Books for Nooks: Coziness, Togetherness, and Peace

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It just occurred to me that a nook is actually a technological thing on which I believe one can, in fact, read books.

The title of this post is meant rather in the sense of ‘books for nooks and cozy crannies’.  Let’s imagine that that’s the full title.

Granted, I don’t know what books you go for when you’re curled up in bed under piles of blankets (ahem, like I am now).  Maybe a twisty murder mystery is more your thing. Or an eye-opening biography. Or a sordid true crime.

For me it’s something a bit more pastoral.  Quiet stories about quiet lives lived with quiet purpose.  Close to nature, close to the seasons, and close to loved ones.
And nothing too mentally taxing.
Add in a dash of children’s literature and a sprinkle of fantasy and you’re all set.

  • The Wind in the Willows is one of my favorite books. Full stop.  Cozy dens and animal friends.
  • A Christmas Carol is the perfect novella for the more festive-minded.  We read it aloud as a family in the days before Christmas a few years ago and it was a really lovely thing to share.
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs is a series of sketches of life in a fictional Maine fishing village.  At once a meditation on the hardship and isolation of rural life and the intense beauty of the solitude and the relationships forged therein.
  • The Hobbit is the perfect cuddly fantasy adventure featuring the perfect balance of magic, mystery, and unforgettably lovable characters.
  • Stillmeadow Road hits very close to me, as the author shares a year of New England seasons from her 1690 New England farmhouse. The voice is laid-back, wise, and incredibly comforting.
  • The Little House series was a favorite of mine as a child and I remember it so fondly, but I’m not sure the pacing and reading level would be super pleasing to me at this point. But if you’re reading with a child or your mind is in need of something a little more serious in the way of R&R, I really do recommend these.  Is there anything more cozy than a little house in the big woods? (Maybe a little house on the banks of Plum Creek).
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Links Actually on Friday 12/15

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TEN DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

I’m so ready.

Here’s what’s happening:

Links not Words

Look at me doing two posts two days in a row like I don’t currently have 134 raw materials to study and an illness to recover from! 😀

No excuses, I have reaped enough links from the inter webs now to share them and I’m missing sharing my thoughts more often, so I’m going to work on making time for this blog/diary/list compendium more of a priority.
For the children, you know.

  • Pixar’s released a TEASER TRAILER FOR INCREDIBLES 2! I’ve been waiting so long. And I am so ready for destructive apocalyptic Jack Jack and stay-at-home Mr. Incredible. (And Edna Mode. Please, Edna Mode).
  • One of my favorite makeup artists (Violette, check out her youtube channel) has released a trio of lip colors with Estee Lauder. I’m sorely tempted.
  • A scholarly discussion of Rankin & Bass Christmas specials; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Finally convinced me to finally watch Jack Frost, which I had somehow missed during all of my childhood ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas. Here are some highlights.
  • A program to help you find the word that’s just on the tip of your tongue.
  • Guys, there’s a new horse movie coming out, Lean on Pete.
  • The American Film Institute has released their list of top 10 films of 2017. It’s a pretty good list. I’ve seen 4/10 so far, time to get cracking.
  • Yale’s released a new admissions video, “That’s Why I Toured Yale”, replacing cult icon “That’s Why I Chose Yale”. The weirdest thing? I recognize people in the video. (I see you at 9:26-9:33, ballroom team!)
  • NPR’s guide to the best books of 2017. Be right back, adding about 20 to my list. have you read any?
  • New York Times film critics on the best movie performances of 2017. So much agreement and so much anticipation for films I haven’t seen yet (like Ladybird, The Shape of Water, and Call Me By Your Name).
  • The magic of big cities, an illustration.

Late (Again!) Links

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No preamble. Down and dirty style.

