Saturday, June 19, 2010

early american life

I couldn't wait to tell you about this little treasure. If you're a history lover like me, specifically early American history, this magazine is a must-see. It appeared in my mailbox this weekend, thanks to another beloved reader, and I promptly left the 21st-century and time-warped to the 18th. Since I'm currently dreaming up another story world, this provided a whirlwind of ideas and inspiration.

If you write historical fiction, this is an amazing resource. If you just want some colonial eye candy, this fits the bill, as well:) Don't let the staid covers fool you. Inside is a treasure trove of articles on historical figures, crafts, fashion, furniture, homes, customs and the like.

I must confess that I have a love-hate relationship with magazines. Some make me covetous (Southern Living) while others make me homesick (Kentucky Monthly). I actually felt convicted to discontinue the first a few years ago but subscribe to Kentucky Monthly as they review my books. I also love cooking magazines but stopped A Taste of Home and others because I don't have much time to read them - or cook! Oh, those were the days:)

Do you subscribe to or buy any favorite magazines? Or are you mostly a book lover?

Remember this, that very little is needed to make a happy life. ~Marcus Aurelius


  1. Ooohh...I'll have to see if they have this at Walmart. Looks very interesting. Going to enjoy some more Morrow before bed. I'm on page 139.

  2. Oh Julia~
    You're in one of my favorite spots! By then I was head over heels and couldn't wait to write the next chapter. Hope you feel the same reading:)
    This magazine is awesome. Good thinking! I'm going to check at Walmart, too!

  3. What another nice gift from a fan!
    I love history magazines (including Victoria)and home decorating magazines. I devour house plan publications, mark them up, create my own floor plans and exteriors. I don't subscribe to any mags though, I just pick them up randomly.

  4. Carla,
    Victoria magazine is another wonderful one! Thanks for the reminder. I subscribed to it years ago and really enjoyed it. I remember you saying you love drawing house plans - you're an interior decorator/architect at heart! I need to take a careful look at the magazine racks and see what's out there as I haven't done that for a long time. Picking them up at random probably saves $ in the long run. Bless you, Carla!

  5. Oh, that does look like a very interesting magazine. I know the library doesn't get it, or I would have already discovered it.

    I do read a few magazines. The only one I have a subscription to right now is "All You" which is sold at Wal-Mart. I like the coupons in it. Plus the articles are pretty good too.

    I used to have subscriptions to Taste of Home and National Geographic. I gave both of them up several years ago. Honestly, I don't think Taste of Home is what it was a few years ago. I still miss National Geographic sometimes, but I can always check those out at the library if there's an interesting article.

    I finished Morrow today. :D My hypothesis from last night was totally wrong, lol.

    Red Shirt was exactly how I imagined he would be. I've picked the book up a couple of times tonight and re-read a little. Definitely has a place on my keeper shelf.

  6. Another thing we have in common, love/hate with magazines. I subscribed to American Spirit for a year, which is published by the Daughters of the American Revolution. I just may check out Early American Life. I'll also check to see if my library stocks it. I find photos of historical stuff, costumes, rooms, whatever to be incredibly inspiring. Just got done watching part of Ken Burns's Thomas Jefferson doc, and feasting on all the historical eye candy.

    @house plans: good source is More Classic Old House Plans, Authentic Designs for Colonial and Victorian Homes by Lawrence Grow.

  7. Gosh Laura that magazine looks really great! I LOVE history!! Just the word “history” makes my heart beat a little faster. It’s kind of a romantic word- if that makes any sense? I think I tend to romanticize history, when in reality I know it was a lot harder for the people who lived it. But still, history and all things archaic have quite the special place in my heart- making me think I was born a couple centuries too late ;)

    And I don’t subscribe to any magazines, but my mom does. They’re mostly cooking/baking ones. I’m not only the “reader” in my family but I think I’m the only history lover too- don’t think mom would care to read anything about “Early American Life”, but I find it wonderfully fascinating! But on a whole, I don’t really read magazines. Flip through them occasionally but that’s about it. I’d much rather get lost in a good book ;)

    Praying your upcoming week is filled with inspiration and rich history for your next story world :)

    Amanda Stanley

  8. In the past I've subscribed to Southern Living, Taste of Home, Better Homes and Gardens, and for a couple of years American Bungalow, after we bought one! That was a good magazine, but expensive. We finally let them all run out since I have access to MANY magazines at my library! Early American Life sounds so neat, though! You'll be able to get LOTS of research through this one! Going to read some more Morrow...'Night!

