Sunday Sum-Up

The heat is back on around here. I hope it’s summer’s last gasp before autumn comes around because I am tired of the heat.  It looks like summery temperatures are going to be around for most of the week, though. Yuck. If it weren’t for the accompanying humidity I wouldn’t be so bothered by it, but no. Heat and humidity arrive together.

On the bright side, I got my film back from developing! It turns out that I do remember how to use a traditional light meter because all the exposures were mostly correct. I bought more film for my new-to-me cameras and am planning to take a bunch of pictures this week. Assuming I get a move on this morning I’ll take a walk around my neighborhood while the sun is low. We have all these old trees, and the morning light makes the place look so pretty!

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Because I’ve been listening to so many podcasts and BookTube channels, I hardly watch Netflix anymore, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a new season of The Great British Baking Show available. It was the latest season, with Prue judging instead of Mary, and Noel and Sandi hosting instead of Sue and Mel. I was unsure of how I would like the changes, but I ended up enjoying it! Sandi and Noel weren’t quite as funny as Mel and Sue, but I think they’ll get better as the seasons progress. I watched the whole season in three days!

Remember at the beginning of the month, when I declared a personal book-buying ban for September? Well, I made it halfway through the month… I came across a beautiful Everyman’s Library edition of certain classics, namely all of Jane Austen’s novel while poking around online. Because I couldn’t up and spend $125 on a set of books, I set about tracking them down on Abebooks and found all of them available from various retailers. They were all used and anywhere from about $3.50 to $6.50. I ordered copies of Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Sense and Sensibility. I found Jane Eyre in the same edition– black spine with a grid of white dots, a painting of a 19th-century woman, and the title framed in an ornamental red box on the front cover. I also went ahead and ordered a copy of Grace Chetwin’s The Riddle and the Rune, which is the second of her Gom books. All in all, I got all five books for just under $20, though a photo included in one of the order confirmation emails makes me wonder if I’m getting the right edition of Sense and Sensibility. I suppose I will find out when it arrives. If it’s the wrong edition, I’ll just take it to the used book store for credit and order the correct edition from a different supplier. My justification for buying them is that these are books I have read before and will read again, and having a newer copy of Pride and Prejudice means that I won’t have to risk my pretty but fragile copy of P&P from the 1950s when I want to read it again. I’m also planning to take a bunch of books to the used bookstore this week so I will have cleared out a lot of space on my shelves.

So the book buying ban failed, but at least I got a good deal.

What I read last week:

  • No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston (NetGalley ARC)
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

No Time to Spare is a collection of essays from Ursula K. LeGuin’s blog, which she began writing when she was 80 years old. There are some hilarious and thoughtful posts about her cat Pard,  critiques of modern politics and capitalism, and essays about what it means to get old. They are not as polished as her essays for various publications, but they are blog posts by a master of the written word, so they are amazing all the same.

I reread The Hobbit with a friend. It had been a long time since I read it, and it was fun to come back to it with all the insights I’d gleaned from The Prancing Pony Podcast. It’s a much deeper story than I remembered, and I’m glad I read it again!

Early last week, I received a notification from Putnam Books via NetGalley that I had been approved for an ARC of Lyndsay Faye’s upcoming novel, The Paragon Hotel! I’ve loved all of Lyndsay Faye’s books that I’ve read– the Timothy Wilde mysteries, Dust and Shadow, a novel of Sherlock Holmes, and Jane Steele, a sort of Jane Eyre retelling. Faye’s writing is so fluid and lyrical, and I’ve never been able to predict the twists and turns of her books. I’m so excited to be able to read her new one early! Its expected publication date is in January 2019.

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Current Reads:

  • A Passion for Books: A Book Lover’s Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books edited by Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan
  • Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
  • Scandinavian Folk & Fairy Tales: Tales from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Iceland edited by Claire Booss
  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, audiobook narrated by Rob Inglis
  • Emma by Jane Austen, audiobook narrated by Donada Peters

 

I’m not sure what I’ll start on this week, aside from The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien and edited by Christopher Tolkien. I’m hoping to finish up either Beren and Luthien or A Passion for Books later today, but we’ll see how the reading goes. I’m meeting up with my parents and my grandmother for brunch a little later, and knowing my mom she’ll want to do some shopping in the ‘big city’ before they head home.

I might start on Francine Prose’s What to Read and Why. A Passion for Books has been up and down for me so far. It’s a collection of essays about books and book lovers, but a few of the essays have been a little dull, so I skipped them. I am not sorry about this. I know Francine Prose is a witty writer, so I think her book will be closer to the sort of collection of essays on books I’m looking for. I also checked out The Smith of Wootton Major by J.R.R. Tolkien from the library. It’s a short book– only 62 pages– so I should be able to finish it in short order.

Last week marked the beginning of my The Lord of the Rings Reread project! I’ve been excited to start this since I started planning it back in July. The three posts so far have been background information about LotR itself and my history with Tolkien’s books.

I’ll start getting into the story itself next Saturday, September 22nd with Frodo and Bilbo’s shared birthday party!

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