Some cozy book recommendations for Spring

I have been wanting to put together a list of cozy reads for Spring but then I realized something – I’m not sure if what I see is cozy is what others would see as cozy.  Also, they are cozy for me, but do I only read them in spring? I don’t know. Not really. Unlike others who share such book recommendations, I don’t have a book I read each spring. It’s not something I do for whatever reason. I have re-read a couple of these books but not in spring.

Anyhow, I’m going for it anyhow before spring is gone (though it’s so cold out, my area thinks it is winter!) and recommend some books I feel fit spring and some that you could really read any time.

(Note: There are affiliate links in this post that I could monetarily benefit from. That’s not why I wrote the post though. The links were an afterthought.)

First up is A Light in the Window by Jan Karon from The Mitford Series.

Really anything from The Mitford series fits for cozy reading in my opinion. Sure, there are some tough topics in the books, but they are mixed in with enough light humor and sweetness to make it easier to take in.

I enjoy this one because it chronicles the romance of Father Tim, an Episcopalian priest, and his neighbor, Cynthia Coppersmith.

It’s such a sweet romance that leaves you rooting for this older couple who are finding love in their golden years. It is nothing like the romances out there in the world today. It is a sweet, gentle story of friendship that blossoms into love. No kisses or swooning or cheesy physical descriptions of them checking each other out.

“Oh, Timothy, how could you not have loved someone all these years? Loving absolutely seeps from you, like a spring that bubbles up in a meadow.”

 “Maybe you can convince me of that, but I doubt it. I find myself self-seeking, hard as stone somewhere inside. Look how I’ve treated you.”

“Yes, but you could never deceive me into thinking you were hard as stone. You’ve always betrayed your tenderness to me, something in your face, your eyes, your voice …”

“Then I have no cover with you?”

“Very little.”

 “ ‘Violet only wanted a friend,’ ” he quoted, “ ‘but every time she tried to have one, she did something that chased them away.”

~ A Light in the Window

Throw in a bunch of other quirky and fun characters and I can’t help but to be charmed by the world Jan has created in the pages of this book and the entire series. There are 14 books in all.

The Cat Who God Sent by Jim Kraus is another cozy read for me.

This is the story of a pastor Jake Wilkerson who is disillusioned with his job when he meets a cat named Petey who seems to always be in the way and leading to situations that make Jake think differently about life. The story takes place in a tiny little town about an hour from where I live and close to where my brother lives, which I didn’t know when I first picked up the book. I have a copy of The Dog That Talked to God too by him, but I haven’t read it yet.

Book description:

Jake Wilkerson, a disillusioned young pastor who is an expert at hiding his fears, takes on a new assignment at a small rural church in Coudersport, Pennsylvania–which is a far piece from anywhere and full of curiously odd and eccentric people. His first day on the job, he is adopted by Petey–a cat of unknown origins and breed–but a very sentient cat who believes that he is on a mission from God to redeem Jake and bring him back to the truth.
Jake must confront his doubts early on when he meets Emma Grainger, a single woman and a veterinarian who dismisses all Christians as “those people.” Then, Tassy, a young runaway with a secret, arrives at the door of the church looking for a place of refuge. How does Jake deal with this runaway and his interest in Dr. Grainger? More importantly, can Jake rekindle his faith? Petey does his best to lead all people to the truth, in a most subtle and feline way.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is a book I associate with spring, I guess because she arrives at Green Gables in spring.

Most people are familiar with this book, even if you haven’t read it. On the off chance someone has no idea what the book is though, it is a book about a young orphan girl who comes to live with an elderly couple in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The couple think they are adopting a boy to help them with their farm, but instead, they are accidentally given a girl who enchants them and enriches their lives.

Anne is a girl who daydreams her way through life. She loves to read, pick flowers, imagine grand situations and think the best of everyone. She has had to use all of those things to help her deal with a difficult childhood where she was in foster care and treated horribly by those who took her in. Those who did take her in mainly did so to have her as someone to either care for their children or do their housework.

I read this book to Little Miss last year, and she really enjoyed it. I’m making my way through the series of books (there are eight) but I gave up on book four, Anne’s House of Dreams, because the cute and humorous moments that were in the original dissipated by book four.