  9. This does look like a great resource! :)

    One of my favorite magazines (which I don't personally subscribe to, but my parents do!) is Country magazine (and Country Extra). It always has beautiful pictures of the country, along with articles that are all about family and rural life.

    I actually once had a small piece published in Country extra (November 2008, I believe) about my grandparents. I sent it in just to see and didn't really tell anyone. Imagine my parents and my surprise when we received a call saying they wanted to publish it! ;) I didn't tell my grandparents about it, and when the magazine came out I got to surprise them! It was a sweet moment, to be sure!

    Anyway, I think you would love the magazine, Laura! Full of helpful facts, touching articles, etc., I really recommend it! :D


  10. I LOVE magazines...are you surprised? I tend to gravitate towards decorating magazines -- especially the 'flea market finds' kind. And School Library Journal and Quill & Quire because they give book reviews and have great articles but I get those at work. Oh and gardening magazines... and vegetarian cooking but I get those at the library. My best garage sale find was a case load of Victoria magazines. Wonderful thing about that mag -- it's never out of date! LOL.

  11. I like Southern Living too. It is hard to find a good magazine though because a lot are inappropriate. I would say between the two(magazines or books) I am more likely to read a book.
    My grandmother buys magazines like they are going out of style, and at full price as well. My mom has had to cancel some subscriptions, which I don't even think my grandmother missed, and limited her to four monthly magazines. The funny thing is my grandmother reads a lot of books as well. She'll be 86 in November. We usually read her discarded magazines or whatever articles she has set aside for us.

  12. Hehehe....well, you know I love this magazine ;) The covers are often nothing to write home about, not sure why this is, but each issue ALWAYS has gems inside!
    I love magazines. I keep my favorites so I can reread them...some days you just need to sit down with a nice pile of magazines. Sadly, the bad economy shut down a lot of my most favorite magazines-- Mary Englebreit's Home Companion (which was awesome in its craftiness!) Cottage Living and Country Home. I now buy old issues at the antique mall, hehe...I buy a lot of magazines there because its usually about $1 or so, compared to $5-$8 for a new issue.

    I love love all the Somerset publications like Somerset STudio, Where Women Create, Artful Blogging, Prims....these are high quality magazines (and the price reflects that...but what a treat!) they always inspire me to create. As I hope EAL will inspire you to create. I think there was a divine hand in my sending those to you when they were needed!~

  13. The magazine people need to send you a commission right now, because you've got me SOLD on Early American Life!! I used to subscribe to a great mag called Colonial Homes that was about antiques, decorating and history but it was discontinued several years ago. EAL sounds very similar to it!

    I subscribe to Writer's Digest, Answers in Genesis, and Diabetes Forecast. I enjoy magazines but I have to be in the right frame of mind to read them. My mom gives me a lot of women's magazines but I had to tell her to stop with some of the decorating ones b/c my ADD makes it difficult for me to read them.

    I used to love People and all the celebrity gossip mags but God stopped me from reading them. I love to read the headlines in the check-out line at the grocery but I don't buy them anymore. I used to love to check out a big stack of Peoples from the library and go home and spend hours reading them. But it always made me feel empty with all that gossip and materialism and such.

    I have not started Morrow yet (except for the prologue!) I have a book from the library that I've got to finish first and then I can start CML. My mom asked to borrow TFD so I gave that to her---I know she will love it!

  14. I find I've had difficulty keeping up with reading magazines lately, but there are a few that I like a lot:
    Cooking with Paula Deen, The Old Schoolhouse, and Christian Communicator. I used to get Historical Novels Review and LOVED it, but it was expensive.

  15. Michelle, You are an amazingly fast reader!! You deserve some sort of reading medal:) Glad Red Shirt was who you thought he would be - I sense that is a good thing. Thrilled it's going on your keeper shelf. I have one of those, too.

