June’s Books of the Week

by | Jul 28, 2020 | a slice of life, Favorite Things | 8 comments

It’s hard to believe we’re over halfway through the year!  Time flies when you’re stuck at home doing projects!  I have really missed my regular outings to Barnes & Noble, but I have been ordering newly released and used books online and have pulled out some of my favorite books to share from my stash.  So here are my picks for June’s Books of the Week…

All Along You Were Blooming | Morgan Harper Nichols

I bought this book shortly after it came out, in one of my last in-person trips to B&N this year.  It is such a sweet, encouraging, and inspiring book of poetry.  Her words and writing style resonated with me and it seemed fitting to select it as my pick on this particular week.


All along you were blooming morgan harper nichols miss mustard seed

This poem is one of my favorites…

All along you were blooming morgan harper nichols miss mustard seed

If you don’t follow Morgan on Instagram, I would highly suggest it.  She shares her poetry and art there as well.

Furniture Makes the Room | Barb Blair

Barb Blair called me out of the blue one day years ago.  She found my number through an internet search and called to tell me that we should be friends!  What should’ve been a strange and creepy call turned into a long conversation between kindred spirits.  She was right.  We were meant to be friends.  And many more conversations and meetings for dinner when geography allowed followed that first phone call.

She introduced me to milk paint and we talked for hours about creativity, business, furniture makeovers, and paint.

And she also wrote this fabulous book on furniture makeovers show in different spaces.  I think I like this book so much because I know it’s the one she always wanted to write.  She has so much knowledge and such a unique styling voice and both are on display in this book…

furniture makes the room barb blair miss mustard seed

furniture makes the room barb blair miss mustard seed

On Flowers | Amy Merrick

I bought this book on a whim, because you just can’t go wrong with flowers.  I like that this book is just about being a beautiful book.  It’s one that I love to flip through and study color combinations, textures, and styling.  It’s a visual feast…

on flowers amy merrick miss mustard seed

on flowers amy merrick miss mustard seed

French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings | Courtney Allison

I’ve known Courtney for several years through the blog world and I’ve long joked that flowers follow her everywhere.  They just seem to spring up and bloom in all of her photos!  She is a master at styling and creating beautiful “moments” in her home and spaces, whether it’s in a room or a picnic by a bike.  This book is full of her sumptuous photography, but it also has some down-to-earth entertaining tips and ideas.

french country cottage inspired gatherings courtney allison miss mustard seed

She also has a nack with cakes!

french country cottage inspired gatherings courtney allison miss mustard seed

Get Your House Right | Maryanne Cusato

This book was a pleasant surprise.  I ordered it because I’ve always been interested in architecture and I’ve also always been really picky about features on homes.  Why is the garage so prominent in the design?  Why are those pillars so skinny?  Why don’t the shutters at least look like they would function and fully cover the window?  Why does that door just look wrong?  

This book meticulously covers every feature of a home from the front elevation to the roofline, doors, windows, millwork, etc.  And it is fascinating if you’re into that sort of thing!  It would be especially helpful if you’re in the process of designing or building a house.  It can steer you away from common architectural “mistakes” to create a classic, aesthetically pleasing home.

get your house right marianne cusato

And Prince Charles likes this book, too, so there’s that.

get your house right marianne cusato

The one danger with this book is it will likely point out many things that are “wrong” with your house.  You just have to take it all with a grain of salt and not get offended!

I hope you enjoy my June books of the week picks!

In case you missed them, here are the previous books of the weeks…

January 2020

Making a Life | Martha Stewart’s Organizing | Essentialism | Slipcover Style | Daily Painting

February 2020

City Farmhouse Style | A Place for Everything | Color: A Visual History | Conscious Creativity

March 2020

The Life of a Bowerbird | New Americana | Making Winter | Painting Clouds & Skies in Oil

April 2020

The Art of Beatrix Potter | BHG New Cookbook | Nora Murphy’s Country House Style | BHG Trade Secrets | Simply Living Well

May 2020

The Art of Still Life | Cozy Minimalist Home | Creating a New Old House | Keep Going


  1. Charlotte

    Thank you for sharing the poetry book. I may have to find it now… the poem you featured was needed more than ever today as I am struggling with being brave and feeling brave and moving forward. Your timing was perfect, if not unknown to you that it was needed by one of your readers. Have a wonderful day!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I love that! I’m glad this post went up at just the right time and Morgan’s words spoke to you. They spoke to me, too.

  2. monique

    Nice collection. Funny to see Prince Charles there, he is my type of royal, he has a huge interest in the environment and growing food in the most green healthy possible way, planting trees to counter pollution and many other initiatives I care for too. And something else about him that you may know or not, he is a good watercolor artist!. He is much more interesting than his sons.

    Did you not, Marian, have a book on painting clouds in one of your cloud studies videos? I would love to know if I am dreaming, or off the wall due to the extreme heat in NY? Thank you, stay cool.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, that is Painting Skies and Clouds in oils and was featured in March.

  3. Katherine

    always some interesting selections — but just curious — since you do this every month, why do you call it books of the week?

    • Marian Parsons

      Because I share one book each week on Instagram Stories and then I just share them collectively here on the blog.

  4. Katie

    It’s so funny, I’ve not heard of Marianne Cusato before, and I’m not a fan of Charles, but Ben Pentreath is a name I know very well and I love his style! His architecture/decorating work is often featured in House and Garden UK. On Instagram he shows a lot of his life including his homes around the country, his gorgeous husband, beautiful dahlias and lovely dogs. Highly recommend!

  5. Julie | Home On The Hill

    Wow, I sound as picky as you Marian regards architectural house features, I have also moaned about why do people use small shutters or skinny verandah posts, why did they put that window there making the whole facade look unbalanced – the ‘get your house right’ book should be required reading for all architects & builders! 😀

    When I designed my old style farmhouse I worked with a draftsman to get the plans drawn up, but when it came to building it I had to explain many of the details to the builder as they didn’t ‘get it’ why I needed the steps to look a certain way, why the verandah posts needed to be bigger than required to hold up the roof, or the window architraves to be a style they had never done before, as authentic traditional home building is not common here in Australia. I searched high & low to source affordable materials, windows, door handles etc they didn’t even know were available. Due to budget & availability of materials at times I had to compromise, spending money on things that couldn’t be changed like ceiling height, verandah posts & windows, but my aim was to look authentic enough for people to think it was an old farmhouse that had a makeover & several visitors have asked that very question – which was soooo satisfying! 🙂


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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