Ah, it’s been a lovely week of relaxing family time. My older daughter returned to the nest, we celebrated Thanksgiving, saw two very different films (The Descendants and The Muppets!), and generally enjoyed everyone being together again. Today she’s en route back to school, but happily we will see her again in three weeks!
It was also a good week for reading. I was off work with more free time, and I had several books lined up that I was looking forward to. I ended up reading & reviewing three books, and enjoyed two of them (links will take you to my review):
- A Book of Secrets, very interesting non-fiction with a Virago connection
- The Eyre Affair, a gimmicky book that I gave up on halfway through
- Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, a delightful Persephone Classic
So now I’m staring down that list of books I plan to read before year-end, and am feeling pretty optimistic. December will be all about fun reading, and I’ve had a nice warmup with Miss Pettigrew and my current book, Barbara Pym’s An Unsuitable Attachment. I was also feeling pretty proud of myself, because my planned reads are all books I’ve owned for a while, and I was excited about making a bit of progress clearing my shelves.
But then I fell prey to used bookshop temptation. I despise the frenetic holiday shopping scene, especially the day after Thanksgiving, and refuse to take part in it. But I make an exception for used bookshops — especially charity shops — in cute towns. So when my daughter asked if we could go to our favorite little charity bookshop, how could I refuse? It was both my parental and civic duty. And they were having a half-price sale. Kate picked up a few things, and I came away with:
- The Enchanted April, a Virago Modern Classic edition. Hunting for green spines is 90% of my used bookstore fun.
- Oryx and Crake, an acclaimed Atwood that I’ve never read
- A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, an attempt to read more by the 2011 Booker Prize winner
- Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, my wish list ever since reading Wendy’s review
- The Child in Time, because it’s one of the few Ian McEwan books I haven’t read
- Dark Fire, the second book in a Tudor mystery series, highly recommended by a LibraryThing friend. I have yet to read the first book, but does that really matter? No.
- The Secret History, a book I’ve heard much about over the years, and well, it was half price so why not.
I’ve made a neat stack of the 6-8 books I plan to read in December, but guess what? These acquisitions just filled in the empty shelf space left by those books. I’m not brave enough to keep an annual tally of books that came and went, but I’m pretty sure I’m losing that battle.
Does anyone else have that problem? I bet you do …