    BTW, I picked up Linda Chaikin's newest in Hawaii - The Spoils of Eden, at our nearest Christian bookstore. Looks so good. Since I've never been to the islands it sounds like a great summer escape. Have you read that one yet?

    I agree about Taste of Home. The older issues are better. My boys really like Smithsonian. Randy enjoys Farm&Ranch.

    Hope you have another book waiting! If not, stay tuned for my next post:)

  16. Lori,
    Thought of you immediately when I got the EAL. The DAR-related mag sounds so interesting. Oh, and you're one ahead of me with Ken Burns and Thomas Jeff. I've only seen his Civil War doc and it was so very good. Has one of my favorite fiddle tunes ever - Ashokan Farewell. Paul played it recently in church and at a jam. He loves it, too. Hope your Sunday is going well!

  17. Me, too, Amanda, I'm a book lover over a magazine reader. And several of you have pointed out looking for magazines at the library - I forget you can check out back issues which is a big bonus. I just forget to do it. Isn't it funny/strange how genes play out - that you're the big reader and history lover in your family? Can't wait to share where I'm headed next in story land:)

  18. Regina,
    Love thinking of you reading Morrow. It's really fun when folks you know are reading your book as it makes the surreal publishing experience less so.

    I'm so happy to find out your library connection. I'm such a huge library fan and am there so often I feel like an employee. It's still amazing to me that we can get great books on loan in this day and age. The library really is the greatest institution ever:) I've often said that if I couldn't write, I'd love to be a librarian. Happy reading to you!

  19. Ashokan Farewell... listening to it now on Youtube, from that documentary. I remember it well, just didn't know the name. Lovely! The music in the Jefferson doc and the L&C doc is also beautiful. In fact I got the L&C soundtrack.

    Sunday's going well. Watch your inbox. :)

  20. Amber,
    That's so neat to hear about your Country connection as we subscribed to that magazine for years till we switched (reluctantly) to Farm&Ranch which we now love, too. I especially like the diaries of farmers as they detail their daily lives, etc. Bet your family loved that you surprised them!

    Anyway, I may well have read your article in my Country days:) Keep on going. It's so fun hearing what you're working on and those past accomplishments. All stepping stones!

  21. Kav,
    I'm not surprised you're a fan of Library Journal. They review a lot of CBA books, that's for sure. I like their style as they're more kind than Publisher's Weekly:) And they don't issue spoilers!

    Oh, a boatload of Victoria mags sounds heavenly! Eye candy of the best kind. I remember hating to part with any of my old issues. So glad you have the library connection as you get to see those new mags and books hot off the press. Oh, I envy you!!

  22. Adrienne, My granny loved magazines, too. I'm chuckling at your mom having to reduce her subscriptions. I imagine that could be a concern and lead to stacks and stacks of them! I know folks who won't part with back issues and so have boxes everywhere(like my husband in our garage). They just gather dust but he won't part with them. Sigh. But I remember I hated to part with my Southern Living issues, too. But I'm more a book lover like you:)

  23. Heather, I can't thank you enough - and I thought the same! *Divine intervention*, indeed! I'm saving the other as my reward later today after my work is done:) Looking inevitably leads to lots of story ideas which is just magical for me.

    You are so right - the economy has been hard on magazines. I remember Mary E. very well as I used to collect some of her stuff. I remember her mag as being very bright and glossy and beautiful. You've listed some others here that sound great, too. How clever to hunt them up at antique malls and other places! You really are an inspiration!!

  24. Mary,
    No rush on Morrow! I've been telling people to tuck her away for winter reading which is when I like to read most - by the fire in my big overstuffed chair. Of course I'm sure you'll read her before then but I think anticipation is half the JOY at least:) And thanks so much for sharing TFD with your mom. That sure blesses me!

    Good for you @ being convicted regarding your magazine reading. It really does benefit us in the long run as we try to be obedient and keep our minds off unwholesome things.

    Colonial Homes is a great magazine! I've seen those in drs and dental offices and they are such a treat. Bet Carla knows of those and would enjoy, too. So many beautiful historical places out there - so little time (and budget!).

  25. Oh Julia, I've never heard of Historical Novels Review and am going over to look that up right now:) Now that's my kind of magazine. Bless you for that!

