Lanier Ivester

Lanier Ivester is a “Southern Lady” in the best and most classical sense and a gifted writer in the most articulate and literal sense. She hand-binds books and lives on a farm with peacocks, bees, sheep, and the governor of Ohio’s leg. She loves old books and sells them from her website, LaniersBooks.com, and she’s currently putting the final touches on her first novel, as well as studying literature at Oxford.


The Light that Shines in Darkness

By Lanier Ivester

It was the 26th of December, the second day of Christmas by the traditional reckoning, and I’d spent the balance of it on the couch, nursing the cold I’d sustained thanks to late nights and early mornings and running out barefoot onto the frost-touched grass for just one more branch of holly. But I couldn’t have been happier—behind me, a glad and golden Christmas Day crowned with laughter and the faces of those I love; before, a long week of indolence punctuated by last-minute gatherings with friends and small flurries of merrymaking.

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Love in the Time of COVID-19

By Lanier Ivester

I was supposed to be on a plane to Ireland this morning.

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Keeping the Feast

By Lanier Ivester

In 2017, my husband and I suffered a devastating house fire, which meant, among other things, a year-long exile to a camper in the backyard during the restoration. It was a painful, exhausting, overwhelming, rewarding, and ultimately beautiful journey back home. But this time last year I was anticipating the unbelievable joy of celebrating the holidays in our own place once more—of cramming the rooms with beloved people and stuffing the freezers, fridges, and larder with good things for them to eat. I wrote this piece after Thanksgiving, reflecting on some blessedly obvious but all-too-forgettable truths. And while grief and loss may have thrown these truths into sharper focus, I need their reminder every bit as much today as I did then.

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Gardener’s Heart: A Love Story, Part 1

By Lanier Ivester

“You must remember, garden catalogues are as big liars as house agents.”
—Rumer Godden, China Court

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Face Down

By Lanier Ivester

[The Molehill, Vol. 5 will be officially released on July 9th, but because Chris Thiessen, our intrepid manager of sales, is on the ball, books are already shipping out to readers. Here’s a little taste of what’s inside. This essay of Lanier’s was the first of hers I ever read, and it remains as good now as it was when I first encountered it nearly a decade ago. Enjoy. –Pete Peterson] Read More ›

A Car With a View

By Lanier Ivester

I had forgotten how Europe smells, that sweetly acrid bouquet of flowers and cigarette smoke, men’s cologne and diesel fumes. I had forgotten the song of unknown tongues filling the air around me, and Read More ›

Shaping a Fellowship

By Lanier Ivester

Back in 2010, my husband and I attended our first (and the first!) Hutchmoot. It was exciting, and a little surreal, to contemplate a face-to-face gathering of a fellowship that had formerly been confined to my computer screen. Read More ›

Baskets of Fragments

By Lanier Ivester

In October 1949, a brassy New Yorker named Helene Hanff wrote a letter to a staid London bookseller named Frank Doel.

“I am a poor writer,” she told him, “with an antiquarian taste in books.” Read More ›

For the Greater Good

By Lanier Ivester

An artist friend and I had a long talk a while back about the types of people that make up the human race.

According to him, most people fall into one of two camps: Read More ›

Interview: Jennifer Trafton, author of Henry and the Chalk Dragon

By Lanier Ivester

Jennifer Trafton’s much-anticipated Henry and the Chalk Dragon is a romp through the “what ifs” of an imagination run wild. It’s a companion for children feeling self-conscious about Read More ›

The Craft and Courage of L.M. Montgomery, Pt 4

By Lanier Ivester

In this final installment, I want to say a few words about Lucy Maud’s personal challenges as a writer. Even a casual perusal of her journals reveals the fact that Maud was a creature of intense, sometimes crippling moods. I don’t think anyone could be capable of communicating the full scope of human joys and sorrows like she did without being intimately acquainted with both the heights and the depths. Read More ›

A Voice in the Dark

By Lanier Ivester

In broad daylight, I like to say that I’ll bet that my barn is haunted. Read More ›