books and the sunlit beach

I sat amongst the daisies and sunlit grass this afternoon, beside the beach, reading. I'd finished Rainbow Valley last night and couldn't quite let the Montgomery loveliness go, so took Rilla with me to the shore, although I read it just a couple of months ago.

(It had been emotional, reading Rainbow Valley. About three quarters of the way through, I felt sudden sorrow that soon I'd be at the end of the book. But nothing stirs my heart more than Rilla. I've read it dozens of times but I still cry when the train arrives for Jem and Jerry, and of course whenever Dog Friday is in the story.)

The afternoon was serenely beautiful. I do not love the beach or the sea, but even so I had to confess it was a charming place to spread the old picnic blanket and have lunch, read favourite books, in the gently sunlit peace. Perhaps everywhere seems beautiful in spring.

I wish there were more books like those Montgomery wrote, or perhaps I could say more books like spring. Books that smile at the world.

Some of my favourite books for picnic afternoons ...

The King of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner
The Land of Far-Beyond, by Enid Blyton
A Princess of the Chameln, by Cherry Wilder
To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis
Beauty, by Robin McKinley
And all the Anne books.


  1. It's funny is 't it how some books beg to be read over and over. I don't know any of the books you mention so will check them out. Your afternoon sounded just right, some days have a wonderful unexplainable feeling to them. Yesterday I wandered the hills in the bright and breeziness of the day and felt all was well in my little world.

    1. I don't know you will like them, mostly they are fantasy novels. I've never really aged much past 16.

  2. There's nothing like a good book. I understand the sadness when that wonderful read nears its end.
    Lovely images!

  3. i was ridiculously pleased to see "beauty" on the list. it's been one of my favorite books since i first read it (over 30 years ago now!), and one of those i re-read for comfort as needed... :)

    1. I have reread it so often I can't count the times. Have you read Rose Daughter? Its the novel where she took on the story again, but this time trashed it completely. Her love for the Beast is totally unbelievable because she spends all of five minutes talking to him and the rest of the time gardening. To be honest, I feel her ability disappeared soon after the last Damar book, and I will only refrain from offering my opinion of her consequent books because I don't want to hurt any feelings. I used to think she was one of the best fantasy writers we had, and I will always treasure the Damar books and Beauty.

  4. oh yes, more books that makes us dream of spring when it's winter. I've read only the first three Anne books but they do fill with a longing for quietness and something that keeps us smiling even when we're not quite up to smiling.

    have a lovely day.

  5. That sounds like a fabulous way to spend the day. I don't know if you have read anything by Sarah Addison Allen, but I highly recommend her books. Garden Spells is the first and a lovely read.