Recent trips have included seeing the nesting seabirds at Bempton Cliffs - including dozens of puffins, and then also the wader spectacular in the Wash. We've also explored 'secret' gardens closer to home and taken a boat trip out on the Broads.
Even allowing for pub lunches in sunny gardens all of this fresh air has been exhausting and by the time everything is sorted and I can curl up with a good book I'm finding I'm dozing off. My reading has definitely slowed down again - although for the healthier reasons!
One book that really did capture my imagination recently was The Girl from Yamhill by Beverley Cleary. I can't remember who or where this was recommended but I am so glad that I got a copy from the library with ease.
Cleary wrote the Ramona books which I enjoyed these as a child indeed when I flicked through a few of the books recently I was surprised at how much I remembered from them. The Girl from Yamhill is an autobiography of Cleary's childhood and was utterly wonderful - I think that it was written for a younger audience but it didn't shy away from some harder hitting plot lines, nor did it wrap everything up with happy endings.
Cleary was born in 1916 and so this is very much a book about America post WW1 and during the Great Depression. I think it taught me more about this era than any other history book has done. Cleary also grew up in an area of America that we have visited so I think that made it even more visual for me. The culture clash of moving from a rural life to a city one is also very well shown.
The book has echoes of both the Little House on the Prairie and Betsy Tacy books, although these series are set earlier than Yamhill, and as these are longtime favourites of mine it is easy to see why this one appealed so readily.
It isn't particularly profound, just very human and full of happiness, wonder and sadness all in the right proportions.
Now it looks as if the weather is returning to more normal conditions I expect I will have more time for reading again - although I will miss the fresh air. I think that my tbr piles from NetGalley and the library will appreciate the attention however.