So, my friends, I’ve been thinking that it’s time for us to have another get together. And since it’s summer, and the grass is green, and the flowers blooming, I thought we might have a garden party this time. A fantasy garden party, in my backyard. Not a tea and finger sandwiches, high-class, best dress and high heels garden party. No, a much more casual backyard book club party. With chilled wine and beer, lots of good food, some of it whipped up by Hubby on the barbeque, and lots and lots of talk about books.

And, of course, you are all invited. No masks or physical distancing required once you pass through our garden gate, our pretend garden gate, that is. Because for two whole days we have been declared a Covid-free zone by the World Health Organization. And duly sanctioned as safe by lots of other really important smart science-y people.

So to that end, yesterday when the weather was hot as heck, humid, and hair-frizzing, I took advantage of Hubby being out of the house for hours to try to find an outfit to wear to our book club party. Whatever I wear needs to be cool, and casual, and comfortable. So I thought maybe my new Everlane “air blouse,” which is so light and breezy, with my Theory cropped linen pants from last year. This might suit. Or if it’s a wee bit too tailored looking, I may swap the yellow pants for my Frame cropped white jeans.

Everlane black cotton ruched air blouse, Theory yellow linen pants, Michael Kors flat black sandals
Everlane blouse, Theory pants (similar), Michael Kors sandals (similar.)

Or I may go super casual with my new Everlane box-cut pocket tee shirt, below, with these light cotton draw-string pants from Studio d, made right here in Ottawa, and my old Michael Kors sandals (similar.)

Everlane box cut pocket tee, cotton pants by Studio d, Michael Kors flat sandals.
Or I might wear this really casual outfit.

These old cotton pants are so comfy with big pockets and a loose fit through the leg. I usually roll them up. I bought them many years ago at my favourite locally owned store, Green Tree Eco Fashion, now closed, sadly. Studio d doesn’t seem to carry the pants amymore. But I did find a few options for loose cotton pants on-line here and here.

Everlane box cut pocket tee, cotton pants by Studio d, Michael Kors flat sandals.
Everlane pocket tee, Studio d cotton pants, MK sandals (similar)

Or I may opt for my A.L.C. front-buttoned, striped, midi-skirt and this white linen, cropped top from Nordstrom Collection. I can tuck the top into the skirt or leave it out to hang loose. And later in the day change up the skirt for my cotton pants, if I want.

Nordstrom Collection linen top, A.L.C. silk skirt.
Or I may opt for this breezy skirt and linen top.

I seem to be gravitating to cropped, boxy tops this year. A top that falls loosely over my middle-age middle is best for me, and if it’s light-weight and not too long, it won’t look bulky. I really like the two tees I ordered from Everlane, as well as my soft, black cotton, air blouse. And I’ve been pondering ordering this Everlane cropped, boxy linen shirt. I like the notched collar, the wide hem at the bottom, and, well, just the overall look. I love a short-sleeved blouse for summer, especially with jeans and sandals. And I haven’t had one in a few years.

Nordstrom Collection linen top, A.L.C. silk skirt.
Nordstrom Collection linen top, A.L.C. midi-skirt.

As for cool, casual skirts, A.L.C. doesn’t seem to offer my skirt anymore, but if I were still looking for an easy summer skirt I’d try any of these below.

But enough about my outfits, let’s talk about the party. The date is Saturday, July 11. The dress code is casual, cool, and comfortable for the afternoon. Chic or not, we don’t care. Be prepared for hot temperatures and sun. No high heels unless you want to help aerate our lawn. Ha. Bring a hat. And something really casual and covered up to change into when the sun goes down. Also pack your jammies. Overnight accommodation will be provided. Not in a tent; I promise. If you can’t stay the night, you may still want a nap in between the afternoon and evening festivities. The party starts at noon. Just tell the taxi driver you’re in town for the High Heels in the Wilderness party. They will know where to go.

Now, about the books. Bring a book that has had a profound effect on you, for whatever reason. It doesn’t have to be a recent book. And if possible it should be one that you are able to pass on to someone else. Our favourite books say something about us, don’t you think? They can provide insight into our lives, our history, our character, or our culture. Or they may say something about a particular time in our lives. I think some of my favourite books have had an effect on me because they taught me a lesson I needed to learn at a particular time in my life, or they provided solace when I needed it.

We won’t be having a formal book discussion. But I’m hoping that our books will spark conversation, and that we’ll end up sharing some of our own stories with each other. As well as swapping our books.

The afternoon will be the more civilized part of our party. Book talk is always so interesting. But be prepared to kick back and relax in the evening. We’ll be lighting the bonfire and having a good old Martitime kitchen party. But outdoors because our kitchen is way too small.

Now. In order to RSVP, please send me an e-mail here. And because I’d like to include shots of you in the post, dear readers, if you can, include a picture of you in your afternoon or evening attire, and with your book if possible. And please write a bit of an explanation as to why you’ve chosen that book. Maybe a brief explanation of the book and how it affected you. One or two sentences will suffice. The post will be published on Saturday, July 11, so I will need to hear from you by Tuesday, July 7. Now, start planning your outfits, people, and thinking of the book you will bring.

Our deck overlooking the Rideau River where we will have our book club party.
Imagine yourself here … with all the rest of us.

I know I’m getting excited already. I may change up what I want to wear. Probably will, in fact. By the time you see me on July 11 I will have had a hair cut. Yah. Hubby and I are off camping next week, but I’ll be back in time to get my hair cut and make the final preparations for the big party.

Who knew that planning these fantasy parties could be so much fun? And no work at all. Plus I don’t have to clean the house before you come. Ha. Win, win, win.

