Sunday, January 10, 2010

Let it Snow...while I read

Our Home ~ Winter 2010

According to me, there are only two things you need when the snow starts falling.........groceries and a good book. Shovels are optional, I'm not going anywhere if I have some good fiction. It's the excuse I live for each winter, it almost as if someone is whispering go read..............let it snow, let it snow. I have the feeling this is going to be a particulary good winter for reading. With that in mind, some of my favorites from my 2009 Book List. They are all winter storm worthy...........the best kind. In the same note as my last post on A Bookish Gift, each book selection is accompanied by a quote , something to entice you to open their pages if you haven't already. This list should get you all the way to April, depending on the forecast of course. Let's start with my favorite 2009 read. The rest are in no particular order.

"My sisters and I have fought over shoes, over who's had a better life, and over who's smarter and prettier, but this time I don't have a chance. I know who will win. For so long I've wondered about my destiny. Now the tears of my greatest loss of my life roll down my cheeks." Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.

* I have omitted one line in the above quote that would have given away part of the story.

"The thought of what I needed to do in order to survive made me quite breathless at times; I'd have to sit and put my head between my news, like a grand lady overtaken by a spell of the vapours, like my Lady herself on one of her bed days. I had no time for such weakness. Time and time again, I forced myself back onto my feet." Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger.

"Children picked strawberries for the fun of it. Colored folks picked them for extra money, and for making jams. Farmers packed them morning, afternoon, and evening, and put them up in boxes to be drawn by horse to Toronto and to Hamilton. I didn't mind eating the strawberries, but I never picked them. Colored people had been bending over and picking things off farmers' fields for hundreds of years in the United States, and I sure as hell wasn't going to do it in Canada." Any Known Blood by Lawrence Hill

"She'll wake up soon and then be gone, so for awhile I'll watch her breathe and dream. So lovely. She's wearing a cotton nightgown, modest and opaque, but of course it reveals what isn't there, the breast she surrendered last year to save her life, and looking at her now, knowing the small secrets she's kept in her good heart, I feel a little better about my own. Perhaps we are all entitled to keep a small place that is our own." Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo.

"Even before I got to the front steps, I heard it. A wretched, unloosed, primeval keening. A sound I couldn't possibly be hearing from a human being, except that it was. I stood on the front porch, hearing the sound. I stood there. I even started to open the door. The knob was in my hand. Then I turned around and walked back home." Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos

"She wanted to be someone else. The old Claire seemed provincial, ignorant.She had been to a party at Goverment House, sipped champagne at the Gripps while women she knew twirled around in silky dresses. She had her nose pressed up against the glass and was watching a different world, one she hadn't known existed. She could not name it but she felt as if she were about to be revealed, as if there were another Claire inside, waiting to come out." The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. Lee

"When my share of the world's cruelty struck, I was nine years old. It would take a great portion of my time as an adult before I realized that tragedy was hurled freely into every one's life as though it were a cheap newspaper, advertising porn shops and strip shows thrown into a overgrown yard. I was an old man by the time I turned ten years old, and I caught the terrible drift of things many years before my number should have been called." South of Broad by Pat Conroy

All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life


  1. They look interesting! Thanks for the suggestions!

    Your house looks beautiful! Great photo!

  2. Hello! I found you through Collage of Life and am so glad I did - what a gorgeous blog! what lovely wrap and products (SO nice to have a great source now that Carolyn Roehme is not doing presentations anymore!) I will definitely be back ... I am somewhat gift wrap obsessed, and a voracious reader - so there is a lot here to hold my interest!

  3. I read and LOVED "you belong to me" last year!! I just finished WHILE MY SISTER SLEEPS and am currently reading NOT MY DAUGHTER both by Barbara Delinsky. I also just read The Lovely Bones... I wanted to see the movie, but always have to read the book first- loved it, except one unusaul love scene- if you've read it , you know what i'm talking about- finsihed it in less than 24 hours!

  4. Oh, my sentiments exactly. We live in Iowa and have been getting a ton of snow with -10 degree weather. I got a kindle for Christmas. Although I love a good book in hand, the feel, the smell, and the images jumping off the pages, it has been very handy. I am currently reading "The Lovely Bones"...a little creepy but very good. The Piano Teacher might have to be my next download, it caught my eye at the bookstore.

    Happy reading, I hope someone else is cooking for you, so you can stay put possibly with a blanket and a hot beverage!


  5. Happy New Year Queenie!!

    I am a fanatic of books and these books look simple tempting and I must go and find them, just after I finish my autographed book sent to me during the holidays from Claudia from the Paris Apartment:)) Thank you for sharing!!

