Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Salon: Summing Up

Well, I still haven't hung my Christmas window lights - as one helpful neighbor reminded me. ("Only three more weeks till Christmas!") Ha! Gotta' get crackin'. I'll put them up today for sure. My little tree is already up from the basement storeroom. The large wreath is on the door. My basket of Christmas greens is on the small white table beneath the mailbox. All is almost as it should be. I still have some fussing around to do on the mantle, the nativity and such, but not as much these days as in years gone by.

We were expecting some snow today but when I got up this morning, nary a flake in sight. (I was kind of disappointed.) In fact, it's a nice, crisp sunny day. Maybe the snow will come in later on in the week.

  • It was another good reading week, sort of quiet, some disappointments brought home and returned to the library, but I'm loving the heck out of The Complete Peter Wimsey Short Stories: LORD PETER by Dorothy Sayers. Also read a Christmas story by Lauren Willig, THE MISCHIEF OF THE MISTLETOE (another in the Pink Carnation series) which I'll be reviewing tomorrow.

  • I'm champing at the bit to get started on the Vintage Mystery Challenge, to that end, I've already brought home three Ellery Queen books from the library! (I won't include the Dorothy Sayers short stories since I read them this year. But I'll certainly be including some Peter Wimsey novels once I read them again in the new year.)

  • We talked, too, about the Victorian Literature Challenge this week - this should be fun as well. It will certainly give me a chance to read some books I've been meaning to read for years and years. Books like: THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins and a few books by Anthony Trollope that a friend sent me a couple of years ago. Also a book by Rudyard Kipling I've always meant to read: KIM. I'm not sure about George Eliot or Dickens, but we'll see. The only Bronte book I've ever read and the only one, really, that has ever interested me is JANE EYRE (I've already read this twice so I'm not sure if I'll do so again), though I have a suspicion I might have read WUTHERING HEIGHTS at some point but either/or, I have no wish to read it at the moment.

  • I posted my 10 Top Books of the Year and made an error on the list that is so aggravating I can hardly stand it. I totally forgot Robert Crais' splendid book: THE FIRST RULE which I read at the very beginning of the year (and even exchanged some emails with R.C. about) but, for whatever reason (I plead old lady memory!) I forgot to add it to my Books Read This Year List and even forgot to write about in my book diary. I mean - what am I nuts? This was the best thriller I read this year, bar none. It should have been at the top of the list just under CRYPTONOMICON. But I didn't realize my mistake until after I'd made up the list and posted it - at that point I really could not bring myself to take another book title off my list to make room for R.C. It simply would not have been fair to the authors I did list. Especially since I did truly love all their books as well.

  • So all I can do, again, is apologize to Rober Crais, one of my all time favorite writers and the dearest, sweetest man. (I did include THE FIRST RULE at the top of my Honorable Mentions List to be sure.) If you love well-written, dynamic thrillers with unforgettable characters, get your hands on this book. Long live Joe Pike and Elvis Cole!

  • I did do a bit of Christmas shopping this week, online. Just a small bit - don't do as much as I used to, that's for sure. But I got a toe wet. This is my granddaughter's first Christmas. Need I say more?

  • Thought I'd say a few additional words about Jenny Milchman's superb idea: TAKE YOUR CHILD TO A BOOKSTORE DAY which was yesterday, Decemeber 4th. I know that once my grannddaughter is old enough, I'll be taking her to a bookstore to pick out her favorite books - no question. It is something I am especially looking forward to. Of course I'll also take her to the library as well (my own home away from home), but sometimes a kid just needs to OWN her books. Know what I mean? Books that she, herself, has picked out. And I love the whole idea of getting kids used to being inside a bookstore and buying their own books - starting their own lifetime libraries at home. As I said yesterday, this is a terrific idea. Jenny and I hope it will become a nation-wide phenom.

  • Here's a funny (or not so funny) story that, unfortunately happens to be true: Years ago, when the first Barnes and Noble store was going up about 20 minutes from my house, I actually had this conversation, can't remember who with - thankfully. I said something like:"I'm really excited about getting a Barnes and Noble in the area - FINALLY!" She said: "Yeah, I guess. But I don't know why it has to be a store where all they sell is books. Who goes to a store like that?" Precisely why you want to get kids familiar with, not only reading books, but bookstores and their wares. Who goes to a store like that, indeed. Sometimes you just have to shake your head. Oh, I think my non-plussed reply was: "Only people who read books."

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