April 1st…April Fool’s Day…AND time for new LWD Book Club selections! Our theme for the month of April is homemaking and I’m really excited to share my book choices for the month.
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LWD APRIL BOOK CLUB SELECTIONS
This month’s blog topic is a favorite of mine. However, it was hard to narrow the book choices to only three. In fact, don’t be surprised if there are some “Lagniappe” posts this month suggesting other books on the topic of homemaking.
The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield
This first selection is one I’ve read several times. I picked it up in a used book store or perhaps our local library book sale many years ago. It’s a favorite of mine and I’m looking forward to reading it again.
“Although this novel first appeared in 1924, it deals in an amazingly contemporary manner with the problems of a family in which both husband and wife are oppressed and frustrated by the roles they are expected to play. Evangeline Knapp is the perfect, compulsive housekeeper, while her husband, Lester, is a poet and a dreamer. Suddenly, through a nearly fatal accident, their roles are reversed: Lester is confined to home in a wheelchair and his wife must work to support the family. The changes that take place between husband and wife and particularly between parents and children are both fascinating and poignant.”
The Art of Homemaking by Alison May
Our second selection for the month is a charming ebook by my friend and fellow-blogger, Alison May of Brocante Home. Her writings have been inspiring me in my role as a homemaker for a decade or more. Alison has been hard at work getting her books on Amazon which makes them easy to access. I have most of them on my Kindle app now and love reading a few pages here or there when I need a little homemaking inspiration.
“What Alison (of Brocante Home) has created is a step by step guide to re-inventing your housekeeping existence. A guide to making friends with your house so that it will hug you instead of kicking you in the teeth day after day and remind you, through the voices of housewives gone by, that the urge, or perhaps more significantly the need to keep house is neither anti-feminist, nor futile but is in fact exactly what we must do if we are to nourish our hearts and souls daily and in the long run create a beautiful museum of all that we were: women in control of our own environments and ultimately our destinies, because home is where we begin…”
At Home With the Jardines by Lilian Bell
And speaking of Alison, this last selection is one of her finds. She apparently shares my love of vintage novels with a sweet, home-based aspect. For years I have been snapping up books like this at library book sales. When I first moved to Oklahoma in 1980 I was utterly charmed by our local public library. It was no place to do any sort of serious research but it was liberally stocked with charming, old fashioned novels. Then they began “upgrading” the selection and selling off these vintage books at the biannual used book sales. I consider it my sacred duty to rescue these treasures, much to my husband’s dismay because I keep mentioning the need for him to build me some more bookshelves.
“I have heard of many curious women who do not enjoy housekeeping. I am free to confess that I do not understand why, unless they started out in life with the conceited idea that to bend their wonderful brains upon the silly problem of keeping a house clean and ordering dinners was beneath women of their possibilities on club essays. I often wonder if they attacked the proposition of housekeeping with the intention of seeing how much fun there is in it, of how much pleasure could be got out of making a home, not merely keeping house, and of feeding their conceit with the fuel of a determination to keep house better than any woman of their acquaintance. The simple but fascinating problem of how to make each room a little prettier than it was last week, would keep even an ingenious woman busy and interested in something worth while, and those of us who are sensitive to impressions would be spared the truly awful sight of certain incongruous rooms in handsome houses.”
(Available via the Gutenberg Project, too.)
PREVIOUS LWD BOOK CLUB CHOICES:
I’m currently working my way through the Little House books, which sort of fit your theme for April. I’d never read them before, and I’m loving them. You can see my review of those I’ve finished – along with the other books I read last month – in my March book reviews post, which went up on my blog yesterday (Sunday April 2nd).
Deanna Piercy says
I just went and read your post about these. I’m so glad you are enjoying them. Like you, I think my favorite is The Long Winter. Whenever we have some awful winter weather like an ice storm or snow that lasts more than a day or two I like to re-read this one. Puts it all in perspective!
Yeah, it would… Winters were certainly harder back then, that’s for sure!
I love the selection this month! The Homemaker is a favorite of mine, too! I don’t have this book of Alison’s but I have several others that I draw from throughout the year. At Home with the Jardines looks like one I’d enjoy. I collect this type of homemaking book, too! I find them to be so comforting when the world is chaotic — putting your own house in order is soothing.
Thanks for the suggestions!
Deanna Piercy says
I’d love to hear what some of your favorites are. I have been reading At Home With the Jardines and really enjoying it. I went to our library book sale last night and am sad to report that there were almost no vintage fiction books this time. I fear they have pretty much eliminated those by now. We do have some small towns around here with tiny libraries. I’m going to take a few “field trips” this summer to see if they might still have this older fiction.