Monday, January 5, 2009

My Current Stack


With the hubbub of the holidays behind me, I am ready to curl up
with a hot cup of tea and read some of the books that have been
waiting for me, stacked on my desk for the last month.

The Long Valley, John Steinbeck. A collection of his classic short
stories, first published in 1938. This one was a Christmas gift.

The Three Graces, Elizabeth Wix. Yes, the same lovely lady in
our own bloggyhood; a charming novel about three young English
women just out of boarding school and ready to embrace their adult
lives. I also just purchased a copy of her Jane in Winter, a story
for older children set in the 1950's. I haven't read this one yet, but
it looks absolutely magical!

American Bloomsbury, Susan Cheever. An intriguing book about
the genius authors of Concord, MA and how their lives connected.
Actually, I just finished this one. Excellent book.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. A novel written as a series
of letters in post war 1946. This one's overdue at the library and I
haven't started it yet. Oops. My fine is going to be outrageous.


Elizabeth Wix


I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps
there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books
that brings them to their perfect readers. How
delightful if that were true. Because there is nothing
I would rather do than rummage through bookshops...

from The Guernsey Lieterary and Potato Peel Pie Society

photo of Ms. Wix shamelessly lifted and cropped from Daryl

48 comments:

  1. A timely post for me. I will be out shopping today and was just going to leave whatever book I found to buy to chance. Now, I have added yours to a list and can't wait to explore them. Thanks!

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  2. Now you made me think of the nice pile of new books I have on my table... :-)

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  3. *waves to Elizabeth*

    Just passed my copy of The Three Graces on to my mother to read.

    I have a stack of library books just waiting for me...must get to them!

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  4. I especially love collections of short stories. Happy reading!

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  5. Me too...I love to wonder the isles of antique books, seeking out books of poetry, they seem to be the only ones that hold my attention these days. They take me away to that Faerytale land of dreams and push me to create...something...anything...

    Read on Sister...

    s

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  6. Now that the holidays are over, and as we move into the heart of winter, what is more comforting than a stack of books waiting to be opened? Enjoy your tea and stories! :)

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  7. Willow, Have you ever visited the website www.bookcrossing.com?

    The concept is that people the world over leave books in conspicuous places for others to find, read and pass along. When you questioned how the book got to Guernsey, it made me think of this site.

    I "dropped" a book once, but have yet to find one. The site has grown by leaps and bounds in just a few years. (You can even track where your books go).

    I enjoy epistolary novels - the Guernsey book sounds like a good one, as does "The Three Graces".

    Kat

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  8. I used to love to read. Now I love to paint. Unfortunatly, its a either or choice due to time. So now I love to briefly read about what people are reading about! All day I will cherish the thought "this moment is more precious than you think." It could be the name of a series of paintings......

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  9. I love the Steinbeck short stories - I bought a copy earlier in 2008 in Borders bookshop in Scottsdale on a very hot day when I managed to spend all day in that lovely shop - stopping now and then for a coffee or a cake.

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  10. These all sound good. I love Susan Cheever--she wrote such a poignant book about her dad, John Cheever, (whose work I always loved) HOME BEFORE DARK. Have you read it? So touching. Great list, Willow! Have fun snuggling up with books.

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  11. Kat, no, I've not heard of Bookcrossing. I'm headed to the link right now. Sounds right up my alley...

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  12. A Brush, Susan Cheever's book on her dad is on my "to read" list...along with about 37 others. So many books, so little time. :)

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  13. Leslie, it would be a perfect title for a series of paintings! I loved it, as well.

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  14. Hello Willow,

    Coincidentally, today I have been unpacking boxes of books that we didn't have sufficient shelf room for - and we still don't!!

    So, although it's always a treat to receive a book gift, I think I could read all year without any new arrivals!

    Happy reading.

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  15. I am currently reading ibrain by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan (about how our interaction with computers changes our neural pathways, and not for the better); Kennedy's Brain by Henning Mankell (a novel by the Swedish writer) and Dissolution by CJ Sansom (about a lawyer during the time of Henry VIII).

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  16. I think I'd love American Bloomsbury. I'll put that on my list. Thanks ever so!

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  17. Happy reading.

    I myself have stacks and stacks of books unread or partially read. Last night I chose one of the unreads "The Memory Keepers Daughter" that I have had for quite sometime. So far I find it intriguing.

    I have a 40% coupon and $5 rewards credit at Borders, so I will probably go there in the next couple of days. I know I want the followup to "The Friday Night Knitting Club".

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  18. I'm having a restful day reading, "Almost French" I find the author shares many of the same circumstances that I do here in Puerto Rico. Steinbeck...he's sometimes a downer...have you read his, "Journal of a Novel; the East of Eden Letters." It gives you a pretty long look at his writing life...as he was living it. (It was his warmup (kind of) to his more serious, "East of Eden" novel. I still think about his obsession with having enough sharpened pencils. I've read some of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" while standing in Castle Books. I'd be interested to know what you think. I'm going to check out Elizabeth Wix. BTW I've read "The Saving Graces" so I did a double take on the 'Grace' title just now. Happy reading.

