest of the year.”

Every evening I look skywards as November draws to a close. After days of fog and cloud cover, one crisp and clear evening, the shining moon’s reflection is caught in our tiny garden stream. A moment of perfect stillness.

Dancing by the Light of the Moon: How poetry can transform your memory and change your life by Gyles Brandreth

I have been browsing all year through this beautiful poetry collection curated by Gyles Brandreth. Now though, I am going to spend the colder months reading it from start to finish and learning the poetry off-by-heart as I go. I wonder; can I learn over 250 poems by this time next year? Brandreth starts us off with a quick and fun Tom Stoppard poem.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Autumn seems to me the perfect month to be wandering the moors with Catherine and Heathcliff. My copy of the book is from my childhood and was later covered in notes during my college and university years.

As I read through this much-loved book for close on the 40th time, I have been sketching my favourite scenes. Here is my draft of Catherine’s wooden bed and the snowy tree beyond the window that scratches at the glass one stormy night.

Shadow and Light: A Journey into Advent by Tsh Oxenreider

A rare new book purchase for me was “Shadow and Light”. Each day of Advent brings a reading, a reflective question, a suggested piece of seasonal music to listen to and an artwork to contemplate. I was drawn to the gentle, contemplative lead-in to Christmas Day and beyond, especially after such a difficult year of uncertainty. Rather than reading this at night, because we are very early risers, we have been lighting a candle and listening to the recommended music as day breaks.

It is now Sunday evening and time to gather up all of the books and replace them on the shelves, whilst wondering what the next week will bring.

I hope that you have a calm and peaceful Advent time wherever you are in the world.

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You can also join me on goodreads and read my professional book reviews on Reedsy Discovery.

I’ve linked below to where you can buy the items mentioned in my post from Amazon. If you click on the picture and buy the item I will get a small commission to help support my art.


 

National Trust: I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree: A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year (Poetry Collections)

 

 

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020

 

 

 

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2021

 

 

 

Wuthering Heights

 

 

 

Dancing By The Light of The Moon: Over 250 poems to read, relish and recite

 

 

 

Shadow and Light: A Journey into Advent

20 Comments Add yours

  1. An intriguing insight into your reading week. Good to see Nigel Slater on your shelf. I thoroughly enjoyed his ‘Toast’

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    1. I enjoyed that one too! I always feel that Nigel Slater cooks (and writes) with all five senses 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading your book suggestions and especially liked Tom Stoppard’s poem. What a delightful wise guy!

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    1. Thank you! I need to get back to my reading-for-pleasure (especially your lovely book which is ready and downloaded onto my kindle). I’ve been reading a lot of business books for professional review throughout November and December and I’m in need of a bit of awesome fiction x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    Silver is one of my favourite poems- thanks for the reminder. The Tom Stoppard mde me chuckle. I love the scene from Wuthering Heights you are sketching, and I always liked the description of Catherine’s childhood bed.

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    1. Thank you … I love the description of Catherine’s bed too, it sounds like the perfect comfy reading nook (if you minus the ghost … 🙂 )

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  4. Wuthering Heights is my second favourite book of all time…

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    1. Which book tops your list? x My favourite is Great Expectations 🙂

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  5. Lovely photo of the night scene: moon star over pointed roof tops on a cold night.

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    1. Thank you – it was a very lucky capture! 😀

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  6. And all your books are blue. 🙂 I love Advent and Christmas and am just getting started on decorating. I love that little poem. I think I’ll find where I put the old Childcraft books that have the children’s poems in them and dive in again. There are so many good ones. I follow Tsh’s blog. 🙂

    Happy Advent!

    janet

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    1. I shall have to look up Tsh’s blog! I had not heard of her before, but my Texan friend knows her and recommended her book to me. I had not noticed all of the books were blue! They must have looked wintry to me somehow 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ourcrossings says:

    I loved reading your book suggestions, particularly Shadow and Light: A Journey into Advent by Tsh Oxenreider. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you! I really do love writing these book blogs and reading all of the replies – I will try very hard to get into a weekly habit, because the thoughtful comments give me lots of inspiration throughout the following week xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. TanGental says:

    I must have s look at Brandryths poems..

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    1. It’s a brilliant book, I’m enjoying the challenge of learning all of the new poems (I know quite a few of them off by heart already, but so many new ones!) I sent out a tweet when I first bought it and he was kind enough to send a lovely reply – what an incredibly nice chap he is.

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  9. The Brontes are such good choices for autumnal reading, such atmospheric settings and such intense emotions. I haven’t read Wuthering Heights for years, must be time for a re-read. 😊

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    1. That’s exactly it … I love windswept and snowy books in colder months, when I’m nestled up in blankets with a hot tea. I did get a couple of lovely gardening books for Christmas, so I’ll be enjoying them now too and quietly planning for next year 🙂

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  10. Kellie says:

    What a wonderful story through your book week, I love the reminder to listen to the night time sounds of the garden 🪴❤️

    Like

  11. That image of perfect night sky stillness is wonderful. When I lived in Central Oregon I would get Autumn evenings that I would walk my dog (or dogs) and the sky would be perfectly clear with so many stars, a delicious chill to the air and a meditative stillness.

    Like

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