In the High Peaks

Monday, November 14, 2016

Bookish Musings at Tea Time

I believe I've mentioned long ago that my mother's family (she and her sisters in particular) observed the four p.m. tea-time ritual. On Sunday afternoons each week we had what is known across the pond as a "high tea" at my grandmother's house. At home, though, Mom would get home from work at around 4-4:30 pm, we'd make the tea, we'd have a brief chat about our days, and then I'd go off to homework and Mom might read for a few minutes before starting supper.

So it is today that I'm lying on the loft bed with a cup of darjeeling tea, just pulling together my notes about "The Geology of the Thirteenth Lake Quadrangle, New York."  (We live in this quadrangle.) This 125-page New York State Museum Bulletin was published in May 1937, with much of the geological research having been conducted in 1930-1931. The past few years I've become very curious about all the rocks around me. Right where I live we have a great deal of crystallized limestone and marble, which I find very interesting. But I know nothing about geology, so I'm trying to learn a bit more to go along with all the knowledge I've collected about plants, trees, mammals, birds, and all the other creatures of this part of the Adirondacks.

For some reason I just can't get back into reading The Trespasser by Tana French. I stopped reading it just before the election, and though I assure you it is an outstanding work of detective/crime fiction, my mood just won't take me back to it.

I just want to read something not in the present. I have a historical novel waiting--Patricia Bracewell's Shadow on the Crown, which is about a young bride of Aethelred, during the years 1000-1005. It was published in 2013.

The other novel I'm interested in is Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. I listened to an abridged version, narrated by Lynn Redgrave, over 11 years ago. I loved it and swore I would read the unabridged novel one day. I have it in the house, so I may move forward with that one tonight.


  1. I thought I had read Winter Solstice but apparently I haven't, I must look for a copy. I've always been interested in geology, but I want a geologist to come out and about with me to teach me what I don't know. I've picked up a few fossils recently on nearby beaches. That book you mention sounds very specific to your area, I don't think we have anything like that here. I'm on fruit teas at the moment - at 4 p.m. of course!

    1. Oh, Katrina, in my opinion, I enjoyed and thrilled to every beat of this book more than any other by Pilcher. It just satisfied so thoroughly and made me rejoice. I think I must go pull it off the shelf right now. As I've mentioned I've never read the "whole" book. Can't wait!
      Fruit teas sound wonderful! I would go for them, but I can't kick the Darjeeling.

  2. Tea and a book sounds like the perfect retreat from the shock of our current political situation! I've decided to dive into Nonfiction November and am enjoying Sisters in Law, a book about RBG and Sandra Day O'Connor. I remember loving Rosamunde Pilcher's novels... quite sure I read Winter Solstice way back when, but The Shell Seekers was my favorite. Would love to revisit those books one day...and may follow your lead and try the audio.

    1. JoAnn,
      I'm sorry to be so late writing a reply.
      I agree we need all the comfort we can get in this post-election season.
      I have never read The Shell Seekers--I must.