    Royal wishes,

  6. I read Book of Negros last year and loved it ~ I will put Any Known Blood on my 2010 list and will also check out your recommendations. We lost power last week-end due to a snowstorm here and I read by flashlight wrapped up in a throw on the couch ~ all that was missing was a cup of tea but alas I had to have wine instead!

  7. Oh Sande! You reeled me in....I need to grab Any Known Blood and find a quiet corner some where soon!
    Love the photo of your winter wrapped home! Just gorgeous!

  8. What a beautiful house !! I can imagine you being in there, sitting by the fire (I'm sure you have a fireplace ) , reading your books....

  9. Sande, what a great collection of books! They will keep you busy for a while. There is nothing like reading when it is snowing! Enjoy!

  10. Great selections to look for them today, xv.

  11. Haven't read any of those Sande, thanks for the book list I will write it down & be off to my local book store when I next get a chance, probably when the kids go back to school (summer hol's in Australia) :)

  12. What an amazing posting! I would love for my life to slow down a bit so I can get back to reading! I LOVE that quote from Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo!

  13. Thanks for the suggestions! You're right, the only good thing about a wicked storm is curling up and reading the day away!

  14. When ever there is a snow storm heading our way I make sure we are stocked with wine and chocolate!

    I just finished reading The Help ~ it was fabulous! Thanks for the suggestions, I need a new read.


  15. Hello!!!

    Blog is beautiful!


    Gisele Machado


  16. What a beautiful photograph of your home. It looks so inviting!
    I love your suggestions for books and especially enjoy the excerpts you have included. I have now added quite a few to my future reads. I have read 'Empire Falls', 'Bridge of Sighs' and have just finished his recent book, 'That Old Cape Magic'. Have to say, 'Bridge of Sighs' was my favourite. Happy Reading!
    Jeanne :)

  17. Great reading post and your house is gorgeous !
    Indeed, even here in Andalucia, it seems it will be a reading winter...
    Would love to discover "Shangaï girls"...
    Thank you for the suggestions and have a great reading time !

  18. Thank you for all these wonderful suggestions! I recently decided to start keeping a running wishlist of books I want to read on and I've been needing a few more good picks to fill up my list with. I will definitely keep checking this blog as I make my way through these titles!

  19. oooh...I can just spy you inside that window all curled up with your latest tome! How cozy you are!

  20. Now this is the most fantastic post. I love anything about a book but to quote it too. Thank you.

    I bought the top one Shanghai sisters or whatever it is called for Nadalene for Christmas.

    Love Renee xoxo

  21. Your home looks so cozy and inviting, Sandi! I wish I could stop by for some hot chocolate :)

    Also, great tips, I will definitely check out a few of these books that you have mentioned.

    I hope you are having a delightful Monday.

    xo, Sarah

  22. Oh Sande,
    Your house looks wonderful.... and that sprinkling of snow gives it a magical quality.
    Thanks for all of the book suggestions. I will be getting some of them...seeing as I'm somewhat snowed in. We have had temperatures of -22C !!
    Keep warm and toasty, Sande. XXXX

  23. What an awesome blog....I just discovered it and am enjoying going through. LOVE the idea of being snow bound and have to read books and eat!

    Happy New Years from Houston,TX!

  24. How beautiful, warm, and cozy your home looks. I'll picture you there with your big stack of books. Enjoy your hibernation, Sande.


  25. oh sande... i hope it snows here in seattle soon... i need a day like this! x pam

    and your house??? it is AMAZING...

  26. Your home looks so cozy, Sande. I hope that you're keeping warm with your books! xo

  27. Your home is beautiful. A perfect evening would be a few inches of snow, an intriguing read and a cup of hot cocoa (with a shot of Godiva liqueur perhaps). An early happy weekend to you Sande ~

  28. Oh Sande, your house looks beautiful with the snow! How wonderful curling up with some of those books. The 'Shanghai Girls' looks especially good. Stay warm and enjoy!

  29. The home, though covered with snow, seems warm and cozy with the lights on within. I sat next to a woman on a plane recently who was reading Shanghai Girls. Looks like a good one. I am just starting the new Tracy Chevalier book, Remarkable Creatures.

  30. Sande,
    What wonderful reads. Thank you for giving us a peek...that always helps me to decide when I hear about an author I'm not familiar with. So excited about the Charlotte Moss finds here too! Hope you have a beautiful Sunday!
    xo Lisa

  31. Oh thank you so much for the book recommendations.

    I just adore your house, it just looks totally gorgeous with the snow and the warm lights inside. Beautiful.

  32. Sande, I happen to notice a photo after your last post under "you might also like" and I think we may have the same house!! Is yours a jack Arnold home? Mine is and it looks so similar to this photo! I'm on a trip but will send you a pic when I return....


Your comments are such a lovely addition to my day. Thank you.


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