One of the greatest pleasures of reading is being taken away to a whole new world. Escaping the reality of everyday life–no matter how much we love it, can be so enjoyable. Many women create take joy in the physical joy around them, or they make a space for themselves where they can create art or write or just…BE. Not Pinteresty- She-Sheds, but spaces that reflect the woman herself or from which she draws her creative inspiration. Others create spaces in nature for all of us to enjoy.
Writer Vita Sackville-West created a garden at her marital home, Sissinghurst Castle, of such beauty that it is today a destination of choice for tourists and garden-lovers alike. Her writing career involved a gardening column as well as her poetry. Her husband, British author and diplomat Harold Nicholson, was also involved in the garden’s creation. Sissinghurst: Vita Sackville-West and the Creation of a Garden.
Award-winning author Annie Dillard wrote about the natural world around her Virginia home in such vivid prose, such eloquent description that even nature-avoiders will be pulled in and soothed by it. I loved everything about this book–the life and lives in it, the lense thru which the author saw it all and the superb writing. This book is also one of the Natural History selections in the Ambleside Online homeschooling curriculum. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It gets 7 our of 5 stars. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard.
I’m fortunate that my Mom and I often share good books with each other. We have wonderful memories of watching the excellent tv series All Creatures Great and Small so when I spotted Carol Drinkwater (aka Helen Herriott) as an author I had to read it. Carol’s world is now her olive farm and she has written a series of books on her world–complete with wonderful photographs and even recipes. This is the first of that series and Mom and I both loved it from cover-to-cover. Carol shares her life with all its joys, frustrations, heart aches and celebrations in a very memorable way. The Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater.
A Children’s book? Yes! A fabulous children’s book! Lady Bird Johnson stepped into her role as First Lady after the assassination of President Kennedy. Can you imagine how hard an act Jackie was to follow? Well, Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson was one tough “bird.” She carved a niche for herself that gave all of America a more beautiful world. She loathed the ugliness along our highways and went on a campaign to improve it all–to “Beautify” it was her term. Cleaning up litter and planting wildflowers and other plants along the nation’s highways was her gift to all of us. Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers by Kathi Appelt.
If you’d like to know more, check out this wonderful new biography of her by Betty Boyd Caroli, Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story that Made a President, which I am currently enjoying–and will review when I finish it.
Who wouldn’t want to walk where Beatrix Potter found her delightful little creatures? There are all sorts of “Potter” books that focus on the natural world, but one shows one of my Bucket List ideas! Walking With Beatrix Potter. by Norman Buckley and June Buckley.
Does the natural world interest you? Can you add a book or two to this list? I love to hear from readers so feel free to leave a comment or suggest another book.