Any of the Cat Who books are cozy reading to me, but I picked The Cat Who Wasn’t There because it was on my shelf and I remember that being one of the better ones. The books are written by Lilian Jackson Braun and there are a few duds in the series, especially toward the end.

These books are the story of Jim Qwilleran, a retired newspaper reporter who moves to a small town called Pickax in Moose County, up toward the Canadian border after he founds out he has inherited a wealthy woman’s entire fortune, even though they weren’t actually related.

Qwill writes a column for the local paper and lives in a barn that has been turned into a house with his two Siamese cats. He frequently finds himself wrapped up in various mysteries that occur in the town. The series starts with Qwill living “Down Below” which refers to the city or anything south of this rural area in the north. I’m guessing this town is based in Minnesota or Michigan, but I don’t know that it’s ever really made clear what state it is in. Qwill used to work in Chicago, I believe. It’s Down Below where he acquires his cats. Koko, the male, is the one who “helps” Qwill solve crimes by conveniently knocking over plants or pawing at books or finding clues, or simply acting weird around a suspect. Yum-Yum is there mainly for comic relief. She’s a sweet kitty who often “steals” items from visitors so she can bat them around for fun later.

She was kidnapped in one of the books and I swear I almost had a heart attack. These are very light reads so I figured she would be fine but I just couldn’t stop reading until Qwill had her safely in his arms again.

Back to this particular book, which is about Qwill traveling to Scotland with other regular characters from the book. During that trip one of the people who comes with them as a guide (not a regular) is murdered and the crew returns to Pickax sad and in need of finding out who killed her. Koko wasn’t on the trip but even he gets in on the sleuthing when Qwill returns home.

There is also a little bit of romance in the books between Qwill and the town librarian, Polly Duncan, but like A Light in the Window, it is not a romance about kisses and physical description. It’s more like a friendship romance.

For a list of all of the 29 books in the series see this site:

I have been reading through the All Creatures Great and Small books by James Herriot over the last few years and they are cozy reads for me.

There are eight books in the main series, but Herriot, whose real name was actually Alfred Wight, also put out collections of short stories, and then other books were compiled with the original stories and photos so online there looks to be 19 different books by Herriot. I only own one in paperback. I own six of the eight main books about his beginning years as a vet in the Yorkshire Dales in ebook form.

 I like how each chapter is a little story all its own. I read a chapter here and there when I do read the books and it is like escaping into a little cocoon of comfort. Right now, I am reading The Lord God Made Them All.

I cannot tell you which each book is about because they all sort of blend together in a collection of stories about his life and job. The one I am reading now takes place after he was in the war. He’s now married with his first son and is no longer living in the same house as Siegfried Farnon, whose real name was Donald Sinclair. I don’t like the writing style in this book as much as the others because he seems to be slipping between past and present tense at times, even in mid-sentence, but the stories are still entertaining.

For spiritual books I enjoy in Spring, there is Gracelaced, a devotional book by Ruth Chou Simons. The art and words inside the book are beautiful. I only picked this up last year but I can tell it is going to be a favorite of mine in the spring when the flowers are blooming but also all seasons when I need to look at some beautiful paintings of flowers.

A children’s book I enjoy reading with Little Miss in spring is Share, Big Bear, Share by Maureen Wright, who is a local author to us.

The book is about Big Bear’s need to share his stash of blueberries with his friends and I guess blueberries often grow in the summer, not the spring, but for some reason the book feels spring-like to me.

I’m sure there are other books I enjoy in spring but haven’t thought about for this post. They’ll just have to wait for next year.

Since I got this idea after my friend Erin and a YouTuber we watch posted their favorite cozy spring reads, I thought I’d link to their suggestions as well.

Erin at Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs

Darling Desi

And one bonus one

Forgotten Way Farms

Saturday Afternoon Chat: Is it spring or summer? My son’s life-saving walk around town and a library trip.

I didn’t drink a cup of tea all week and I missed it.

This morning I poured myself a cup of peppermint tea (I’m a creature of habit) and sat down to write this post.

