Some Summer Reading!

comments: 132

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

28Robin1

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

27Yard9

It was our twentieth wedding anniversary on July 19. That's the china anniversary, so we were planning to eat Chinese food on our wedding china but instead had our standby anniversary dinner, Rozale Lasagna, named after our first apartment together back in Missoula, Montana, where we lived when that first picture of us was taken, back in 1994 or '95. That picture was taken on Flathead Lake and I can't imagine who took it; I think it might have been a timer selfie taken with my point-and-shoot. We started dating in 1992, but we actually met in . . . 1989? Almost thirty years ago. We were a very unlikely couple and started dating on a whim, literally, after a chance road trip together going to visit some other friends from college. Somewhere in the cornfields between River Forest and Peoria, Illinois, we fell in love in the car and have been together ever since. Being married to Andy Paulson is one of the great miracles of my life and I wake up every morning and still can't believe I ever got this lucky.

Actually, on our actual anniversary we went on a boat ride, above, and wound up having dinner downtown at the world's most unlikely place, Morton's Steak House. Morton's Steak House, in case you don't know, as I didn't, is one of those places that has a super-dark interior with big super-dark leathery chairs and no windows and $59 steaks, where people with expense accounts go when they're traveling for business and trying to schmooze some account rep (maybe). It was, however, blissfully air-conditioned. We wound up there because, after our two-hour boat ride down the river, we were headed over to Piazza Italia in the Pearl (a district that should have been about five or ten minutes away from the boat place) but got stuck in the biggest downtown traffic jam in the world. We were averaging about fifty feet every five or ten minutes. Then we heard the words that strike fear in the heart of every parent sitting in a traffic jam: "Mommy, I need to go potty." Cue me, pulling over (tires squealing . . . just kidding) and tossing the keys to the valet at Morton's Steak House, right in front of which we happened to be most conveniently (or not, stay tuned) sitting, unmoving, in traffic. Into the empty restaurant (it was 5:00 p.m.) and very nice bathroom we went, looking like a bunch of hippies who just tumbled off a boat ride. I won't go into details about the food but will just say that I could have bought her about fifty pairs of new undies for what that (totally overpriced and burnt, ahem) meal cost. But it was an absurd, sweet, really fun and memorable evening, and lord how I love these two. Andy said, "Let's come back in another twenty years but then go somewhere else instead." Ha!

Thank you EVER, EVER, EVER so much for all of the book recommendations. I am so excited about these, and I haven't heard of almost all of them. Amelia wound up picking out my next book, Rosamunde Pilcher's Coming Home, because she liked the cover and color of the spine (pink) and wanted to leave the library, stat. I've never read a Rosamunde Pilcher book before, I don't think, but this one turns out to be perfect for me right now because I just found out through Ancestry DNA that I am actually part English. This is completely shocking and I will tell you more about it later as soon as I figure out a few more things. Sadly, I've also damaged my library book by throwing it into my pool basket and then having everyone's wet towels thrown on top of it so I'm guessing I'll be buying that? I don't think I've ever damaged a library book before so I'm not sure what happens when you do. I feel really bad. I want to finish it quickly so that I can get to some of these on the list you put together. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this list, and I hope you enjoy these!

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towle
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
The Nightengale Nurses by Donna Douglas
Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center
The Time in Between by Maria Duenas
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The Bear and the Nightengale by Katherine Arden
Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
The Woolgrower's Companion by Joy Rhoades
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
In the Castle of the Flynns by Michael Raleigh
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Victoria: The Queen by Julia Baird
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne DuMaurier
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
Goodnight June by Sarah Jio
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
The Scarlet Sisters by Helen Batten
The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Burntown by Jennifer McMahon
The Dry by Jane Harper
The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass
The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
Change Agent by Daniel Suarez
Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman
The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil
The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan
Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia Macneal
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley
Camino Island by John Grisham
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald
The Trespasser by Tana French
The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick
The Great Kitchens of the Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Also, thank you to everyone who reminded me that the tree book I was talking about was called Trees of Greater Portland. I still have made zero progress on my to-do list re: railings and replanting, but I'm ever hopeful. ;)

132 comments

Happy Anniversary! isn't it so lovely to look back over the years and feel nothing but love and gratitude? We have our 16th wedding anniversary this year, but we met and fell in love 8 years before that. Time flies.
I adore Rosamunde Pilcher - actually I think the BBC adaptation of Coming Home was way better than the book, it just melted my heart and the Cornish scenery is stunning. My absolute fave is The Shell Seekers, I've read this over and over and always love it.
Sending lots of love to you and yours, I never fail to check in and read your blog, but thought I should write to you so you know that!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I just can't even start a Pilcher Novel, and I have tried. I second Barbra Pym, but perhaps an acquired taste. I scoffed them up without ever quite knowing what I liked about them. Despite what the blurb may tell you, there is no resemblance to Jane Austin.

The Blue Castle is special, and what a lovely edition that looks to be. I live in the UK and wanted to give a copy to my daughter some years ago - birthday in April. It wasn't in print here and so it came from the USA. Only it did not come in time for her April birthday and not even Christmas as there was some kind of problem with availability. It arrived eventually though and was wonderful. The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough - also very good -is meant to be 'based' on it (actually there was a hoo ha over it). It's a beautiful book as all L M Montgomery books are and well worth waiting for. Worth a re-read too, so I might just do that.

Enjoy your reading whatever you choose. Don't worry about the library book, they will be kind at the library I am sure.

P.S. How really rude of me not to offer my heartfelt congratulations on your 20 years time served with Andy. How wonderful! No mean achievement. I think it takes a certain kind of special person to be happily married. People do manage the other kind but well, I don't admire that. The happy bit, well what more could there be asked of a marriage between two people who love each other? I never managed to be that sadly. I understand what you mean about a great miracle happening in life. My daughter was that to me. What a constant blessing she was and has been and is now.

