Some people are gifted in the art of throwing spontaneous last-minute parties. My friend Julie is one such person. I am not.
Julie sent me a message yesterday inviting me to a book swap party. For that night. She had texted me the day before, but I hardly ever even look at my archaic flip phone, so I didn't see the message.
I thought of staying home, because I'm tired, and cranky from the heat wave, and cluelessly trying to prepare for a camping trip. But I said yes instead, and I'm glad I did.
Ever punctual, I was the first to arrive at Julie's cute little house. She and her sister were doing last minute snack prep, and had a gorgeous table set up under the apple tree outside, complete with a linen tablecloth and gold-edged cloth napkins. Classy. The temperature was perfect, the breeze (and slight haze of smoke from forest fires) kept the bugs at bay.
Each person—there were seven of us— brought a few books to recommend, lend, or give away. We shared why we liked the book, then the ones to lend were placed in one pile, and the ones to give away in another and we selected the ones we wanted to read. No one came to blows this time, but anything could happen when you get a bunch of women in a group who are passionate about literature.
My three books unintentionally shared a garden-ish theme. Since I couldn't lend out my favourite book (The Blue Castle, by L. M. Montgomery—the only copy I own is a falling-apart first edition), I brought another by the same author. Kilmeny of the Orchard. A short, sweet romance written from the POV of a male college student about the fascinating woman he meets in an orchard.
The Rose Garden, by Susanna Kearsley is a book I bought solely because I liked the cover. I thought it would be some kind of romance, and the back mentioned an old house, so I bought it. It is a romance, but it is so much more than that! It has a unique twist with history that had me reading every one of the author's other books (all of which have an historic twist, but all done in a different way).
I read Forgotten Garden two years ago on vacation in the mountains. This year we're going to the same place on vacation, so I bought another of Kate Morton's books. I loved the switch between 1900s and present day, and the barest hint of supernatural/paranormal (that I kind of wish was explored more fully in the book). This book is a best seller for a reason. I did take a few chapters to really get into it. But once in, I was hooked.
These are the books I came home with, both from the keeper pile. I kind of have a lot on my plate to read and/or write and/or edit already, so I chose these two because I've been wanting to read and reread them anyway.