You can read the original blog post here.
When I first started blogging, I was so excited to get started - so I quickly queued up several months of quickly written posts and didn't include pictures or even much information about my thoughts on each book. In this post, I was really good at summing up each book, but didn't include any commentary on my opinions or experiences with the book - or even why I chose to include it on this list. I also was great at making longer lists of books - these days, I often only add a few books to lists, but this is a pretty sizeable one. Today, I'm going to alter things a bit by adding the pictures and adding in some thoughts on why each book made it onto the list. I'll also be adding real bullet points and adding questions to the end.
There’s a park behind my apartment with a set of perfect hammock trees. On warm (but not too warm) evenings, it’s the perfect place to enjoy nature. Or ignore nature and escape into a book.
Here are some slow, thoughtful books to compliment that calm moment.
- The Muse by Jessie Burton - Odelle Bastien lives in 1960’s London and has just been employed at the Skeleton Art Gallery. Odelle strives to uncover the secrets of her employer while balancing the changes in her personal life. Olive Schloss is a refugee living in 1930’s Spain. While the story bounces between these two heroines, the leader slowly learns how they connect. This book is somewhat slow-paced, but a lot of fun and you spend most of the time getting to know the characters instead of being in the midst of insane action.
- Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson - Newly-orphaned Sophie Petheram has just moved to Wyndriven Abbey and begins piecing together the past of her mysterious guardian. This Bluebeard retelling isn't entirely slow, but what little action it includes happens quickly and has a slow build-up. It's at the more exciting end of books on this list, but it's still a somewhat calming book most of the time.
- Remembering Isaac: The Wise and Joyful Potter of Niederbipp by Ben Behunin - Niederbipp needs a new potter. But Jake Kimball didn’t know what he was signing up for when he agreed to take the position. His predecessor, Isaac, left some big shoes to fill, but maybe with some peppermint tea and a good listening ear, Jake can adjust to his new surroundings. Everything about this book is slow and sweet. Most of the story is filled with people talking about their lives over cups of tea.
- Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote - Holly Golightly is anything but quiet - on the surface. Underneath, complex feelings and deep hurt and a distorted sense of wanderlust live and guide her strange decision making. This slow (and strange) book tell of the people who love her - and how she struggles to love them back. Most of the drama happens in small spurts between people.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer - Shortly after WWII, acclaimed author Juliet Ashton begins corresponding with the residents of Guernsey, a small island she’s never visited. Through Juliet’s letters, the reader sees how the events in Guernsey have changed the lives of all who live there, and how Juliet’s life is changed by meeting these people. Since this story is told through letters, you only hear about the conflict - there's very little of it that you see directly. This book is also great at making you fall in love with characters - they're so fun and wonderful.
- Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith - Four people meet on a train ride and share their stories - often being reminded of their own heartaches by their companions. The entire book takes place on a train and every story that is shared is about love and loss. It's a very quiet (and quick) book to read.
- Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card - Pastwatch is a futuristic company that observes the past. But after many years of study, the question arises - what if Pastwatch researchers are affecting the past much more than they realize? This book takes awhile to get into the real action, and even when it gets exciting, it's still slow and thoughtful and philosophical. Definitely a great read when you need some quiet time to think.
What books would you add to this list? What genres of books do you read on quiet summer evenings? Have you read anything on this list? What blog posts would you like to do-over?