Maybe it was the chill in the air that made me crave the tea since the rest of the week the mornings have been warmer than normal for this time of year. It was like we went from a hint of spring and right into summer. Thankfully spring returns for a bit this next week as temperatures decrease.

I can’t believe I am admitting this, but I am going to miss colder weather. I know. What?! Me, the person who always rambles about hating winter is actually going to miss winter?! Well, yes, I am because I loved cuddling under a blanket in the mornings with a good book or my laptop to work on my books or blog posts.

I am less interested in sweating on my couch while I try to think about how to write the next chapter in my book.

We took advantage of the nice weather this week by having two Easter egg hunts on Sunday afternoon (one at our house and one at my parents), doing homeschool lessons on the porch later in the week, playing in the backyard some (but not much because Little Miss had allergy issues all week and fought me on taking her medicine), and visiting the library.

On Monday we headed to The Boy’s guitar lesson but unfortunately, he got sick from something he ate when we were almost there so we had to turn around.

He was better later that night, thankfully.

He has a job now so Thursday night he went to work. He’s a dishwasher for a few hours a couple a times a week at a local restaurant.

Thursday Little Miss and I headed to the library. She enjoyed playing with the Legos in the children’s room while I chose books for her and I to read together.

At one point it felt nice to sit on the carpet with all the little train tracks and crack open a book that caught my attention, but that I had never heard of – Mrs. Piggle Wiggles Treasury – while Little Miss played with Legos and a little kitchen set.

While I was there the library director showed me the library website and a link to a resource of online children’s books. I’m glad to know about that for days I want Little Miss something to read something for English. Like I told the librarian, though, I prefer to be able to hold real books as often as I can. I think Little Miss does as well. She wanted to pick out a couple of books on her own. This time we didn’t sign out our limit of books like the last time, but we did bring home a pretty good haul. I didn’t get any books for myself because I have enough to read already.

They had a poetry display up and a place where people could make their own poems with words that stuck to the board with magnets.

This was the poem that was there when we got there:

Then Little Miss wanted to make her own poem so while the librarian shared with me his interest in history, such as the history of Mark Twain, and history books he had read, she made this poem:

On Friday, The Boy had a doctor’s appointment. He had a tetanus shot so I wanted him to hang around me the rest of the afternoon in case his arm got sore or he got tired. An hour after the shot, though, he wanted to go for a walk so I let him, even though I was worried because, well, I’m a worrier. I talked to my neighbor for close to an hour and he still hadn’t returned, which made me a little nervous, so I called his cell phone. He was just going to walk around town and maybe visit the dollar store so I didn’t think it would take as long as it was taking. He called me back half an hour later and told me that while walking he’d found an elderly woman laying in her side yard, unable to get back up.

The sideyard was on a slope so he’d been trying to help her back up the hill to her house but her legs didn’t work well and she kept rolling back down. He tried to talk her into letting him call me, but she didn’t want to be a bother. He mentioned 911 but she didn’t want them to be called either. Finally, he convinced her to let him get her phone and call her children, but she really wasn’t happy about that either because she said they would come and “lecture her again.”

She tried to convince him to leave before they came but he said she kept sliding on the hill even while sitting so he stayed with her until they got there. While they were chatting he found out she was 88 and had been laying there all afternoon. She’d gone out to clean out her flower beds and hadn’t been able to get back up and then had sort of rolled down the hill.

When her family got there, they told The Boy that this isn’t the first time she’s done this and that they don’t mind if she goes in her backyard, which if flat, but the side yard is off limits because of the slope.

They thanked him and tried to pay him for his help but he wouldn’t take it.

When he told me how she’d just wanted to go clean out her flowerbeds because she wanted to be able to do what she’d used to be able to, I got choked up. I was already emotional thinking about how sweet my son had been to sit and wait with her and thinking about how he wouldn’t have found her if I had let my fear rule and made him stay home. It was also interesting that he was walking where he was because that isn’t a street he normally walks on. It’s on the other side of town, on a hill that overlooks our side of town.

He said she said to him while they were sitting there, “You pretty much saved my life, you know.”

