July 12, 2021

A Summer Breeze and a Good Book by Brenda Leyland


"Today I'd like to sit and read.
Forget I have a job I need.
Ignore the things I have to do.
And just enjoy a book or two."
UNKNOWN

Warm summer afternoons bring out an especial longing in me to drift away on a cool breeze and disappear into a good book. While bees hum in the roses and leaves lay listless in treetops, and it's really too hot for intense effort, I reach guilt-free for my stash of summertime reading. I like books that are sunshine infused and lavender scented, where passages remind me of happy childhood and summer holidays. Where the beauty of God's summer-laced world drifts through the pages, and adventure, mystery, and romance surprise at every turn.

No matter the season, including summer, I enjoy a mix of fiction and non-fiction, beloved favourites alongside titles yet unread. I like the well-weathered friends of old classics and vintage books, but I also run with my current favourite bestsellers. I slip easily from one genre to another: whodunits, historical fiction, literary classics, memoir, garden, art, poetry, and spiritual inspiration. Sometimes I dip into stories I loved as a girl, such as Rose in Bloom and the Anne books, or I'll catch up on titles I missed growing up. I've done the same with adult books. A couple of summers ago, I sought out well known works I'd ignored in the past and was pleasantly surprised to find this 'filling in the blanks' a most gratifying experience.
 


" No day is so bad it cannot be
fixed with a good book. "
BL

A storyline beautifully written is a must, but I also want characters I grow to care about as they grapple their issues and search out truths that set them free. I admire authors who can tell a hard tale, skillfully weaving difficult themes without utterly swamping my mind with a horrifying bleakness. There must always be a thread of goodness and beauty throughout. A good book, especially one read during the summertime, must have reasonably happy endings, and if not happy, well then, at least hopeful. I want to know the characters I've come to love will have a chance for better days ahead. In God’s world hope is ever present—it should be in books too.

Books fuel my writing. Reading about people who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place inspire me to keep dreaming of how I, too, can make my world a more beautiful place with my writing. These world changers invite me not to lose hope about making a difference, and I grab hold of the divine creative impulse with renewed joy. Often, I turn to my poetry books, devotionals, and nature diaries, meandering through the pages as if in a garden, breathing in a thoughtful line here, holding a poignant phrase there. Nourished and refreshed, my heart beats with a readiness to dust off my keyboard and share this beautiful life with others.



 
"What we need is the healed capacity to imagine and
believe the profound goodness of the future, to stand in
the light of a happy ending whose power reaches into
our present and draws us forward in hope."
Sarah Clarkson
 
To wind up, there are two books I want to recommend for your summer reading. Both happen to be written by the same author, Sarah Clarkson. At present, I am slow reading her newly released This Beautiful Truth, and I consider her other work Book Girl a must-have for any booklover's shelf.
This Beautiful Truth, How God's Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness. Sarah shares her dark struggles with mental illness and depression. Beautifully written, this intimate and honest book speaks hope to anyone who has ever grappled with their own dark pain.

Book Girl, A Journey through the Treasures & Transforming Power of a Reading Life. Part book list, part memoir, Sarah invites readers into her personal journey with her favourite books. A great reference tool for fellow book lovers. My review has more HERE.

Wherever you are this summer, I hope there's a pleasant breeze and a beguiling pile of books to keep you company. Happy Reading!

 



Inspired by the beauty of God's world around her, Brenda writes from her home in Alberta, Canada. You can find more on her blog It's A Beautiful Life and Facebook page.


Top Image by Kerstin Riemer from Pixabay
Other photos by Brenda Leyland


26 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, dear Brenda. Amen to:"In God’s world hope is ever present—it should be in books too."
    Thank you for the book recommendations too. I'm making note of them.
    Blessings - Wendy Mac 🕊️

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    1. After reading your own post this morning, Wendy, I see we both wrote about the importance of hope in the books we read and what we write. Thanks for your note!

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  2. Summertime reading is such a pleasure, especially on a hot day under the shade of leafy tree! Your stack of books is a delightful mix of old and new. I'm looking forward to dipping into The Windsor Knot. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy, We certainly have hot days this summer - hope you enjoy your shady nook with your own stack of lovely books to read.

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  3. This is lovely, Brenda! I'm putting Sarah Clarkson's books on my must read list!

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    1. Thanks, Lynn. I hope you enjoy Sarah's books. I really do love her writing.

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  4. Brenda, my eye caught your comment, "Books fuel my writing." I can see from your blog how so many books have influenced your writing! Keep up the wonderful work!!

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    1. Awww, thank you, Sandi! Always appreciate your affirming comments.

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  5. This made me want to scrap all my other plans for the day and just read! (Which I may do!) It is so poignant and beautifully written ABOUT the impact of poignant and beautifully written books... Thank you!

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    1. Haha, Tracy. I do hope you have a day or two to scrap all your other plans to sink into a good book. Summer is so short, we want to make the best use of these long days - I think reading is a good use of our time. Thanks for your lovely comment! xo

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  6. A lovely post, Brenda. Your stack of books is filled with many favourites. Yes, books need hope.

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    1. We do share similar tastes in books. Thanks, Lorrie!

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  7. Thanks, Brenda, for so many great book suggestions! You have such great taste in books!

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    1. Kim, I hope you find something that delights the reader within. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Brenda, your post is like a cool breeze on a summer day for those of us who think 24 C is too hot. I am going to source out Sarah's "This Beautiful Truth." Thank you.

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    1. Well, thank you, Bob! We sure can use all the cool breezes we can get on these hot summer days we've been experiencing - 24C is my own comfort spot. I hope Sarah's book meets your expectation - I do love her beautiful writing.

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  9. So much to delight and inspire both writer and reader! thank-you! (left a longer ramble on FB)<3

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    1. Thanks so much, Janet! I saw your lovely comments on FB. Appreciate them.

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  10. A beautiful post Brenda, you never disappoint.

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    1. Sandra, I always appreciate your kind comments. xo

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  11. Thinking I should be drifting down a lazy river perusing one of your suggestions. Such a wonderful relaxing post yet full of inspiration.

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    1. Sharon, we could drift down that lazy river with our books, sharing excerpts and favourite lines with one another. Wouldn't that be delightful? Thanks so much for your lovely comment.

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  12. It is a real treat to read your writing.
    amalia
    xo

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  13. I've read a lot of the books in your pile. I'll add Sarah to my list. My husband suffers from bipolar mood disorder and has been depressed for the last few years. While one can not change another's mind, one can learn to be kinder and more understanding.

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    1. So true, to learn to be kinder and more understanding, even if we can't otherwise help in someone's situation. I'm so glad you stopped by - thank you.

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