Books to Inspire!


Every now and then I post about a book I’m reading that inspires me. Last year, around this time, it was Mark Hearld’s artwork and book. But it seems lately I’ve had a passel of books that I just love and I’d like to share them with you, in case you might be interested in one or two of them. Most of these I’ve read in the past two months. One of them I’m reading right now. And one I keep re-reading, even though I got the book last year. I’ll give you the titles and authors with a brief reason why it is inspiring to me.

Arne & Carlos’ Knit and Crochet Garden by Arne & Carlos: There were several patterns that interested me, but what I love most is the weaving of yarn works in and around one’s personal life…in this case their garden! I also loved the blend of knitting and crochet–not being a book with just one or the other featured. I am currently knitting two of the mice patterns from this book, one girl and one boy mouse, along with their clothes. You can follow me on Instagram to view the progress on my Mortimer and Millicent!;) It’s impossible to leave this book without wanting to go find a garden to sit in and knit!

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett (author) and Jon Klaussen (illustrator): This is the one I purchased last year when it won the Caldecott Honor Book Award. I pull it out and read it every few weeks because I love how knitting can change a life, a town, a world. Fabulous illustrations!

Journey by Aaron Becker: Oh my. Words cannot describe the delight I have in this wordless picture book. It speaks volumes to me of how my humble crayon can (and does) take me on wondrous adventures and introduces me to dear friends. Purchased this year as it was a Caldecott Honor Book Award winner.

Paris in Love by Eloisa James (book not pictured): I actually felt like I was with her and her family while they lived for a year in Paris. Laughed my way through the book, and savored the wonderful descriptions of an American woman living in France. This book was on loan to me from a friend and I gave it back to her before I took the above picture.

Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim: I’ve watched this movie (note the VCR version in the photo) many, many times (it may be my all-time favorite!) but have just recently begun to read the book on my Kindle! I love every word of it, the wonderful old-fashioned “voice”, and finding out just how true to the book the film is. Lovely. And FREE on Kindle!!

The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis/ Capturing Joy/ The Painted House of Maud Lewis: I gave the first book listed here to my mom for her birthday so I didn’t have it for the picture. But I have read all three of them and am so inspired by this artist’s life and work. Though it is a bit painful to read of her debilitating disease and nowhere-near-perfect marriage, it is an amazing account of the human spirit refusing to be squelched by anything! Capturing Joy is a children’s book version of her life and artwork and I plan on sharing it with my students next year!

The Yarn Whisperer by Claire Parkes: Marvelous, wondiferous short essays on life and knitting! Very witty, clever and insightful. This is fast becoming my favorite genre of reading…books about knitting written by knitters.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi: I started to read this as my youngest daughter Maddie is reading it for her 6th grade english class. She asked me to read it at the same time she was, only a chapter at a time. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. Though some of the scenes were ghastly, it is nevertheless an intriguing (if not scathing) commentary on what it means to be civil and civilized. Wow. A Newbery Honor Book.

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan: A friend and fellow artist (who is a retired Middle School Media Specialist) gave me this book at Christmas because she said it reminded her of the tales I had told her of my family growing up. Such a delightful read!! And oh my…quite close to home!;)

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd: I’m a follower of the Nerdy Book Club and a lover of Young Adult Fiction. So when this one came across the Nerdy Book Club recommendation post, I got it to read on my Kindle. I found myself purposefully slowing down so I could savor this book for as long as possible!! Every single word was a snicker of magic to me! I relished and delighted in this book from cover to finish. I want to live in Midnight Gulch! Can’t wait for other books by this author, as this was her very first one!!! And I fear that I shall “need” the paper copy of this book: when I fall in love with a book, I really want the physical version to hold, look at, flip pages, etc. That’s the only downside to a Kindle.

So…what have YOU been reading that has inspired you in some way? Do share!! I’d love to create my next reading list based on your recommendations!

0 thoughts on “Books to Inspire!

  1. Deborah Alexander says:

    What fun! Enchanted April is one of my MOST FAVORITE movies. Along with Ladies and Lavender and anything with Judi Dench! I had just watched Enchanted April the night before I read this post for the first time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *