Mitford Lovers! discussion


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message 1: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mitford is wonderfully written, charming, witty, and all together an amazing book!!

message 2: by April (new)

April | 1 comments I quite agree, though it was so long ago that I read the series. I need to re-read them. I think Karon does a tremendous job of creating interesting, true characters. I think she is one of the best writers of our time!

message 3: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Thank you for joining! Yes, you should absolutely re-read them. For I am quite sure you would enjoy them just as much as you did the first time!

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Hi all, I was browsing around to see what groups I could find that loved the Mitford books. This is the only one I found and saw that it was kinda of inactive. Any objections to me trying my hand at moderating and getting this group active?

message 5: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Gentry (authorjennifergentry) | 5 comments Don wrote: "Hi all, I was browsing around to see what groups I could find that loved the Mitford books. This is the only one I found and saw that it was kinda of inactive. Any objections to me trying my hand..."

Go for it, Don! I'm not sure there actually is a moderator anymore, and as you say, we're not very chatty. :-)

message 6: by Thumphrys (new)

Thumphrys | 15 comments Don and other Mitford lovers,
I have yet to find a series or single novel that takes me to the place that Mitford does. I tell others all the time, Jan Karon makes me want to be a better Christian, a better wife, better mother, daughter, and friend. I long for someone to inspire me as she does.

Over the past several years I would start with the first book on Jan. 1 and read through the series. I did not do this year. I am restless for a soul inspiring, heart lifting, put a smile on my face book. Guess I'll have to take Mitford off the shelf and dust it off!

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) I understand how you feel. I only discovered the series a few years ago and nothing else is quite like it. I am currently rereading "A New Song". Every 2 years we go to the Outer Banks for a family vacation, usually4 to 7 adults, and I reread this book each time.

message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Gentry (authorjennifergentry) | 5 comments I love this series. No matter how many times I read it (and I've read it a lot), I find myself wistfully wishing that Mitford was a real place that I could actually visit. I want to sit down in the back booth of the Main Street Grill and try some of Percy's cooking. I find myself wondering exactly which side of the church "the gospel side" is. I want to sit on the wall and view the Land of Counterplane. I want to peruse the titles at Happy Endings, and stroll through the gardens around town.

Over the years, the people have become friends. The shops, homes, and churches seem like my home away from home. Mitford is my safe haven when I'm troubled, or have watched or read something that is a shade too creepy for me. The villagers remind me that there actually are places of peaceful tranquility left in the world where neighbors actually talk to and look out for each other. Mitford may not be a real place. But the sentiments and characteristics of the people and the town certainly are.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Well put, Jenny. I have tried to read up and understand the gospel side but still aren't sure which side it is.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Found this definition but seems I have read others that contradict it.

gospel side also Gospel side
The left side of an altar or a chancel as the congregation faces it.

message 11: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Gentry (authorjennifergentry) | 5 comments Don wrote: "Found this definition but seems I have read others that contradict it.

gospel side also Gospel side
The left side of an altar or a chancel as the congregation faces it."

Huh! For some reason I've always imagined that it was the right side of the altar as you face it... Hmmm. Interesting.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Just ran across this interview and this part was great:

ELLIOTT: Well, that’s exciting! Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers?

KARON: Yes, I would say one thing. People say to me quite plaintively, “Oh, how I wish Mitford could be real.” Well, Mitford can be real. Mitford is real, but we have to do our part. Mitford doesn’t just come to us like some cute little idyllic, cozy Kincaid greeting card. We have to pitch in. We have to keep our eyes and ears and hearts open to others. We have to be willing to put ourselves out there. It doesn’t all come to us. We have to go out to it. If we go out to greet it, we will find it. Do something for somebody else. Give somebody a hug, and do it with a full heart. Listen to the humor. Watch and observe the humor in other people’s lives and in your own. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Just get out there and wade in up to your neck into that sea of humanity, which is so needy. Smile at somebody for goodness sake!

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Picked up the "The Mitford Bedside Companion" from the library today. I was afraid it would be like others I've seen, more like a dictionary with short entries, but this looks like it will be a fun read.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) ELLIOTT: Is there one book that has been your favorite out of the series?

KARON: Let me say that I absolutely loved writing A Common Life, because it was a book about love. And it was a book about the confusions of love, and the complexities of love, and the challenges of love, as well as its pleasures. I couldn’t wait to get to my desk to find out what was going on and what was happening in that little book.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) I realized while posting the quote above that I haven't read "A Common Life". I will have to correct this oversight over the summer.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Jan Karon from her book "The Mitford Bedside Companion."

...I knew very few people when I moved to the village.... The first thing I did was look for a church, for I'm convinced that one mustn't wait for people to reach out---we must reach in.

message 17: by Thumphrys (new)

Thumphrys | 15 comments Jenny, (May 5, 2011),
I feel exactly the same way! Mitford would be the balm for the worried, concerned, weary soul. I wish I could move there! But, as Miss Karon said, it's where we are and the life we make it as we do for others.
Don, I would love to hear about your adventures to the Outer Banks. Although I was born in NC, I have never been. (Transplanted to TN when a small child).
Thanks for keeping this discussion going!
I did start reading the series again, and started "A Light in the Window" last night. Awww......just what I needed! Some humor, inspiration, good Scriptures, and a little bit of heartwarming sentimentality. Love it!