Old-Style Scares: Halloween Films in B&W

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I’ve already mentioned that Halloween isn’t a big thing here in France, but it continues to be a big thing in my America mind- which explains why I’ve let go of the crutch that is mindlessly watching television shows for the first time (Game of Thrones and Sherlock) and turned to some more spooky stuff.
Not that GoT and Sherlock don’t get kind of… odd.

So creepy black and white films, what have I got? Quite a bit actually.
I’m trying to capitalize on the creepy and supernatural over suspense, because then (knowing me) we would wind up with just a list entirely of Hitchcock films.

But there’s still some Hitchcock:

  • Psycho, 1960: Psycho is fair game because it’s one of the most famous, most impactful horror films of all time. Also, you knew it was on the list because of the header image, so no surprises here.
  • The Birds, 1963: Another granddaddy horror film, but this time with some definite shades of the supernatural. Truly I don’t find this very scary, but it is a magnificent film.

What did I watch yesterday?

  • Death Takes a Holiday, 1934: Spoiler alert, he falls in love. I actually had a very good time with this film- and Henry Travers is in it. ❤

Hey, that was a good book:

  • The Innocents, 1961: The Innocents is based on Henry James’ Turn of the Screw and it definitely captures the novella’s encroaching claustrophobia and uncertainty. Is there evil afoot or is the governess batshit crazy?
  • The Haunting, 1963: Based on Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hillhouse, the film isn’t quite true to the book, but it’s fantastic in it’s own unique way. Very atmospheric and spine-tingling. I recommend both.
  • Nosferatu, 1922: The original vampire movie, based on Dracula, the original vampire book.  Even more chilling than the titular villain? A wife calling her husband by his last name.
  • The Uninvited, 1944: Based on a little known book by the same title, this is a beautiful and suspenseful family mystery/ghost story/romance.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1947: So this is neither creepy nor scary so much as good wholesome odd couple romance. With Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. So yeah, pretty good.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1939: Not supernatural but almost so, and the desolate moors and howling lend a fair bit of creepiness. It stays.

I love Bette Davis:

  • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, 1962: Not supernatural but definitely one of the more disturbing and creepy films on this list (possibly ever). Child stars, faded glory, and a permeating air of decay.

Dream within a dream:

  • Dead of Night, 1945: Supernatural tale-telling between guests at a country house starts takes an odd turn as one begins to experience some pretty spectacular deja vu.

The artsy French are so weird:

  • Eyes Without a Face, 1960: I find this to be a completely amazing movie, both in terms of its haunting beauty and the simple but strange plot. Face stealing.

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Reading, Listening, Watching

What’s happening with me right now?

  • Reading (book): I’m two days and two chapters into Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. I’ve missed reading over the last month. We’ll see how long it lasts.
  • Reading (poetry): Weirdly obsessed with Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality right now.
  • Watching: I have to admit that I’ve been watching Game of Thrones to tranquilize my brain. I just finished season one.
  • Listening: I’ve been playing Aicha by Cheb Khaled pretty much every day on the way to school.
  • Eating: For breakfast, the pudding-like French soy yogurt in either pistachio or hazelnut-almond flavors, bread with doing jam, and fruit. For lunch, pesto, vegetables, and couscous. For dinner, vegetables and some protein type thing. Or my squash tofu curry.

Favorite Fashion and Style Books

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I’ve read a lot of style books over my time- they’re good for kicking back and relaxing when you’re trying to put off reading Henry James’ The Golden Bowl (which I’m currently happily but slowly wading through right now). At some point they all seem to blend together (the fashion book, not the Henry James’), but there remain some special ones that stand out- and a lot of other ones that are fun and worth reading, even if they’re not listed here.

Because I had to limit my number of French style books- there are so many that are worthwhile reads but differ from each other only slightly.

I also cut out my favorite minimalism books, because they deal with wardrobes an top of many other lifestyle changes.

And then there are books more based on images- which I’m not going to talk about. But style coffee table books are beautiful too. Continue reading “Favorite Fashion and Style Books”