Since it’s been a year since my last post and my last attempt at dusting off the old (ill-used, anemic, forlorn, forgotten, etc….) blog, I’m trying again. There have been a few life-changes- I am no longer a grad student! For the first time, in over twenty years, I am no longer a student, leading to the belated “what do I want to be when I grow up” question. I am treating this as my fantasy-life, I wish I could spend all my time reading books and talking with others about books, rather than what I am spending my days doing.
And so- on with the books! I started reading Howard’s End is on the Landing by Susan Hill about a week ago. I think this book has been reviewed ad infinitum. But the gist is that, for one year, Susan Hill would only read from the books that she had on her own shelves, not acquiring new books (with a few exceptions). It ends up being a love letter to all sorts of books that are distributed along her shelves. There are different chapters dedicated to journals, children’s books, or stories of meeting various authors. Of all the recommendations in that book, I think I was most curious about Iris Murdoch based on Susan Hill’s stories about her throughout her life. So I bought two of the books that were recommended: The Bell and The Sea, The Sea. And so I’m currently reading The Bell.
I wonder if there is a reading challenge or book list out there in the internets dedicated to all the books that are mentioned in HEiotL. Usually, at the end of every year I start thinking about dedicating the next year to reading only books on my shelves and not acquiring new books. The dedication really only lasts about two months anyways. It usually really only ends up being an excuse to collect books leading into the new year (as if we need an excuse to buy books!), and an excuse to ask for more books for Christmas. But perhaps next year I will try to read all of those books that have been lingering on the shelves… (I sound skeptical, but I really am hopeful, and planning to do this.)
So curling up again with some (pumpkin*) tea and Iris Murdoch. Loving it so far!
*I adore pumpkin everything. Apparently this is an american epidemic according to this NPR article, which hypothesizes that we like pumpkin because it harkens back to a simpler era. Although, I think, for me, it’s about the season, rather than olden times. Even though we’re really moving into winter now rather than fall. Is there anything better than curling up with a mug of tea and reading a book?