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  19. I'm having a restful day reading, "Almost French" I find the author shares many of the same circumstances that I do here in Puerto Rico. Steinbeck...he's sometimes a downer...have you read his, "Journal of a Novel; the East of Eden Letters." It gives you a pretty long look at his writing life...as he was living it. (It was his warmup (kind of) to his more serious, "East of Eden" novel. I still think about his obsession with having enough sharpened pencils. I've read some of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" while standing in Castle Books. I'd be interested to know what you think. I'm going to check out Elizabeth Wix. BTW I've read "The Saving Graces" so I did a double take on the 'Grace' title just now. Happy reading.

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  20. Gosh!
    Now I'm famous....and flattered.
    You are so kind.
    My daughter bought me five Persephone books for Christmas so I'm well stocked up.
    Couldn't read a thing except trashy magazines while the house was full of much loved family.
    Hope 2009 is glorious.

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  21. a stack of my favorite things - books!

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  22. Funny, I just got some great books and thought I might take a pic of the stack as well. Love your list. Ahh, so many book but not enough time, right? Enjoy. give us some reviews when down.

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  23. I agree that once the rush is over after Christmas this is a good week to relax, sip hot lemon tea and read. I think I'll go and do that now. Thanks, Willow.

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  24. I am doing the exact same thing! There's not much better, is there?

    I do love your new header photo. Is that lovely dark haired moppet one of yours?

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  25. Wow popped through your blog via Blogs of Note, and it made me feel very cozy. Enjoy your books. I need to read a new one myself.

    Happy New Year.

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  26. I have Elizabeth Wix's adult novel on my to be read shelf. Winter is a great time to read.

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  27. Pamela, no, not one of mine, but looks enough like mine did, at that age, to actually be one.

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  28. I, too, fancy American Bloomsbury - thanks Willow. Now I'm off to Bookcrossing......

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  29. ...exactly what I am doing this week too...I have so many books on a TBR pile tho that I promised myself that I would not buy another until my list and pile is a bit diminished...not sure I can keep this promise to myself...

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  30. I just lit the fire and I'm grabbing a stack. It takes me forever to get through Steinbeck because I stop after every paragraph and think, "How does he do that? I just don't know how he does that!" His brilliance distracts me - tough on the A.D.D.!
    Catherine

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  31. I read Guernsey recently. I highly recommend it.

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  32. I've been applying myself to my "stack," too. I do appreciate these last few lazy days (children still not in school yet) to lie in bed and read. I've been reading Strapless today; the story behind Sargent's Madame X painting. Have you read it?

    My daughter loved Elizabeth's Jane in Winter . . . I must get the one from your stack, too!

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  33. That's one of the reasons why I look forward to Christmas every year (yes, and also the time together with the family, the festivities and all that, sorry, do not misunderstand me). But everyone knows I'm a bookworm, so I get given loads of them. Enjoy your stack. I look forward to the reviews :-).

    Greetings from London.

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  34. Winter is the best season for reading. I have a stack waiting for the cold grey days of January, too.

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  35. Bee, yes! I loved "Strapless" and have a copy in my little library. Intriguing story behind Sargent's "Madame X".

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  36. As you know ... I'm a pretty avid reader, if not an eclectic one.

    Every one of those sounds delightful.

    As for your fine, our local library allows us to log in to their website and re-check out items that we don't think we'll have in on time. You might want to see if your local library offers the same service.

    Happy reading!!!

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  37. I didn't see and Louis Lamore cowboy books there!

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  38. SweetPea, yes, ours has the same online services. Unfortunately, there is a waiting list for this particular book and I can't renew! Drat.

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  39. What lovely and interesting-sounding books, Willow. No matter how busy life is, reading seems to stretch the hours somehow, doesn't it?

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  40. Congratulatons on your Favicon - you techie, you!!!

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  41. I just finished American Bloomsbury. I got it from the library- my late fee was 8.10, but totally worth it.

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  42. Thank you for the list. I love reading and winter is my favorite time of year. One of my favorite short reads is "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis.

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  43. I envy you! I want to be curled up reading too! It has been raining here for days and days and days. I've forgotten what the sunshine looks like. This type of weather was made for comfy chairs and pajamas and stacks of books. Raise your cuppa to all of us
    at-home-wannabes at least once a day whilst you feed your soul with that wonderful stack of literary treasure.

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  44. Willow, thanks for sharing About New York with us. Great Blog! Love that graffiti.

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  45. Thanks for the reminder to take my library books back,lol. I love John Steinbeck. Pen.

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  46. I just started Guernsey and its wonderful ...

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  47. Terrific reading list. American Bloomsbury sounds like my kind of book, I need to check it out at the bookstore.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)