I feel that he did save her life. It was 85 degrees out yesterday. If she had been in that sun much longer she may have been severely dehydrated or had a heart attack or something else awful might have happened to her.

He doesn’t remember her name but the daughter works at the tiny supermarket in town (the only supermarket in town). He said he wants to wander by her house on the way to work today to make sure she is okay and hasn’t gone in her side yard again.

Little Miss and The Husband are gone today on a mini-jaunt to pick up Chick-Fil-A. There is a small one at a college about 90 minutes from us. For a long time, it was the only one anywhere near us but recently they put a full-sized one in about 2 hours from us, in an area we don’t often visit. We wanted to treat Little Miss to waffle fries from there after her dental surgery but she was too miserable to enjoy it so we didn’t stop.

He has a week off work next week, so he picked today to take her to kick off his vacation,

The rest of the day I hope to work on my book, read some, and hopefully watch the first episode of season nine of Brokenwood Mysteries with The Husband.

Next week we have a fairly busy week in the beginning of the week. On Monday, the Boy has guitar lessons, Little Miss has gymnastics that night, and Tuesday we have an eye doctor appointment for both of them. After that, I think we are clear of planned events, other than The Boys’ job.

We are winding down with homeschooling and Spring Fever is in full force, but I’m trying to remind the kids there is still a month and a half left of school for them. I’m trying to make school more relaxed and interactive these last couple of months so it doesn’t feel too suffocating for them while it’s nice outside.

We meet with our evaluator (which is the person who has to sign off that I did what I was supposed to do this school year) on June 9.

As I am finishing up this post a rain storm has moved in to bring cooler temperatures in.

So how was your week this past week? I hope you had a good one?

What kind of tea or beverage are you drinking as you read this? Or maybe you aren’t while you are reading, but maybe you had a special one while relaxing one day.

I still like warm tea in the summer but don’t drink it as often as I do in the colder months. How about you? Do you still reach for a warm beverage even as the temperatures warm up?

Saturday Afternoon Tea: Book sales, good food, and impatiently waiting for spring

Good afternoon!

I’ve pulled out the mugs and the electric kettle and the new jar of honey for you! I also have a couple different teas to choose from – peppermint, cinnamon, elderberry, peach, and a lemon chamomile mix. I also have a sleepy-time tea but it’s the afternoon so I would hold off on that until this evening.

Which tea can I get you?

And can I offer you one of the cupcakes Little Miss made with her grandparents yesterday? They’re unicorn colored so lots of pink and light blue and some purple inside.

What kind of snacks do you like on a Saturday afternoon while you are reading or relaxing (if you’re able to do that)?

I like to munch on dried cherries from Aldi and sometimes I pour milk over frozen blueberries. The milk crystalizes around the blueberries making a cold, sweet treat. This snack isn’t the best thing to have when it is cold out, but I still eat it when it is cold.

So, how was your week? Ours wasn’t super busy until Friday, thankfully. Part of that was because Little Miss was recovering from her sinuses trying to adjust to the weather change. We thought it was a cold last Saturday but based on the fact none of us got it (and I get everything she gets) and she has this reaction to the weather change at least once every year, if not twice (since Pennsylvania likes to toy with us and have it be warm for a couple days, then cold, then warm, then cold and … you get the idea), we are now pretty certain it was because of the weather.

On Friday, The Husband and I had a date afternoon. We visited a library near us that was having a huge book sale, attended a groundbreaking The Husband had to take a photo for his job as a small town newspaper reporter, and then had lunch at a cute little restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

I didn’t find as many books as I hoped I would at the sale, but I did find a few classics I had been wanting to read.

I was most excited to find Little Women because I have been determined to actually read it this year. I also picked up A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park by Jane, and A Red Badge of Courage. For the non-classics, I picked up the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers and a Hamish Macbeth Mystery.

The restaurant was very small and cozy featuring rustic décor.

I kept taking photographs of the walls and set up. The food was delicious and delivered on simple paper plates, which I’m sure saves them a lot of money.

