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Susan in TX

I'll have to come back later and see what other titles are suggested. I've been sick for the last 3 weeks, so calming books have been balm to me. One that I found both calming and funny was Beverley Nichols A Thatched Roof. Another that sort of swept me into it was Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. Finally, a book about reading, along with suggested titles is always food for my soul - Honey for a Teen's Heart by Gladys Hunt & Barbara Hampton. I notice that you are reading The Morville Hours - would it qualify as a calming choice? I've had it on my wishlist for a while...


Oh, there are so many! For just a few - Miss Read, Gladys Taber, John Mortimer, and as always, first and foremost Mr. Wodehouse.

Dark Puss

As a cat with no soul (pace Murakami and his cat killer Johnnie Walker) I look forward to seeing what it that will be calming the readers of Cornflower. You will understand that I will not be able to contribute.


Some of Virginia Woolf's sentences make me stop and catch my breath. I don't know any off by heart but I'll look some up ....(I guess I know where to find them) and let you know ...eventually !


Get well soon, Susan!
I have long intended to read some Berverley Nichols and have not yet done so, so I'm glad to hear your comment on A Thatched Roof (likewise Out of Africa which has been on the shelf for years).
I do think The Morville Hours is a calming book, and another garden-related one I'd say fits the bill is Four Hedges by Clare Leighton.


PGW has a unique way of putting the world to rights!


Tsk, tsk.


Great! Thank you, Rhys.

 Barbara MacLeod

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.


I am listening to The Morville Hours and I would say it certainly qualifies as soul settling. Susan Hill's Magic Apple Tree is lovely and I enjoy the pace and writing of Jane Austen.

Susan in TX

I agree, Magic Apple Tree was wonderful! And Jane is always suitable for any mood. :)

Susan in TX

Thank you for the well wishes - I hope I'm to the end of it. Now I'm off to look up Four Hedges... :)


Rumer Godden's In This House of Brede.


Gosh, there's 'a book from the past' - read in my teens.


Good choices, all.


A book I've wanted to read for a while (and Virago are re-issuing RG's work). I see one Amazon reviewer says it has "a wonderful sense of peace".


I enjoyed reading Beverly Nichols' books as a teenager and young woman and don't have the courage to go back to them. I suspect that they will be too lush and too twee, so even with his love for cats I'm not going to do so.

However I might go back to his startling book about his father. I remember a Punch cartoon, or maybe it was in The New Yorker, after this was published where one cat is saying to another "I can never trust Beverley Nichols again!"

I have been reading two British ballad collections and they are very calming--a remembrance of things past for me = school poetry books and choirs.

 Barbara MacLeod

I like the look of this one. I will order a copy from our local bookshop in Milngavie (Glasgow).

While I am on the line ... this bookshop is involved with the Boswell Book Festival, Auchinleck House, Ayrshire, May 17-19. "The World's Only Biography Festival"



On a related 'note', I'm listening to something similar - "Music for a May Morning" by the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, complete with birdsong and bells!

B R Wombat

I've just finished Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety and would recommend it as a very calm and engrossing read. He seems to me to be a male Anne Tyler and writes equally beautifully.


That is a wonderful book! ( )


I will join you with Gift From the Sea, Cornflower. My copy is nearly 33 years old and well used. What I love about this book, is how it changes with you through life. It is a good companion.


Gift from the Sea is not the sort of book I would normally read having found books from the same type of genre more irritating than inspirational in the past, but after seeing recommendations from a couple of trusted sources (including your review) I gave it a try and was very pleasurably surprised.
It not only made sense but also gave me food for thought and I was impressed enough to search out my own copy (the first book was from the library)as I am sure that it is a book I will return to in future.
I'm reading The Morville Hours very slowly, a section at a time, but it is proving wonderfully soothing although it, like my long time favourite, The Magic Apple Tree, makes me crave a country garden all the more!
The H E Bates book is on my shelf but up to now I haven't done much more than gaze at that gorgeous cover which takes me back to my childhood when I used to ride through a similar woodland (sticking to the path I hasten to add)


We should have a post on books which are 'good companions' - well put, Ann!


That cover is beautiful!
(Glad you liked Gift from the Sea.)


I occasionally think that he is all I should/need to read. I'm sure Mr C agrees!

Mary Grover

The book I have found most calming is Rumer Godden's "Thus Far and No Further." It is fiction but with a large autobiographical element. Early in WWII a woman and her two little girls leave the crowded city in India and find a home high in the mountains among the tea plantations. Her life with her children, the village people and the animals and natural world around her is calming for her and for the reader as well.

Mr Cornflower

Indeed I do, leavened by Sherlock Holmes and a good anthology of poetry.


Another nomination for Rumer Godden - how interesting! Thank you, Mary, I'm off to look up that one.

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