Archive for the ‘great books’ Category

One of my chief passions in life is reading.  There is something wonderful about books.  They can entertain you by transporting you to other times and places, or they can educate you on any subject that you desire.  They are the perfect companion for almost any occasion, but especially on a cold winter’s day.

There is nothing better than curling up in a high backed wing chair, beside a roaring fire with a hot cup of tea and a good book.

These are some of the books that I love and would recommend.

My list of perennial favorites includes all of Jane Austin’s books, any Mary Poppins book by P.L.Travers and the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis.  I re-read these books every year or two, always with a great deal of pleasure, and in fact they are the only books that I can bear to read over and over again.

If you wish to travel back in time, any of these books would be a good choice.

Blindspot by Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore

A Wicked Way to Burn, A Mischief in the Snow, and No Rest for the Dove by Margaret Miles

The Tale of Hill Top Farm, The Tale of Holly How, The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood, The Tale of Hawthorn House , The Tale of Briar Bank, The Tale of Applebeck Orchard, and The Tale of Oat Cake Crag by Susan Wittig Albert.

The Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries by C.S. Harris, What Angels Fear, When God’s Die,  Why Mermaids Sing, Where Serpents Sleep, What Remains of Heaven, and coming out in March Where Shadows Dance.

Death on a Silver Tray, The Tainted Snuff Box, The Bloodied Cravat and Murder in the Pleasure Gardens by Rosemary Stevens.

If you are a Jane Austin fan try any or all of Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austin mystery series, or The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austin by Syrie James.

I’m currently reading A Marked Man by Barbara Hamilton which is a mystery about Abigale Adams.   I’m on page 88 and so far I really like it.  There is another book in this series called The Ninth Daughter, which I haven’t read, but I plan to.

When you are in the mood for a beautifully written faerie tale I would suggest any book written by Patricia A. McKillip.

Excellent non fiction choices are:

Woman’s Painted Furniture 1790 – 1830 by Betsy Krieg Salm.

Connecticut Needlework Women, Art and Family 1740-1840 by Susan P. Schoelwer.

American Folk by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

American Folk Dolls by Wendy Lavitt.

Labors of Love America’s Textiles and Needlework 1650-1930 by Judith Reiter Weissman and Wendy Lavitt.

The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks by Carolyb J. Weekly.

Those are probably enough recommendations for now.  If I went through all of my bookshelves, this post would be never ending.:)

Do you have a favorite book that you would like to suggest as a good read in winter? 


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One of my favorite cookbooks is The Williamsburg Art of Cookery or Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion: Being a Collection of upwards of Five Hundred of the most Ancient & Approv’d Recipes in Virginia Cookery, published by Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The book is filled with a wonderful collection of receipts, and out of all of them the one that’s  been the overwhelming favorite of everyone that I’ve served it to is Tea Punch.

Tea Punch

To three cups of strong green Tea put the Rind of six Lemons, pared very thin, one and one half Pounds of Sugar, Juice of six Lemons.  Stir together a few Minutes, then strain, and lastly add one Quart of good Rum.  Fill the Glasses with crushed Ice when used.  It will keep bottled.  Old Williamsburg Recipe

Make sure to serve this punch in very small glasses!  It is very smooth and quite deceptively potent.

If you would like to order a copy of this cookbook, you can shop online at Colonial Williamsburg’s  website.

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