Monday, 1 August 2011

Reading under the fig tree


This is the life…a very comfortable seat in the shade of the fig tree in the courtyard, a pile of lovely books, some wild plums from the hillside and nectarines from the market for when you can’t be bothered to move.

The sun beats down, releasing a heavenly scent from the fig tree: sweet and rich and slightly musky. A cooling breeze ripples the leaves, and all is quiet. Above, the fruit is still green, late this year after the cold weather and rains of early summer.


When a change of scene is required, there’s another lovely place to sit and read under  the shade of a vine canopy over the dining table that looks out over the garden with the blue Luberon hills beyond.


For those who are curious about which books are in the piles of eclectic summer reading at hand, these include:

Mary Ann in Autumn by the incomparable Armistead Maupin - I loved this, as I’m a long-time fan of his Tales of the City novels. Once you get to known the lovable characters in this series, you always want to know more about how life is treating them, and this book hits the mark in every way.

A Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan – really enjoyed this, especially the way the short stories joined to make a whole, while each chapter stands alone and answers some of the questions posed by earlier teasers. As someone who is endlessly interested in the tricks and possibilities of time in literature, I thought this was a rollicking good read and very well executed.

Shelley’s Boat by Julian Roach – I’ve long been fascinated by Shelley and Byron and the Italian adventure that ended in tragedy for so many of the entourage. This is a lovely lyrical mixture of romance and inexorable disaster in the weeks preceding Shelley’s death by drowning in the summer of 1822.

Rosé en Marché by Jamie Ivey – my favourite of Jamie Ivey’s fun books about France and wine. In this one he takes us behind the scenes of all the famous Luberon markets as he and his wife Tanya become wine merchants, selling their selection of bottles on stalls throughout the region, and trying to make a life and a living in Provence.

Une Maison dans le Luberon by Adrienne Borrelly with photographs by Eric d’Hérouville – full of interiors and exteriors of exquisite style, the latest in my collection of gorgeous picture books, for inspiration and lazy day-dreaming.

Bliss...

20 comments:

Spangle said...

This is an idyllic place to read. I could spend a long time lying on that lounger with a book, it looks so comfortable!

A lovely post.

Short Story Slore said...

I should not be reading this post while falling asleep at work! Definitely looks like bliss.

Richard said...

On se laisse bercer par ces jolies descriptions au rythme du chant des cigales.
Et pourtant... Il manque quelque chose... Une bouteille de rosé bien frais!...

Becca said...

This is so inviting...I love reading outdoors :) I'm planning to spend some time reading The Lantern under my own backyard trees very soon!

Dizzy C said...

Beautiful spot to read.

have a good week

carol

Elizabeth Young said...

Oh your home looks like heaven in so very many ways! Thanks for sharing your reads also, great information as always.

Angela Bell said...

All sounds great,I must get the Byron and Shelley book! The Lantern arrived at the library today and promptly went out to a discerning borrower ! She will feedback to me.

Ann said...

Looks pretty perfect!
And tempting...

MuMuGB said...

A perfect post to read...As for me, I am busy toping up my tan. Life is tough!

aguja said...

Happy reading ... and thank you for the reviews. it is great to be shown books when there are no book shops to visit. I think that I shall try 'Shelley's Boat' first. I zoomed in on the photograph as I was intrigued by the cover, only to discover that you were sharing the pile of books with us!
I love the setting, under a fig tree!

litlove said...

This just looks like bliss made manifest! I can't think of a better way to spend a summer's day.

Jyoti Mishra said...

A heaven it is !!

louciao said...

Ah, that's more like it--not a scorpion in sight!
There was a series made of the Tales of the City stories that I watched with absolute delight on PBS in the '70s. You're so right about being involved with the characters. Perhaps it's time I read the novels. Thanks for the book recommendations, as well as the glimpses of the gorgeous corners in which to enjoy a good read.

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Une après-midi de rêve, à l'abri d'un figuier, ou les yeux trainant sur le doux décor d'une table enchanteresse et un choix de livre enivrant ... Soupir (de celui qui est dans son bureau si gris... ;)).

Que ta journée soit douce

Olga said...

Thank you for the summer list. At the beginning of the summer, I wanted to ask everyone what they were reading. Now I know :)

Adiante said...

De délicieuses vacances en effet ...

BookGeek said...

"Bliss" is the perfect word for this moment. Looks lovely!

vanessafrance said...

Looks like the perfect place to relax on a hot afternoon. If only we were having some of those over here this year. Provence is the inspiration for so many books. SW France doesn't seem to have quite the same cachet.

erikarobuck said...

What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing this spot with us!

Mélanie A. said...

This is the best place to read

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