I have been elusive – if not downright absent – for quite some time.
The world is still stange and uncertain, I have been travelling on a bumpy road, and a very big bump knocked me for six.
It was a health bump.
My prognosis is very good but the next few months are going to be tough.
I really don’t want to dwell on that but felt that I should explain, and say please understand that I may not be out and about in this online world very much at all.
What I do want to do is share some of the lovely things in the world right now – with just a few not so lovely things for balance – in the form of an A to Z ….
A is for ANTOINE LAURAIN. I am waiting patiently in the library queue for a copy of ‘The Reader’s Room’ and I must praise my library for balancing the need for precautions with its duty to put books into the hand of readers.
B is for BEWILDERING CARES by Winifred Peck. After loving one of her out-of-print titles, I think I am going to read this in-print novel next.
C is for CASTAWAYS. Desert Island Discs has had a particularly good run of episodes lately, with Bernadine Evaristo, Yusuf, Samantha Morton and Floella Benjamin.
D is for DEBORAH CROMBIE. I rarely read books by the same author back-to-back, but when I finished reading ‘To Dwell in Darkness’ I couldn’t resist picking up ‘Garden of Lamentations’ and it won’t be long until I pick up ‘A Bitter Feast’. Then I shall be completely up-to-date with the series for the first time.
E is for ELORIE. This is my knitting in progress. I have knitted from the top down to the bottom of the yoke and I am feeling virtuous knitting yarn that has been waiting for the right project for a very long time.
F is for FIFTEEN (NEARLY). My lovely Briar will be celebrating her birthday next weekend.
G is for GET GARTER.. I knitted the beanie for the Man of the House and I would like to knit the beret for myself one day. I love the way the German short rows disappear into the garter stitch and the pattern you see on the crown with a varieagated yarn.
H is for HELENE SCHJERFBECK. When I caught sight of one of her paintings I couldn’t help thinking that it would have been a lovely cover painting for a green Virago Modern Classic.
I is for I TRY NOT TO COMPLAIN TOO MUCH ABOUT VISITORS because a great many of them are lovely and I know that the local economy depends on them, but it seemed that this year a full season of the kind of visitors who forget that rules of the road and good manners apply here came in just a few short weeks and took over the town.
J is for JOHN HOWARD. A lovely addition to my life’s soundtrack – I have been listeing to the reissued albums from the seventies and his more recent material.
K is for THE KILLING. I always was a late adopter and I have reached episode 19 of 20. I am hooked but I am not sure that when I read the end and look back the psychology of some of the characters is quite right. I can’t see a way of resolving everything, but maybe ….
L is for LUMINOUS ISLE by Eliot Bliss. The writing is lovely, what she has to say is wonderful, but this book lacks the clarity her only other published novel ‘Saraband’.
M is for MATCHA TEA. I have never been a tea drinker but I have just given up caffeine and I thought I would try the single sachet that came from I -don’t know-where. I loved it!
N is for NICCOLÓ RISING. I have set off on my second series of books by Dorothy Dunnett and I am loving it.
O is for THE OTHER BENNET SISTER by Janice Hadlow. This is my next library book to read, because I have been waiting for it for a very long time, and because I know somebody else is waiting for it.
P is for PIRANESI by Susanna Clarke. I loved it bit I have no idea what to say about it.
Q is for QUEST ENSEMBLE – another recent addition to my life’s soundtrack
R is for RHODODENDRON PIE. I couldn’t be happier that this and other rare early Margery Sharp novels are to be reissued early next year.
S is for SECRET SANTA. This year’s LibraryThing Virago Secret Santa is open for business.
T is for TELL US OF BATTLES, KINGS AND ELEPHANTS by Matthias Énard. I had thought that my next journey to the Ottoman Empire would by in the company of Dorothy Dunnett, but no. This book has transported me there, in the company of Michelangelo.
U is for UPSTAIRS, We still have books in boxes but our shelves are being built and it shouldn’t be long now until they are installed.
V is for VOYAGING OUT: British Women Artists from Suffrage to the Sixties by Carolyn Trant. Darlene wrote about it, I asked my library to buy a copy, and they did!
W is for WALKING ON THE WALL. The promenade is still fenced off but work is nearly complete, so I hope it won’t be too long before Briar can walk on the wall again.
X is for EX LIBRIS: Confessions of a Common Reader by Ann Fadiman. We don’t often read the same books, but the Man of the House picked up my copy and he is very taken with it.
Y is for YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF. As our local charity shops don’t want books at the moment we have been putting out cast-offs in a box on the gate-post at the weekend when the weather was good. They were picked up at a steady rate and I think we will do it again next summer.
Z is for ZULEIKHA by Guzel Yakhina. This was an impluse purchase, and it looks very promising ….