Skip to main content

Christmas is a time for sitting with your family in a library and not talking

Christmastime is past! The New Year approaches! I got one book on makeup (not a hint, I requested it) and The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones. So exciting. So much backstory.

My entire family, complete with four kids, two partners and two tiny kids (plus my parents, obvs) stayed in Chicago for three days, and I have just left them, after spending part of the evening alternately yelling at my little brother for making a whizzing sound with his nose all night, and calling his cell phone to wake him up.

As is usually the case when I'm around my family for any period longer than a day, I got a lot of reading done, so I've now finished up some books I was preeeetty close to being done with, but hadn't quite made it. So #3 in The Edge Chronicles! Done! Feast for Crows the fourth in the Game of Thrones series! Done! And then I started like three other books because LOOK WHAT THE PLACE WHERE WE WERE STAYING HAD:

We were at the University Club in Chicago. Their collection goes back to the library's founding in 1897, and did you know sitting in giant soft leather armchairs and browsing old weird books is most probably the best way to spend your time because you will invariably come across sentences involving the word 'ballyhoo' and spend a not inconsiderable length of time reading Books and the Man from 1929, which discusses how Daniel Defoe added the 'de' to his last name to make it fancy, and also how Walt Whitman was possibly terribly gauche for publishing Emerson's complimentary letter to him on Leaves of Grass

I spent most of the weekend focusing on Image of America, by R.L. Bruckberger, written in 1959 and translated from French. He's a Dominican priest writing about America and our history and trying to explain America to those overseas, but I am basically in love with this book AND with Father Bruckberger. I don't want to, y'know, RUIN the book, but he calls Hitler an assiduous dunce. He also says:

We are continually told that vice corrupts society, and this is true. But fanatic love of virtue has done more to damage men and destroy societies than all the vices put together.

I mean. I have a bunch of quotes. Because I love this book. 

Finishing Feast for Crows means I have ONE MORE until I have to wait with everyone else for GRRM to think about publishing the penultimate (one hopes) part to his series. So I'm gonna hold off on A Dance With Dragons for a bit. Mayyybe until he has a definite publication date for the sixth. Because in the back of Feast for Crows he's like "I will DEF have the fifth one out next year. So. 2005. Yeah, for sure." And then it was not published until 2011.

2015 reading goals? Oh, I don't know. I'm like halfway through the Old Testament, so I guess...finish the Old Testament. Chronicles is a damn bear to get through, although I did just read "So Hanun seized David's envoys, shaved them, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away." So that was fun. Every year I say I'm gonna read more books on my shelves and it never happens, so I'm not gonna say it again. Maybe it'll be some weird reverse things where maybe I DO then. We'll see.


Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.

You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:

We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.

INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier: DID SHE OR DIDN'T SHE

Daphne Du Maurier's 1951 My Cousin Rachel prompts the age-old question: what if you were a young dumb dumb with an estate in Cornwall who is convinced your charming, thoughtful, and recently-widowed cousin Rachel wants to abandon her native Italy forever and live with you, your dogs, and your elderly butler in a damp house by the sea. AFTER ALL WHO WOULDN'T.

Also she's a widow because she'd married your uncle who raised you who then recently died, so also this has just become the MOST oedipal and makes everyone feel gross thinking about it.

Said dumb dumb is Philip Ashley, who is 24 and aptly referred to in the recent film version as a "glorious puppy." He is so excited about some things. And so sulky about so many other things. He's our narrator, which here means he is our misogynistic, xenophobic lens through which to view all events. His uncle died in Italy soon after marrying Rachel. Said uncle suspected he was being poisoned. He also probably had a bra…