It’s cold and wintery around here, so I’m curled up with two good books! I am currently finishing The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte, which is the book chosen for my Classics Club Spin. And I’ve already started my next book, Sailing by Starlight: The Remarkable Voyage of Globe Star, by Rod Scher. I’m enjoying them both!
November has been a busy reading month for me. Here are the books I finished this month:
And here are the books I’ve been reading in November that are taking longer to finish:
This week, in between my current project of reading two long books at the same time, I took a break and read two short books. I didn’t plan to do that, it just happened. I also didn’t sign up for a ‘reading non-fiction in November’ challenge, but both short books were non-fiction. I guess I just needed some delightful balance in my reading life this month.
Both short books were very interesting to read. The first one was Notre-Dame: A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals, by Ken Follett. It was, simply put, a love letter to the magnificent cathedral of Notre-Dame, started shortly after he heard about the fire that shocked the world. Having done extensive research on cathedrals for his book, Pillars of the Earth, and having spent much time in Notre-Dame, he was deeply shocked and saddened when he learned of the fire. It wasn’t too long before reporters started calling him, wanting his expert advice and viewpoint on the possible fire damage. Another call he received was from his publisher telling him that given his knowledge and background in the constructions of cathedrals, he must write a book in response to this tragedy. This little book was what he produced from the notes he started immediately.
The wonderful cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the greatest achievements of European civilization, was on fire. The sight dazed and disturbed us profoundly. I was on the edge of tears. Something priceless was dying in front of our eyes. The feeling was bewildering, as if the earth was shaking.”
The second short book I read last week was The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, by Margareta Magnusson. It was actually a re-read for me because I’d listened to the audiobook a few years ago, and decided to re-read it because I’m currently working on a major decluttering/downsizing project here at home. I hoped it would give me some ideas and motivation to really let go of a lot of things, and it did. It’s a common sense book, and is just straightforward in explaining the ideas and philosophy of “death cleaning.” I’m glad I re-read it.
So I am enjoying my November reading, both the long books and the short ones. I hope you are enjoying your current reading, as well.
I always seem to be reading a number of books and audiobooks at the same time. Fifty years ago, I would be bent on finishing one book before starting another, but today, in the age of numerous devices, I have a book that I am listening to on my phone, another book on my Kindle, a real actual book-book from the library/bookstore or off my shelves, and a cookbook on my iPad. It’s a bit on the ridiculous side, really, but that’s my reading life these days.
Audiobook that I’m listening to on my phone: Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosely, which I’m reading for the RIP-XVI challenge.
My current Kindle book: Bronze and Sunflower, by Cao Wenxuan.
Current actual Book: Summer at Fairacre, by Miss Read.
E-book on my iPad: The Kimchi Cookbook, by Lauryn Chun.
Shall I admit to being a fractured/scattered reader, or should I call myself “well-rounded?”
I came across this painting by the Danish artist, Robert Panitzsch, and loved the feeling it gave me. It describes beautifully my Sunday afternoon reading mood! The book open on the chair would be my current read: A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. And I would be taking just a brief break to make some more tea. How lovely to read in such a room with sunshine, open window, potted plants. The perfect Sunday afternoon!
I am currently reading A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles, and loving it! I think this might be the perfect book to read while sheltering-in-place.
This morning Byron said to me, “Rob, I’m reading 4 books right now,” as if that was something to feel guilty about. I just laughed and told him that I’ve got 4 books going at the same time, too! One on my Kindle, a library book, an audiobook, and one of my Christmas presents from my daughter. “Guilt-free reading“, I told him!
I am currently reading:
…from the library: They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei
…current audiobook: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle
…on my Kindle: Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild
…my Christmas present: Virginia Woolf at Home, by HIlary Macaskill
This is such a nice week for reading! I love the days following the busy-ness of Christmas! And I love having some quiet time to read book presents and finish up books started before the holiday rush. I am currently reading a number of books. I’m almost finished with a book on my Kindle about Iceland and Icelanders. I’m halfway through another audiobook mystery by Deborah Crombie. And my daughter gave me this book for Christmas, so I’m reading it now, too!
What are you reading this week?
Welcome, September! I love late summer in the Pacific Northwest! There’s usually very little rain (this year especially) and after Labor Day the temperatures are mostly mild. It’s one of the loveliest times of the year here, and especially lovely for reading on the porch!
Currently reading: three children’s books from the library about Wangara Maathai
Currently on my Kindle: The Little Sister, by Raymond Chandler
Current audiobook: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, narrated by Thandie Newton
I’m looking forward to my September reading. My stack of mysteries is ready for R.I.P-XIV, as are other books on my TBR lists for the various challenges I’m working on. September will also include some nice long walks and perhaps a day trip or two over the Coastal Range to the ocean fifty miles away.
So glad you’re here at last, September!
The audiobook I am currently listening to is Howard’s End is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home, by Susan Hill. It’s a book that has been on my TBR list for a long time but I just never got around to moving it to the top of the list. When I discovered that it was available from Audible, I downloaded it and started listening. I am so enjoying it (!) but realized immediately that I needed the book itself to refer to, so I ordered it from the library. Happily, it came in quickly and I have been reading and listening to my double pleasure. But now I have realized that this is a book I need to own, so I have ordered my own copy and it should be arriving shortly. That’s high praise for a book, don’t you think?
This last week I have been immersed in garden dreaming, garden planning, and garden reading! This is clearly a reaction to the cold and snowy weather here in the Pacific Northwest! My current book from the online digital section of my library has an appropriate name for my state of mind: Gardenlust! Written by Christopher Woods, Gardenlust, A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New Gardens, is a “A beautiful tour through some of the loveliest gardens in the world!” ~ Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus at Missouri Botanical Garden. It was published by one of my favorite publishing companies, Timber Press, and is really an interesting book to read, especially in the middle of a cold February!
The photography is gorgeous and the information about each of these botanical gardens is very interesting to read. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I will be giving it a very good rating on Goodreads. What a pleasure to read on this snowy/icy weekend!
I’m up early this morning (thanks to the sounds of a squirrel in the attic) and so decided to start my book for the Classics Club Spin #19. The Spin number was just announced this morning and that number was #1. I made a large cup of tea and am starting Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, which was the first book on my Spin list.
Americanah is the perfect book for me to read at this point in time because this book, (along with her book, We Should All Be Feminists) was chosen by the Multnomah County Library for the Everybody Reads 2019 in Portland, Oregon! Discussions start in the various libraries in January, and she will be speaking in Portland in March. Unfortunately for me, that event is already sold out. But how serendipitous that this was my book chosen to read at exactly the right time!
Don’t know what we’ll do about the squirrel in the attic, though…