Monday, February 04, 2019

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals:

  • Learning to See by Elise Hooper - from HarperCollins for review (shown above)

. . . and a pile from the weekend library sale:

Left to right:

  • Noir by Christopher Moore
  • Moondogs by Alexander Yates
  • The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
  • Here is Your War by Ernie Pyle
  • To War in a Stringbag by Commander Charles Lamb
  • Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre
  • Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell
  • Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
  • Forbidden Area by Pat Frank

Of my library finds, I'm most excited about Here is Your War by Ernie Pyle, because I've been thinking I'd like to read something by Pyle since we visited the National WWII Museum, and Forbidden Area by Pat Frank because I loved Alas, Babylon. But, the others are all exciting, too. Noir is one I requested for review twice and didn't receive either time. So, it was nice to find a copy of it -- and without the reviewing obligation attached, no less. And, the C. S. Lewis is a title that's new to me. I've read quite a few books by Lewis, but it's been a long time.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Old Baggage by Lissa Evans
  • Alpine Ballad by Vasil Bykau
  • Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Old Baggage was marvelous. If you've read Crooked Heart, fell in love with Maddie, and wished for more, you'll be pleased that she got an entire book of her own. Alpine Ballad is a story of escape from a concentration camp and a love story that takes place over 3 days. It was, at times, so gripping that I realized I was holding my breath. The beautiful cover is deceptive; it's a novel of hardship, although there is a point that the two end up in a field of poppies. Franny and Zooey is my classic for the month and a good reminder of why Salinger was so revered. I have a 1980s copy that is, it says, the 45th printing. I'm sure that's something most authors can only dare to dream of happening to their books. The Book of Strange New Things is the first of the two books in my Books the kids insist I must read Challenge. One for each child. Youngest has already said, "Now you can read my book!" and I just finished, last night. 

Currently reading:

  • The Free Speech Century by Bollinger and Stone
  • Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley

I'm going to stop mentioning The Free Speech Century till I finish it, just because I get tired of seeing the same title linger in my current reads when it's a slow one. I did manage to read a bit, this week, and it is not an easy read for the layperson but it's utterly fascinating. I just started Late in the Day and it's a slightly melancholy book about the death of a beloved art gallery owner and how his family and best friends cope. I love Tessa Hadley's writing but I'm going to need to add a third book that's a bit more upbeat. Or, maybe a book of short stories. 

Posts since last Malarkey:

I have a feeling I won't be able to write quite as many posts, this week, because it's going to be a busy one. But, I'm very happy that I managed to get 5 reviews published, last week. I'm still reading faster than normal -- avoiding social media definitely helps! -- so I'm sure I'll be perpetually behind as long as I keep that up. No problem, there. I'm perfectly happy being a bit behind if it means I'm enjoying my reading.

In other news:

Saturday night was Paint Night and it was really a craft that felt like messy kid stuff. We painted a background around heart-shaped outlines and then filled in the hearts with layers of glitter glue, sequins, and a little extra glitter. Some people brought buttons to add to their hearts. I wasn't happy with my end results but I may give it a second go and do something very different. I didn't divert much from the teacher's design and decided I don't even like the way I painted my background. But, it was fun and I've wanted something to prop on my mantle with silk roses and red candlesticks after Christmas (a Valentine's theme), so . . .  maybe I'll try something similar in general outline but quite different in color and decoration, soon.

TV was a nope. I only watched news at the gym, again, apart from last night's episode of Victoria on PBS. And, that broke my heart. I may need to watch a couple Hallmark romance movies to recover.

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