Sunday, 22 November 2009

Log fires, tea & books, oh my!

A lighthearted quiz I saw recently asked what do you do on a wet & rainy day?
My answer was, of course, curl up in front of a log fire with a good book and a cup of tea.
Well, that's the kind of weather we're experiencing here in Normandy this week and it will probably stay like this until Spring next year.
Books are on my mind a lot at present and a few days ago I shared with you some of my favourites from 2009.
The one keeping me in front of the fire this weekend is "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows and I'm enjoying reading it very much.

So, for Chari's 31st Sunday Favourites @Happy to Design I'm recycling a post from April this year. Chari is a sweet lady and graciously hosts this Sunday gathering so that we can enjoy blogs we may have missed in the past.

"A friend, Sarah from Texas, commented recently on a book which is sitting on my Shelfari Book Shelf at the side of this page, "The Constant Princess" by Phillipa Gregory, a novel about the life of Anne of Cleves.
I have read most of Phillipa Gregory's historical novels and have to agree with Sarah that this is one of her best.
Today I added two new titles to my book shelf, "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil" by John Berendt and "More Than Mercer House: Savannah's Jim Williams & His Southern Houses".
I'm sure some of you will have heard about "the Savannah book" even if you haven't yet read it, and if you are considering attending the QCI meeting in 2010 then you must read this book!!
The book introduces us to a variety of Savannah "characters" the most interesting, in my view, being Jim Williams an antiques dealer who saved and restored over 50 houses in a career that began when he was 24 and which spanned 30 years.

He is however, best known as the only person in the state of Georgia ever to be tried four times for the same crime - the alleged murder on May 2, 1981 of his assistant, Danny Lewis Hansford, in Williams's home, Mercer House.
Jim Williams was finally acquitted of the charge and continued to live at Mercer House until his death on January 14, 1990.

Construction on Mercer House, situated on Monterey Square one of Savannah's prettiest, was begun in 1860 by General Hugh Weedon Mercer the great grandfather of the songwriter Johnny Mercer.
After the Civil War, circa 1868 the house was completed by it's new owner John Wilder.

Recently we were lucky to have been able to tour the Mercer Williams House, as it is now known, and it is an absolute jewel of a house.

On the cover of Berendt's book is a picture of "The Bird Girl" statue which once resided in Bonaventure Cemetery but can now be seen in the Owens-Thomas House, a part of the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah. "

Since I wrote this blog we have been back to Savannah, with our co-hosts Nina & Tom, searching out the best places to show to the QCI members when we gather together there 24 - 27 th October for our Annual meeting next year.

Whilst in Savannah we bought copies of both of these books at E Shaver Booksellers and they were auctioned off at the QCI Farewell Dinner Auction in Dallas last month. I'm not sure who the high bidders were but they do have a treat in store when they open their books.

Bonne dimanche.


  1. I'm waiting for the Guernsey Literary book from my library. The hold list is very lengthy. It would be nice to get it around Christmas.

    Our weather is much like yours. Rain, rain, dreary rain, day after day. And, like you, I'm finding solace in hot tea, fires, and cozy times.

    Your PIF parcel arrived on Friday - thank you so much. I'm hoping to photograph today and do a post this week.


  2. Don't you just LOVE a nice fire on a cool/cold night? We enjoyed one LAST night at our house.

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!
    Your Ben is sooo cute!

  4. Hi Maggie...

    My friend, I'm just so pleased to have you for Sunday Favorites this week...what a sweet treat!!!

    Of course, I just sit and dream of what it would be like to live in Normandy...all curled up by a warm and cozy fire with a great book!!! friend, that would be the life!!! Of course, I must admit that we often have the same kind of weather here in Colorado and I always welcome a warm fire, a good book and a great cup of coffee! Sorry...I do coffee, not tea! Hehe!

    I really enjoyed reading about the Mercer house! Ohhh, I bet that was a fabulous tour! I'm sure the book is a delight and will be very much appreciated by the lucky recipients!

    Thank you so much for sharing about the book, "The Constant Princess" by Phillipa Gregory. I love historical of my favorite reads! I will be sure to look for this book! Thank you!!!

    Well my friend, so very happy to see you for Sunday Favorites today! I'll be thinking about you all curled up with that good book in front of your warm and cozy fire! Enjoy!!!

    Have a super Sunday!
    Warmest wishes,

  5. neat you got to go to Savannah...hope it wasn't in July or August...way toooo hot that time of year. Years ago, right after the book came out, I was in Savannah and did the Midnight in Garden of Good and Evil tour. They took us all around showing us all the spots mentioned in the book and we actually got out and walked all over Bonaventure Cemetary...beautiful place! I saw the bench that was mentioned, etc... But of course the bird girl was gone...had to be moved after the book came out. Have you seen the movie? The south is full of lots of fun, wacky characters. Did you eat at Paula Deen's restaurant while you were there? That's where she's from and still lives. :-)
    Thanks for your visits and comments...always enjoying seeing you come by!

  6. I read and loved the Guernsey Literary Society. Amazing account of the war!
    If you check my blog, you can see my cozy fireplace, and my little white dog who loves it!

  7. Hi Maggie....I just discovered your blog and I'm very excited..I have been to Normandy and it is so wonderful...We drove out from Paris then drove all the way down the coast stopping all along the way...we had the very best of times...We still talk about the resturant that we found open late into the evening when we had driven all we could stand and we were so hungry...We stopped because their big light was on but they were closing...They graciously fed us and didn't hurry us to leave...We had the best meal and it's something I will always remember...You are so lucky to live in such a fabulous place....I have the Guernsey Literary book and I really need to start reading it...I'm spending too much time reading blogs!! If you happen to stop over at post today is a bit odd...I ususally write about normal stuff and post alot of pictures....but every now and then I have to do a post for the boys.....Sue @ Rue Mouffetard.

  8. That would really be a neat house to visit. So lucky of you to have toured it.I love fire in the fireplace, so cozy! Enjoy it, Maggie!...Christine

  9. I think the Guernsey Literary Society was probably the nicest book I read all year, a great story.
    I see the BBC are dramatising 'Small Island' another one of my favorites......


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