After we left there The Husband showed me the outside of the little village’s tiny library but didn’t let me go in. I think he figured we have enough books right now. Next to the library are the cutest little houses that were built for seniors. I don’t know what has happened to me but when I saw the library I said, “Oh! It’s so cute!” And then when I saw the little houses I said “Oh! They are so cute!”

I looked at The Husband and said, “Good grief! What has happened to me? Why do I keep saying things are so cute?”

But, well, they were cute. So there.

No April Fool’s jokes here. Spring is indeed taking its time to get to Pennsylvania and I am a bit impatient. We haven’t had much more snow but the other night we had snow squalls and freezing temps, it rained all day yesterday, and today it is supposed to get up to 68 and then drop fast to 27 after thunderstorms! It’s nuts but this is Pennsylvania weather, I guess.

I am writing this with our windows open to soak up the warmth and sun before it all goes to Hades in a handbasket around the time my son goes downtown for his job, which is only a couple of days a week for three hours a day right now. He was so excited to get the job, though. He went around town a few months ago putting in applications but not receiving any calls back.

He received a call last week from the owner of a local deli/diner/restaurant, asking if he would like to work part-time as a dishwasher.

Our town is super, super small if I haven’t told you before. The census says there are 600 people in our town, but I question if it is even that many. I guess there could be since we have a large apartment building in town. That small size means there are only about nine businesses in town and part of them do not hire anyone under the age of 18.  

The Boy doesn’t have his license yet, but he is studying for his permit.

The Husband took Little Miss to an Easter egg hunt today. It was funny because the weather forecast said it would be very rainy and windy today as storms move into the area. About two hours before the egg hunt was supposed to start, though, the sky opened up and it became a beautiful sunny day with hardly any clouds at all. It looks like the sun is going to stay out until after the hunt is all over, which is good for the little community that holds it because The Husband says they go all out and put a huge effort into the hunt, even offering other activities afterward.

Little Miss’s friends live near the little town it is being held in so she will be able to see them. (As I write this I have received a text from The Husband and apparently one of the friends is coming home with her. I’m guessing The Husband caved into that request because he had a bad night of sleep last night and is delirious.)

 As we look ahead to spring maybe, someday, possibly coming to Pennsylvania, Little Miss and I have already decided we want to try our hand at a garden again this year. Wish us luck because she and I both often get excited about such things in the beginning and then lose interest as the months go on.

As I wind down here, I thought I’d mention how I’ve been feeling a little guilty lately about that rant I had on here about dentists a few weeks back. I know dentists can be good people – but then why aren’t they? *cymbal clang* I’m kidding, of course. That last part just popped into my head, and I had to write it down even though I really know there are good dentists. I’ve just had some bad experiences and that’s tainted my view more than a bit.

Tomorrow in my Sunday Bookends I will share what I’ve been reading and about some ideas I have for my newsletter (there will be a new feature I’m going to offer, but am a bit afraid to do so), and also about some Youtube channels I am watching and what else I watched during the week.

Let me know what snacks you are enjoying this fine Saturday and what tea you are drinking – or whatever other beverage. I’m sure we will all be drinking cooler beverages as the weather warms up soon. I mean, if that little rodent in Punxsy ever stops holding spring hostage!

Bi-polar weather and other goings ons

The weather has been mainly nice, yet cold, for the last two weeks here. Then the snow came yesterday. Luckily it disappeared almost as soon as it arrived. I am not a fan of spring snow. This is the second year we’ve experienced it so late in the year. Last year we had been in our new house a couple of weeks when snow blanketed the trees and bushes that had been trying to bloom. (We celebrated a full year of living here last week). I did not take any photos of the snow that fell. I’m completely over snow. It did look rather pretty on the blooming forsenthye bush, however.

We’ve been enjoying playing outside in the backyard on the warmer days, even if there is a chilly breeze.

We are looking forward to warmer weather, though not too warm because we all enjoy cuddling under the covers at night with a good book or a good show.

I’m not a fan of hot weather but weather where we don’t have to wear a coat is nice. Once that weather hits, I hope to take the kids to a local state park to explore the lake and hiking trails.

