Monday, 8 December 2014

It's Monday!

Last week ended up being a good reading & blogging week.

I completed two fiction books & began my Robert Frost discovery tour (see reviews below).

I updated my much neglected Goodreads page.
I found the #bookadayuk challenge on twitter.
I finished my Christmas shopping.
And we caught up on our backlog of Walking Dead episodes (is no-one safe?!)

I have also spent every evening storm watching from our upstairs verandah!

Sydney has been enjoying (?) a run of dramatic, spectacular summer storms complete with lightning, thunder, wild wind, lashing rain and occasionally hail.


This week's reading list still contains Adam Spencer's Big Book of Numbers (I'm now up to the number 36). And I plan to look at two more Robert Frost poems.

I've also joined in Ali's Willa Cather Reading Week - read Ali's start up post here.

I will be reading Cather's 1918 novel My Ántonia.
My edition is one of the lovely 2012 Drop Cap hardbacks with cover designs by Jessica Hische.

I started it last night with much anticipation. I suspect I will be searching out her other books asap!

The story of Ántonia Shimerda is told by one of her friends from childhood, Jim Burden, an orphaned boy from Virginia. Though he leaves the prairie, Jim never forgets the Bohemian girl who so profoundly influenced his life. 

An immigrant child of immigrant parents, Ántonia's girlhood is spent working to help her parents wrest a living from the untamed land. 

Though in later years she suffers betrayal and desertion, through all the hardships of her life she preserves a valor of spirit that no hardship can daunt or break. 

When Jim Burden sees her again after many years, he finds her "a rich mine of life", a figure who has turned adversity into a particular kind of triumph in the true spirit of the pioneer.
 
I've also started Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things.

I finished last week in need of some 'balm'. So far it's a fairly gut-wrenching, emotional experience -  a book to be read slowly, piece by piece, with time to absorb the emotional impact of each story.

Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.
Tiny Beautiful Things brings the best of Dear Sugar in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond.  Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

I would also love to reread A Christmas Carol before Christmas and was wondering if anyone out there in blog-land would like to join in a readalong with me....or point me in the direction of someone hosting such a readalong?

Later: My low-key, no fuss readalong post is here.

I often find it too surreal to read traditional white Christmas style books during our hot, sultry, summery Christmases. But with all the dramatic, weird storms this past week, I've felt a little closer to a white Christmas (hail is white, right?!) than usual.

Living with two teen boys who bah-humbug* around the house, Scrooge has naturally been on my mind!
* Translator's notes - 'bah humbug' is a Victorian phrase of indifference. Now replaced by 'meh'!

To find out what other bloggers have been up to with their reading week, check out It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What will you be reading this week?

20 comments:

  1. Great storm picture! I love a Christmas Carol too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on finishing your Christmas shopping! That is my #1 goal this week. I loved My Antonia... almost as much as O Pioneers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks JoAnn now I have to hunt down O Pioneers if it's even better than My Antonia!!

      Delete
  3. Cool picture. I hope to put a huge dent in my Christmas shopping this week.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Laughing at the Scrooge teenage boys. It is such a shame that our Christmas comes in the summer, it is such a winter thing, so envy them all their snow etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We embrace the summer Christmas from everything to holiday destinations (the beach), seafood & salad Christmas lunch, ice cream puddings (laced with 'special' fruit!), lawn cricket, games under the sprinkler (water restrictions permitting)...but the Christmas reading is another matter.

      So many of the classic stories (& movies) are set in the UK, Europe or the US.
      I cant think of any Aussie Christmas stories (except some kids picture books) or movies.

      Delete
  5. That is a stunning photograph - what a lovely view!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately the weather this past couple of weeks has kept us off the verandah - either too hot, too windy or too rainy...and occasionally all three at once!!

      Delete
  6. My Ántonia has been on my TBR for a while. I'll get to it one day...
    I'm reading Lolita at the moment for a read-along that lasts until the end of December.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you should make that one day sooner rather than later...My Ántonia is gorgeous.

      Delete
  7. A great week for you! These storms are crazy, luckily we've avoided most up here.

    Have a great reading week!
    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm glad you like My Antonia. Cather is a wonderful writer. I planned to read a nonfiction book about the Christmas Truce, but now I am not sure if I want to read about war this month. I'll do a read-along of the Dickens with you, if you are still up for it. I've been meaning to read it in December for the last several years and never got around to it. Let me know...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent - let me finish My Ántonia & I'll let you know :-)

      Delete
  9. Wow you did get a lot done! December is so busy!

    I really liked My Antonia too! And I am definitely adding that Cheryl Strayed book to my list. It sounds really good.

    I would love to read A Christmas Carol before Christmas! I may not finish it, but I am willing to give it a go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great Erin - let me finish My Ántonia & I'll let you know about A Christmas Carol - I'm thinking the week before Christmas - or is that tooooo crazy ?!

      Delete
  10. I am also reading My Antonia :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delighted to be sharing this wonderful book with at least two others :-D

      Delete
  11. Me, too - My Antonia. Starting today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delighted to be sharing this wonderful book with at least two others :-D

      Delete
  12. Wow, that was a busy week you had. Loving the cover of A Christmas Carol, simple and yet stylish.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you but I understand that blogger can be a frustrating experience for many.
Make sure you're logged into your blogger account or google+ account before writing your comment, otherwise blogger will eat it. I have occasionally found lost comments by hitting the back arrow button.
If all else fails, you can contact me on my fb page or twitter.
Thanks for stopping by.