Inspirational books (esp. fiction)? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-07-2006, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Along the lines of the pretty picture thread, would anyone care to recommend good reads that also get you in the mood to fight chaos, restore serenity, and generally get you out of no- or low-cleaning funks? My two favorites are Laurie Colwin's _Happy All the Time_ (which has possibly the tidiest character in Western Literature, although I should also note that she's independently wealthy and has no job) and many of Madeleine L'Engle's children's books (she's very good at portraying cozy safe spaces even when there's a certain amount of mess). I like to read things like this, in which home is a source of beauty and peace and happiness, when the drudgery part of housekeeping starts to eat at me. Does anyone else use this kind of literary therapy?
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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Old 06-07-2006, 02:24 PM
 
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I like reading Agatha Christie's books, especially the Miss Marple ones when I need a kick to get a chore done. I also like reading mangas for decluttering since the rooms are always very sparse since the illustrators don't want to do a lot of work . Charlotte Macleod's (aka Alisa Craig) books are filled with people who actually tidy things regularly and cook real meals instead of grazing.
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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The Handyman by Carolyn See, but I have to say my very first thought was "Happy All the Time" - it sits on my shelf next to The Handyman. Until I saw this thread I never realized the connection between them. The Handyman is about an artist who rents himself out as a handyman for $10 an hour in L.A. and proceeds to clean up some really big messes for people, and discovers his own art in the process. . It's one of my favorite all time books.
I also love Rosie by Anne Lamott, the Elizabeth character is so elegant and quirky. In fact I think I'll go re-read it now, it's been a long time.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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honor girl by Grace Livingston Hill
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooh, this is exciting. Now if I can just keep myself from being distracted from cleaning with all of these new authors to read. I thought of another one myself: _Cold Comfort Farm_, by Stella Gibbons. It also happens to be side-splittingly funny.
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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Now don't laugh but I love the Little House on the Prairie series (all of the books) and Anne of Green Gables series are also very good for the simple comforts of home/virtues of good housekeeping inspiration.
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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Oooh, can people please also list nonfiction, how-to books if you don't mind OP?
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by faeriewisp
Oooh, can people please also list nonfiction, how-to books if you don't mind OP?
Go right ahead! Next to the Laurie Colwin, one of my favored strategies is to revisit the introduction to Cheryl Mendolsohn's Home Comforts, so I've got nothing against the non-fiction.
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by moonmama7
Now don't laugh but I love the Little House on the Prairie series (all of the books) and Anne of Green Gables series are also very good for the simple comforts of home/virtues of good housekeeping inspiration.
Yes! I recently reread Happy Golden Years and Little Town on the Prairie and immediately went on a cleaning spree. I haven't read the Anne of Green Gables books for lo these many years, but I'd love to revisit them. I do think it's interesting that often it's children's literature that does the best job of conveying positive images of domestic spaces and habits. That becomes an added inspiration for me, inasmuch as my uber-motive for having an orderly house is to give my family a peaceful haven.

Eek. I hope I'm not hijacking my own thread.
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