Tell Andy how lucky he is, we know you are but so is he (and some). You are both lovely. Here is to the next 20 years and many more.

The Blue Castle is one of my all time faves, for sure. But, you will LOOOOVE The Egg and I! It is so good and sweet and odd and so very, very funny! In fact, I think I'll read that one again this summer. It's rare for a book to make me laugh out loud. Seems like you're enjoying summer this year? I'm ready for fall, y'all.

Linda Ann says: July 30, 2017 at 06:35 AM

Happy Anniversary! Ours is Monday and I can't even believe it as I write it....40 years!!! Crazy!!
I love a great book list and will be going through it one by one....I've been reading Anna Quindlen this summer (Still Life with Bread Crumbs, Rise and Shine) and love light summer reading (Elin Hildebrand, Nancy Thayer, Barbara Delinsky). Your pictures are amazing. I could get lost in them!

Elizabeth says: July 30, 2017 at 06:38 AM

Congratulations on your anniversary! The two photos of you are so sweet and full of love. My family went on vacation to Flathead Lake when I was 11 (we're from Texas so it was a drastic change, especially in summer) and it is still my favorite place I've traveled to. Also, thank you for compiling all those comments into a list - so helpful!

Last time I forgot to mention Mary Wesley, Jumping the Queue! I bought it in Oxford as my plane ride home book but finished it somewhere over the midwest. September by Rosamund Pilcher is wonderful, as well. Oh, and there is Maeve Binchy....
Happy Anniversary! We celebrated ours last week but I don't know if it was a special year (it was for us of course, 48!!!). Love, love, love the photos, especially the one of the three of you!
Happy reading, thanks for the list!

Happy 20th anniversary! You guys are a beautiful family. And, happy reading! I'm an avid reader and have only heard of a handful of those books. Hmm...guess I'll have to investigate some of the ones I'm not familiar with on your list. xoxo

Claire Jenkins says: July 30, 2017 at 08:18 AM

shiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttt that is the cutest picture of you two! And i love the updated pic at the bottom. You guys are seriously so precious and your love for one another is so obvious and uplifting.
I feel so lucky for my husband as well--he's just so sweet and pure and everything i sometimes feel i am not. It's a constant reminder to be a better person. ;) I hope that after 20 years we are as awesome and in love as you two.

<3

Happy Anniversary to you and Andy!

Bonnie Schulte says: July 30, 2017 at 10:59 AM

I have 15 of the Rosamunde Pilcher books in my home library, and I loved reading every one of them. I believe you will enjoy "Coming Home"...Happy Anniversary to you and Andy. What a wonderful couple you make. Love reading your blog, your photos, and of course, everything you post of Amelia. She is Adorable!!!

Happy anniversary! Sweet photos! You made a great reading list, thank you for sharing!

Happy Anniversary! We had our 25th this summer, and like you, every day I feel so lucky.

Take the damaged book to the library and show them what happened. Depending on how old the book is, how many copies they have, and how often it circulates, they may not make you pay to replace it.

Happy Anniversary.
Your posts always inspire so many ideas and reflections, and then I worry about posting overly-lengthy comments. So, I will attempt to be brief, and limit my remarks. This time... I am struck by how well your photographs capture the light of each season. I feel as though the bright light of summer is shimmering off the screen, I can feel the sun casting back it's heat off the leaves, the sidewalks and walls, so that the shady corners, and cool interiors are as refreshing in pictures as they must be in your reality. Vivid, true... and compelling. I'll keep coming back to this blog.

I think you are divine, Andy is magnificent and Amelia adorable and beautiful. You make my day blissful when you post.

Happy Anniversary! I just finished News of the World and loved it.
I also enjoyed The Beekeeper's Apprentice & The Readers of Broken Wheel. Thanks for posting the list. There are several I haven't read. Ah, the sweetness of summer reading!

"The Shell Seekers" is my favorite Rosamund Pilcher book. I've read all of her books --they're wonderful.

I feel the absolute same way about marrying my husband. Everyday I am amazed at my good fortune. And his. :)
Happy anniversary! I love how you and Andy always find a way to laugh at life. So important.

Happy Anniversary! Beautiful couple :-)

I adore Rosamunde Pilcher, I read Coming Home once a year! The detail in it is just delicious. Then you will want to read Winter Solstice. It's magical.

I love Rosamunde Pilcher. She writes the kind of books where you feel like you are there. The kind of books where you miss the characters when you are done with the story:)

Happy Anniversary to you both! I'm so with you on the Morton's scene as I really detest overpriced, a la carte everything (like $5.00 baked potatoes, etc.!) restaurants. Truly overrated, but glad you made a nice memory and Amelia didn't have an accidentšŸ˜³. Rosamunde Pilcher does not disappoint! The Shell Seekers remains one of my all time favorite novels. Again, Happy Anniversary, and really love seeing pictures of you and Andy included among your beautiful photos. You have a lovely family.

Sharon D says: July 30, 2017 at 06:52 PM

Happy anniversary! Why were you and Andy an unlikely couple? I'm happy you're together now! Best wishes for your next 20 years!

Congratulations on 20 years! You are such an inspiration to me, and to many others I am sure.

I read a lot, but I have only heard of a couple of those books. You can never go wrong with a Rosamunde Pilcher novel. I belong to Kindle Unlimited and I have found some really good authors on there. I'm going to check out some of those books on your list.

Oh, and if you want to read about a quaint English village, read the Bilbury books by Vernon Coleman. He's written eleven books about this fictional where we all would love to live. And visit Mitford with Jan English village Karon's books about Father Tim and all the crazy characters that live in that little mountain town.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

post a comment

About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

Archives

Photography

Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.