What are you reading the week of December 14, 2019?
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Sorry for the bleak start. This too shall pass. :-)
Happy memories of Christmas: Getting Arthur C. Clarke's Expedition to Earth and Reach for Tomorrow as gifts. Reading William Golding's The Inheritors. Listening to Dire Straits' "The Sultans of Swing" on my new headphones.
I'm just past the 3/4 point of Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion. It's a fascinating, well-written history.
It doesn't help that it's a dank, foggy day. But yes, this too shall pass.
by Sarah Price
(a Kindle eBook Alexa can narrate for me/Amish Christmas tales are always uplifting and a reminder of what Christmas is actually about)
>3 richardderus: I also had a nasty flare-up of chronic illness as well - Richard, I hope the resurgence of it is short-lived. I spent Thursday night in the ER, and missed work on Friday, but I'm back to it today.
I finished reading The Boy in the Headlights by Samuel Bjork yesterday. Bjork's first two Norwegian crime novels were really good, but this one was a disappointment. As I'm not up to much I've selected more Norwegian crime for my next read: Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo.
I got a jolly surprise: My Young Gentleman Caller visited without letting me know he planned to! It was a nice way to spend time with him. The lunatic came to surf the good waves *in*the*fog* and dropped in to take a hot shower and canoodle for a while.
even farther back - remember the Puritans didn't take too kindly to celebrating the holiday at all. Dickens put a stop to that, for better or worse
Mary Roach, one of my favorite non-fiction authors, loves to explore the most unusual subjects and she doesn’t fail in this book about the science behind the problems that crop up when soldiers are defending us. Topics include stink bombs, flies on the battlefield, how to make shark repellent and much more. Not for everyone but for those curious in unusual topics.
Not sure what to read next. I'm feeling low both in physical health and mental health, and in the whole Christmas thing that I have come to loathe. Yes, it's great that God became incarnate and that there is a feast to celebrate it, but with all the hype and crowded places and forced jollity I find myself wishing that angels on high and wise men hadn't made such a fuss about a newborn, even a special one as He was.
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto is lovely and short. That's the nice thing about novellas - they're quickly devoured and therefore give one a sense of accomplishment in short order. I'll read that next.
* “A Reasonable Guide to Horrible Music” from Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung by Lester Bangs
* Excerpt from Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde from The Norton Book of Women's Lives edited by Phyllis Rose
* “Germany’s Home Front” from The Secret History of the War, Volume 2 by Waverley Root
* “The Give and Take of Travel: A Study in Petty Larceny, Pro and Con” from Laugh with Leacock by Stephen Leacock
* “Fortidue/Fortaleza” from It's All In the Frijoles: 100 Famous Latinos Share Real-Life Stories, Time-Tested Dichos, Favorite Folktales, and Inspiring Words of Wisdom by Yolanda Nava
* The Off Broadway review column” by Edith Oliver from the December 2, 1967, issue of The New Yorker Magazine
Now I'm on to an English whodunit from the late 1970s, Death of a Mystery Writer by Robert Barnard.
But feasting, eggnogging, and laughing with family lifts my spirits if they're down in the dumps.
Yet, the BEST-est of all is curling up under the plush blanket in front of the fire, surrounded by books and cats puts me in the holiday mood like nothing else can.
Reading on in the HUGE Howitch tome, The Wheel of Fortune and loving all the complicated personalities who are master of Oxmoon manor in Wales. Supposedly, Susan Howitch claims that in this novel she wrote a retelling of the Plantagenet family of Edward III down through Henry V. If you want to delve into that family tree, I heartily rec Thomas B Costain's multi-volume history, A History of the Plantagenets. Both fiction and history books are marvelous.
Started my Secret Santa Thing gift book, Two years in the Forbidden City by Princess Der Ling. WOW! Learning so much about the Dowager Empress Cixi and the court behavior of the ruling Manchus. The book is full of descriptions of palatial architecture, court and religious ceremonies, gorgeous robes and dress of courtiers both male and female, emblems of status among eunuchs, gossip, and personalities that existed at the turn of the 20th C. in China. Love it!
Happy Reading Holidays to all LTERs!!
Nothing torturous yet. So far it's about life as a lady-in-waiting to the Empress and attempts to exert influence on her to modernize China. The author was the daughter of a diplomat, spent her youth abroad because her father wanted both her and her sister to receive a thorough Western education, which they got in France. Will let you know if any nightmarish scenes arise.
This wonderful children’s novel about acceptance revolves around Twig, a young girl and her family who keeps to themselves because of her brother’s mysterious condition. When a new family moves to town everything changes for them when the sisters befriend Twig. I have read Hoffman before but I never knew she wrote children’s books.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
(floating bookshop/mating books and patrons is Perdu's daily goal in life/literary apothecary)
No idea what to read next. It's nearly midnight, so I'll decide tomorrow.
Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries, book 1) by Rhys Bowen
(around 1900, NYC/Irish immigrant/woman detective)
Annie Spence, real life librarian, writes of her love of reading and the books she adores by writing quirky love letters to them. Of course she also writes about some of the duds that she has read and those get breakup notes. A very charming book but be warned this may increase your to be read book list!
Continuing a fine wallowing read in the immense family saga set in Wales over the first 60 years of the 20th C. titled The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howitch. Splendid novel.
Delving into my Secret Santa Thing selection, a memoir by Princess Der Ling, Two Years in the Forbidden City. Fascinating and full of detail about Manchu court life during the reign of the Last Empress, Dowager Cixi.
Can't find time to go back to listening to my Chirp Book, The Red Coat: A Novel by Dolley Carlson, an Irish immigrant tale set in the first half of 20th C. Boston.
In short, I'm thoroughly enjoying my winter holiday season reads. Happy reading to all!
* “A. J. Liebling Meets a Ghost of W. W. I” from A Treasury of Great Reporting: "Literature Under Pressure" from the Sixteenth Century to Our Own Time edited by Louis L. Snyder
* “Cigarette Makers Are After the Teen-Agers” from Magazine Digest - August 1949 edited by Murray Simmons
* The chapter on the St. Louis Cardinals from 1963 Official Baseball Almanac by Bill Wise
* “On the American Soldier” from Leaves in the Wind by Alpha of the Plow (a.k.a. A. G. Gardiner)
* “Creek Walk” from Creek Walk and Other Stories by Molly Giles
* “Letter from London” by Mollie Panter-Downes from the December 2, 1967, issue of The New Yorker Magazine
I've now started In My Father's Court by the wonderful Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Thanks to everyone for your empathy. I used to love buying presents for people, but my brothers and I stopped exchanging gifts years ago. My parents have both passed away now, I have no wife or children, and my best friend from college asked that we not exchange gifts. So there is no one but my dog for me to celebrate the holidays, and he's pretty agnostic. It just feels like salt rubbed in a wound. But I'm better now.