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) From The Mitford Bedside Companion.

If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.
Francois Mauriac.

Seemed apropos since Thumphrys and I are both rereading books in the series.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) While at camp last week I read "A Common Life:The Wedding Story". Somehow I overlooked this one when reading the series before. As usual the characters are great. It won't be my favorite of the series, but still good.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Vacationing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where "A New Song" is set. Passed just a few miles south of Karon's hometown of Lenoir but didn't have time to swing through. Also found Cheerwine and tried it. Not bad. Next to track down some nabs and try Father Tim's sometimes lunch.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Just found out that nabs are what I call peanut butter or cheese crackers. Will have to get some and have them with a Cheerwine.

message 22: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Gentry (authorjennifergentry) | 5 comments On another site, there were a couple of us discussing our favorite books, and this wonderful series came up. So, I came up with my ideal day in Mitford. The following is what I included:

I imagine sitting on the front porch with Miss Sadie and Louella, rocking to our heart's content (and, of course, enjoying white bread sandwiches or Swanson's Chicken pie, unless Louella got up a "cooking storm"). Next, I'd step into Happy Endings bookstore and chat with Hope about our favorite books. I might browse Andrew Gregory's Oxford Antiques Shop for some old treasures. Then, I'd pop over to the Main Street Grill, sample some of Percy's cooking, and shoot the breeze with the regulars--maybe I'd even be invited to sit with the Turkey Club. For some exercise afterward, I'd take a walk around the village, stopping now and then to enjoy the flower gardens, then break into a jog up to the Land of Counterplane. Then perhaps I'd stop by Lord's Chapel to inquire exactly which side the Gospel side is. Finally, I'd peek in on Cynthia in the little yellow house to watch her create her beautiful watercolor paintings of Violet. Of course, I'd accept her gracious invitation to stay for supper, hoping beyond hope that Esther Bolick's Orange Marmalade cake would make an appearance.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Sounds great.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Life got hectic and busy in July and August, but not that it is settling back down into a routine, I hope to start posting more again. Hope everyone has enjoyed the previous posts.

message 25: by Thumphrys (new)

Thumphrys | 15 comments Hello fellow Mitford lovers!
My absence was due to the passing of my mother in Dec. after a long slow illness. This past year she was in a nursing home until the last few weeks, when we brought her home.

During 2011, I did manage to read the entire Mitford series again, which keep me smiling and sane! Upon finishing the last book, 'Home to Holly Springs', I closed the book and just cried like a baby.

Okay, Jan, when is the next one in the Father Tim series due to be finished!

What are you reading, folks? I just finished 'Unbroken' by Laura Hillenbrand. Excellent read! I will get 'Seabiscuit', also by her, to read next.

Still looking for another series that sets my heart like the Mitford books--content, reflective, and heartwarming ;)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Sorry to hear about your loss, will be praying for you and your family. I too turn to the Mitford books for a comfortable read when things are tough. Currently reading a mystery, "A Double Death on the Black Isle" set in Scotland for a read around the world in 52 books challenge I am attempting this year.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Tried out Cheerwine this summer and just recently found that Cracker Barrel is carrying it. I buy one 4 pack a week and treat myself and think of Mitford and the Outer Banks.

message 28: by Thumphrys (new)

Thumphrys | 15 comments Joy, I am not giving up on Ms. Karon, yet! I read several months ago, (and don't remember where) that another is expected to be out this fall. I have searched the internet for news, but have found nothing about Ms. Karon or another book. BOO. Anyone having any news, please post!

I miss the Father and Cynthia, and Dooley and all others. I didn't start the series in January, as I usually do, but I think I will next January (2014).

Anyone found any good clean reads?

message 29: by Thumphrys (new)

Thumphrys | 15 comments I think I call my hubby that in my HEAD. He would likely roll his eyes, too! I will look for Katherine Valentine's book. I am desperate for a good book! Thanks for sharing.

message 30: by Thumphrys (new)

Thumphrys | 15 comments Joy, I love the Beside Companion, and literally keep my there by my bedside!

I sure would love to hear from Jan!!!! Please let us know any news you have! Have a Happy New Year!

Happy 2014 to all on the Mitford page!

message 31: by Thumphrys (new)

Thumphrys | 15 comments I will look that up, Joy. Thanks for the info.

Wanted to say that after doing another search for Jan and reading an interview from several years ago, I have decided that there was not another book coming out called Party of Four. That book was actually: In the Company of Others. So, Jan, hope you are well and writing the next installment. Your fans are wanting to hear from you!

Joy, any news you hear, please post! Stay warm. It is very very cold here today in TN.

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