When I was eight years old I discovered an old typewriter in my parents’ storage house, which I hauled out and set up on my blue and white desk and promptly began work on the next Great American Novel. (Don’t look for it in the stores—it was replaced by a historical epic set in the colonial West Indies. And that one eventually gave way to the inevitable Gothic romance complete with indecipherable Scottish dialect…) I’ve literally been writing ever since, though I’ve upgraded to a laptop (and, no, I don’t type much better than I did when I was eight) and traded in (most of) my ‘high-faluting mumbo jumbo’ for a rapturous chronicle of the Beauty and Truth and Goodness of the God of my life.

I’m a recovering perfectionist, an erstwhile teacher of classical ballet and a devotee of Very Long Walks, especially with my four-legged son, Caspian, at my heels (or dragging me along by his leash, whichever way you prefer to envision it). I adore English literature, English tea, English soil. I collect memories and Southern sayings and old books and cats and things for my hair that don’t do what they say they will do. Vintage clothing is one of my vices, as is a tendency to worry first and ask questions later.

In 1999 I married my beloved Philip, and we’ve been living out our dreams ever since in an 1850’s farmhouse in the beautiful state of Georgia, ‘content to be in Christ together’. At last count our continually-expanding family included three dogs, seven cats, two Nubian goat kids, seven lambs, twenty-one hens, a mad rooster, and a fish named Horatio. If you don’t find me around here I’m probably busy in the barn or the garden. Or having tea in the back yard with my husband. Or out tramping somewhere in our 1962 Airstream.

Or scribbling madly, in pursuit of that perfect word.

Under the Mercy,

15 Responses to “About”

  1. Judi Hayes says:

    I just read this post to my 13 year old daughter, who, like me, also loves books. Her response: “She sounds like she has a fun life!” And I’m sure you agree.

    Are all these antique books on the shelves on your background here (I can’t think of the correct terminology for it, technology/computer hampered as I am!) a photograph of YOUR own personal library? This bibliophile starts drooling every time I see them!!! ;D

    You write beautifully, and I so appreciate what you do here. A sincere and heart-felt thank you to you, Lanier.

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      You are so kind, Judi. Thank you! 🙂

      And, yes, those are my books, expertly photographed by my husband. It’s what comes of working in an antiquarian bookstore all those years…that’s my excuse, at least. But somehow the collection just seems to keep growing! 😉

  2. Dear Lanier,

    How wonderful to see your site! My sister Katie told me about it when we were visiting in Marietta for New Year’s. I am excited to see what you are doing these days. But, apart from that, your site is a beautiful expression of your faith (above all) and your delightful interests. It brings back memories of a wonderful childhood I shared with you and your family. I remember many long walks with you and Elizabeth. I miss them! I look forward to following your blog.

    Much love, Christina (Hull) Eller

  3. Allison says:

    Not sure how I haven’t been to your actual site until now, but I do love your background and wanted to comment that it very much reminds me of The Bodleian Library at Oxford. I have two cherished bookmarks from there which show groupings of their collections that look very similar to yours.

    Sadly, my collections are mostly paperbacks, but I enjoy seeing favorite titles and the lovely spines of those books on your sight. Your writing and your collection both bring me joy!

    I hope we’ll see you again at Hutchmoot this year…

  4. I note you use the phrase ‘under the mercy’…. ohhhhh….I love that phrase too. I read Sheldon’s Vanauken’s books years ago and fell in love with his story of himself and Davy. I thought that phrase so beautiful in its meaning… a real sense of protection and safety in it.

  5. Came across your blog last night and am loving it. I feel like I’ve stumbled across “a kindred spirit” of sorts. LOVE old books and beauty as well. You write beautifully, and I want to say thanks for making a space of beauty on the internet that I can enjoy all the way from China!

    (Love it that you have an old copy of Stepping Heavenward. I do too. 🙂

  6. Gabriela says:

    I’m a ballet dancer too and I know that is what made me to look for beauty in my daily life…
    Love from far away…

  7. Cherry says:

    glad to meet you. i stumbled upon your poem ‘presence’ in rabbit room today. i love English literature, English tea and typewriters too.

  8. […] that the very first person to be interviewed in what I hope to be a rich, long running series is Lanier Ivester. Name sake the most beautiful website I know, Lanier’s Books, Lanier has influenced me over the […]

  9. Chloe Q says:

    May I aspire to be you, when I grow up? (Though, I wonder how you find the time to read!) I recently read your guest post on Kindred Grace and felt I had found a “kindred spirit” in the vast blogosphere. I look forward to future posts, as well as catching up on what you’ve already written.

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      You are so kind, Chloe! Thank you so much for taking the time to introduce yourself! It always delights me to find another kindred spirit. Welcome!! 🙂

  10. Judi Hayes says:

    Lanier, I have been searching to find the post you wrote about how it was that your mom began homeschooling you and your siblings, and how it all played out. I also remember a lovely post about your working in a bookstore. I can’t seem to find them. Thought I’d find them in Stories. But, no. Tried Essays. No, again. Tried searching Homeschooling, and a number of other attempts. No luck. Can you please help me? Thanks so much.

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      Hello, Judi! So nice to hear from you, and thanks for your questions. I’ve actually removed the homeschooling post for editing purposes, but I’m working on getting that one back up again. 🙂 It really means a lot to me that you remember it, and were looking for it. You’ve motivated me to prioritize that one in drafts. 🙂

      As for the bookshop post, I think you can find what you’re looking for here: http://laniersbooks.com/dedication/

      Thanks for reading! 🙂



  11. Judi Hayes says:

    Long ago, I remember reading one of your posts telling about how you came to be homeschooled. I am trying to find that post, and have searched Stories, Essays, and searched using home school, all with no success. Do you have any idea what happened to that post, perhaps there was more than one? I would be so appreciative if you can help me find that story again. Thank you.

  12. Bekah says:

    Ah, I am a recovering perfectionist / classical ballerina, too (the two are inextricably linked, aren’t they?). I understand. God bless you!

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