I so enjoyed our fictional tea party in April. And I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again. This is going to be the imaginary event of the summer. Please say you’ll come. 🙂

P.S. All the clothing links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will make a commission.


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33 thoughts on “Book Club Party in the Backyard”

  1. I shall have to think about this and book my seat on that mythical plane again – the one that only takes an hour to fly from England to Canada. On a more realistic note, we have been taking books off the shelves and sticking them in a box at the front of the house, with FREE BOOKS writ large. So far, so good. Might have another winnow today.

  2. Love this idea. Am thinking about my favourite or inspirational books though may not join you.
    Also love the idea of a box of books outside the house, which I am also going to do. I think charity shops (where I normally take books to sell on) are going to be overwhelmed when they finally open.
    And thank you to the person who suggested LJ Ross on Audible, I blind bought 4 books in the Audible two for one offer and am really enjoying them.

    1. So many good suggestions from readers on book posts. Glad you are enjoying the Ross books. Hope you can make it, Jenny. If you’d rather not send a picture, just e-mail your book info.

  3. I love your hair colour with white t-shirts right now!! So beautiful! Especially in the outfit with the skirt. I am thinking about books and outfits for July 11. This time I will actually send a picture! Can’t wait.

    1. I agree with Nancy, your hair color with the white tee and skirt is stunning. Very Marilyn Monroe.

  4. Looking forward to the gathering – what fun! Now, to thinking about an outfit and which book….out of so many! ❤️

  5. Put my name down but you mustn’t expect my hair to look very respectable . My appointment is set for 21 July & even then it’s only a wet trim . No colouring , washing or drying going on in my local salon . It’s getting pretty bedraggled now 😫

  6. 🙂 Your book club party sounds fun. I love your striped midi skirt, I don’t believe I have seen it on the blog before? The linen blouse you have your eye on is lovely, I would go for the blue, are you going for the white? I still think your yellow pants will look amazing with white or navy or both!

    1. Thanks, Lise. I have worn it on the blog before a few times. I was thinking of ordering the blue in the linen blouse. Looking forward to seeing you at the party.

  7. Good thing I have time to figure out what to wear. I vowed that I WOULD NEVER RETURN to Ottawa in the summer – heat and humidity – but for you I will make an exception.

  8. Dear Sue, I was the one who suggested you would like L.J.Ross, I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of her audio books. I was unable to download them in sequence but I still loved them. My son shares my borrow box subscription and has a long, drive to work every day and he couldn’t wait to get back in his car to continue listening. You have given me some wonderful recommendations over the years, so I am really thrilled that you are
    enjoying them too. I know we like the same british films and television shows too. One Australian film I know you would love, called Ladies in Black, directed by Bruce Beresford. It may be on Netflix, it captures Australia in the 60s perfectly, especially the clothes. On another topic, I believe you are going to be thrilled with your hair au naturel with maybe a rinse to make sure it doesn’t go yellow. Can’t wait to see the results.
    Warm regards from Carol in Australia

    1. I do love Australian films, Carol. I will keep my eye out for that one. We don’t have Netflix, but our library has a great selection of DVDs, maybe they have it. Hope to see you at the book party.

  9. I wish I could make it ! However I do have a book to recommend for anyone who loves clothes ( pretty much all of us ) I’m reading ” Clothes…and other things that matter “, by Alexandra Shulman, who was editor of British Vogue, and I’m loving it. She covers just about every kind of garment you could think of , and takes us down memory lane, back to what we wore at different stages of our lives. And she comes across as very down to earth and human, not the chilly , perfectly groomed image we have of a high fashion magazine editor. A really good read. Hope you all enjoy the virtual party !

    1. Sorry you can’t make it, Maisie. Just to let you know that sending a picture is not mandatory, if you’d rather not. You can e-mail me a description of your outfit for the post if you’d rather.

  10. What a wonderful idea — talks and books and clothes! I can nearly taste it. Already I’ve added Maisie’s suggested Shulman book to my own wish-list. Now I must consider what book I myself would want to share. Some years ago, my husband rebuilt and repainted our bookcases which required all the books to be stacked on the floor for days while the paint dried hard enough. Replacing them in the shelves, then, was an interesting exercise. Some I realized I could relinquish with no pain, others I recognized as precious and was eager to reread. (And, yes, there were a number that I’d bought so hopefully and still hadn’t read. Some I gave up on. Some still linger, in various states of having-been-read-ness.)

    1. We did the same when we emptied our book shelves to move them for installation of new flooring. They had a good cull… and never looked neater or more organized.

  11. Hi Sue, thank you for planning yet another inspired get together! I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to watching the sun set and rise again from your lovely home. I’m imagining us all there, relaxing with a glass of wine … or maybe tea or a soft drink , sitting outside and chatting. It’ll be wonderful! Choosing a book will definitely be much harder than choosing an outfit! 😊 Looking forward to seeing you again! I hope you and Stu have a wonderful time camping … fingers crossed there’s not too many crawlies biting around your ankles!
    Take care, Rosie xxx

      1. I agree! I was hoping we may have managed a “catch up” while I was your side of the Atlantic this summer ☹️ … maybe next time! 🤞 xx

  12. Your parties are legendary, clothes, books and Stu’s barbecue, in your beautiful yard, can’t wait to sit by the river…

  13. Frances Taylor

    I’m relatively new here, via materfamilias’ blogs, but would love to join you. I probably won’t know anyone as I missed your fantasy tea party, but I’m sure we’ll have lots in common! Come to think of it, I already recognize a few names.
    What to wear will be a problem, as fashion isn’t my strong suit. But surely I can do “casual.” Plus, I already have the hat – that can be my starting point and I know what book I’ll be bringing. Looking forward to meeting everybody.
    Frances T (aka Frances in Sidney)

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