In between enjoying some nice weather we have been continuing our homeschooling lessons. I have finally learned to chill out if my plans for the day get changed. If we have to push activities off for a day or two because we get interrupted by sunshine or a visitor or whatever, I don’t get all balled up inside with anxiety like I used to. We will get done what we need to get done one way or another.

I also remind myself that learning isn’t something we do only when the school books are open. Every day offers an opportunity to learn, even if it isn’t “traditional” or organized.

We hope to be finished with our homeschooling year the last week in May.

In addition to homeschooling, Little Miss and I are enjoying going out into the yard each day and discovering new trees or flowers that are blooming.

I’m sure we will have plenty more to admire this upcoming week and the weeks after that.

And I’m sure Little Miss will have more time to make her “yard salads.”

“Did you go outside today?” Yes, Mom, in fact we did.

We spent all day Sunday outside. Well, from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. anyhow. By “we” I mean my entire immediate family. The only one who spent less time outside was my teenager, but, well, he is a teenager. He did, however, go on three bike rides around town, so I can’t complain about that small amount of time he spent on the computer.

We started our day planting the flowers we’d picked up at Doans on Saturday. In actuality, we didn’t plant so much as put flowers in pots, pour some potting soil over them and deciding we’d replant them again after the expected cold nights this week.

I didn’t really care if we properly planted them or not, it was just fun to get dirt, literally, under our fingernails. My daughter loved playing in the dirt and taking care of the flowers and our dog loved chasing us all over the place while we planted, running free, off her lead, for most of the day (until she walked into the road infront of the house and wouldn’t come back out again without me sounding a mean dog owner and saying her name sharply to get her attention.).

After planting most of the day it was time for my daughter to chase the dog in the backyard, then me to cook hamburgers on the grill, my husband to mow the lawn, my daughter to swing on the porch swing, then draw with sidewalk chalk on the front sidewalk and steps, and then  . . . I don’t know because by then my brain started to melt.

Did I mention we had two meals outside as well? My daughter decided we should have all our meals outside at the table on our front porch.

All four of us agreed when our son said “I love this house.”We do love this house.

We’re still getting used it though and I see my daughter trying to see the familiar in it, comparing the smallest things to the house she grew up in. “That drain pipe looks like the one we had at the other house,” she said. “And the siding.”The siding only looks slightly like the siding at the old house, but if it  feels familiar to her, then I’m okay with her looking for similiarities.

There is a lot more room in the backyard here and while our property bumps into the neighbors there isn’t a fence, which made our property at the old house feel more constrained somehow. There is also a lot more nature here, as well. Last week we saw five or six deer (one kept wandering in and out of the woods) in our neighbor’s backyard, two cottontail rabbits hopping over each other, vultures circling our property (that was disconcerting, but not unusual in this area), hairy woodpeckers, bluejays and further down the road a Canadian goose couple and three little fuzzy goslings. 

We saw more people walking on our street today than we have in the two weeks we’ve been here and my daughter was thrilled to say ‘hello’ to them and get a few waves and ‘hellos’ back. I’m glad we were able to enjoy the day because the temps are supposed to drop into the 50s this week with off and on rain.

Our state is also set to reopen, in a small way at least, on Friday, but our governor has been flip flopping like a dying fish on the bank of a lake so who knows what will happen by then. Regardless, we’ll be able to do some planting and fixing up outside our home and hopefully have some outside adventures to keep us busy in between homeschooling lessons.  

10 on 10 for May

This post is part of the 10 on 10 blog circle with some other fun bloggers and photographers. To continue the circle click on the link at the end of the post.

Spring has finally started to come to the area with some warmer days, though you wouldn’t know it the last couple of weeks with all the rain and chilly temperatures.

We’ve been able to get outside and explore more and more, which is a welcome break from being stuck inside watching cartoons (my daughter is newly obsessed with a South Korean created cartoon called Tayo the Blue Bus and it is severely annoying.) or playing video games (my son’s main obsession.)

The only drawback to the warmer weather is my children expect an outing every day after school, which can often make dinner, homework and then bedtime late. Still, the lateness is worth it if it is a full day of fun and some sun, which seems to make almost any day better.

Please continue the circle by following Jacque at Ollipop Photography.