  26. Isn't Ashokan beautiful, Lori? Love those soundtracks. My The Young Victoria has been playing today and it's beautiful, too, but very Victorian-sounding. Need to get back to the frontier:)

  27. I am primarly a book gal. I do get a couple magazine subscriptions, but I rarely have time to really sit down and read them. I did finish my two latest knitting magazines the other night. Love those lovely patterns. :)

  28. Casey, Wish we lived closer and I'd ask you to teach me how to knit. My current heroine is knitting her socks off and I've yet to do a stitch - or however the knitting lingo goes:) Enjoy those knitting mags - I bet you see some beautiful, inspiring things. Hmmm. Maybe one day I'll have time to knit or crossstitch again. Absolutely love the latter!

  29. My mom used to cross stich, but gave it up after having kids. She tried to teach me, but I prefer knitting. :) Oh it would be fun to teach you too! I love to show people how to knit and yes, I am ALWAYS seeing something I want to make, sigh. So many projects, so little time... :)

    If you ever come through my area... ;)

  30. I'm a speed reader, Laura. It takes me about 3 hours or so to finish a book. I cannot begin to tell you how quickly the time passed yesterday while I was reading Morrow. It was noon before I knew it!

    I have Linda Chaikin's The Spoils of Eden sitting on my shelf. I haven't read it yet though. Most of the time, my library books take priority. I love her books though, and I'm sure it will be great. I haven't been to Hawaii either, but my grandfather did spend some time there during WWII. Christmas of 1944, if I'm remembering correctly.

    I like Smithsonian magazine too. It's one of those I pick up and read at the library.

    Haven't picked up anything else to read yet, since I'm still thinking about Morrow a lot.

  31. That looks so interesting. I love magazines! They give me a chance to grab something to read quickly if I don't have enough time for a novel (which is often).
    My favorites right now are: MaryJanes Farm and Living the Country Life.
    I also subscribed to Taste of Home and Quick Cooking for years. I stopped getting them because I have an entire cupboard of recipe magazines. I figured I had enough to last awhile!

  32. Your grandfather was in Hawaii at a very historic time, Michelle. I bet he has/had some stories to tell! I've always been fascinated by Hawaii and would love to go. It's about 7 hours from Seattle by plane.

    I've had other people tell me they read CML in a few hours, too. Better that than putting the book down and not wanting to get back to it! I think reading quickly immerses you in the book a great deal more. I'm doing another edit on The Colonel's Lady and am reading it all the way through in a few hours. Amazing what you pick up that you'd miss otherwise!

  33. Lisa,
    I agree - I've reread and gone through my Taste of Home and other cooking magazines over and over. No sense gettting more till those are exhausted! I'm not surprised by your magazines geared to country life:) Magazines are great, especially if we have kids and are often interrupted. I loved my nursing days because I could read, read, read while doing it. I was thinking of you and have to get over to your blog!

  34. Casey, Bless you! Wouldn't it be a hoot if we happened to be at a writing conference in future with our knitting gear:)! You could show me then but we'd both be so distracted I don't think we'd get much done!

  35. Probably not, but I hope to someday meet you at the ACFW conference. I really want to go next year if at all possible. :)

  36. Hahaha what a question! I have a rather interesting taste in magazines. I love 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords and Victorian Homes magazine. I love the Ford Mustang and Victorian homes, the tech articles and the photos in each of these magazines are terrific.

    My dream: To own a Victorian home with a huge library and hardwood floors and a nice sized carriage house for my Mustang. But for now I read the magazines :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

  37. EAL is my very favorite magazine! My MIL introduced it to me many years ago and I have saved every copy since! (They are slim compared to other mags, so they don't take up too much space,lol). And recently, I "got up the nerve" to submit my work for consideration in their annual Artisan's Directory and was accepted, so that made them my MOST very fav mag! :)

    I do enjoy reading the articles. They are so informative. But, I especially love when they show a home that has been renovated by other history lovers. Even the cover photos, for me, are like stepping into someone's home and being taken into another time.

  38. Suzanne,
    That's wonderful that you're now a part of EAL! I can see that it's a perfect fit! I don't know where on earth I've been as I didn't know this magazine existed. I could order back issues out the kazoo:) Can't wait to get another one in the mail. Bless you, Heather!