Today is my first official day of vacation. The first day is always the best since the promise of so much free time is spread out before me--many, many hours of unplanned activity (or maybe no activity at all) to think about. I do have a stack of books set aside that I might well begin reading (at the time I wrote that post I was sure those were the chosen books, but my reading mood might well take me in other directions...we'll see), and I hope to catch up on blog reading (I've been a terrible/absent visitor for the most part of late I'm sorry to say), maybe do a little needlework and watch a movie or two. Mostly I want to read, or at least finish, a few good books. I've been lax about writing about those I've just completed and now I wonder if I can manage to write about them properly at all before complete torpor sets in.
As I am such a good procrastinator I thought I'd share a few new books that I've bought or borrowed recently. I'll save the more thoughtful posts I need to write for after the Christmas holiday, so I can kick back and relax for a few days, since that's what vacations are all about, right?
Let me start with these lovely used P.G. Wodehouse novels. You wouldn't think they were secondhand would you? I'm sort of thinking I need to read one of these now since there are so many of them. Why hoard? I was looking for a gift to give someone and bought four for myself. Typical. I didn't find the book for my friend by the way, so had to settle for something else. But I was very cheered to find these, as not so long ago I was looking for some light-hearted reads. Now I'll have a few in reserve.
From top to bottom there is The Girl in Blue about a missing Gainsborough painting that sounds like a delightful romp filled with butlers, tight-fisted uncles and a love triangle. I'll start with this one I think. Then there is Piccadilly Jim who falls in love with the wrong girl. Summer Moonshine is set in one of the "least stately homes of the country". And The Clicking of Cuthbert, which sounds like it takes place mostly on the golf course! These are not Jeeves and Wooster novels by the way (I'm a Wodehouse newbie I'm afraid, but these all appeal). There were more Wodehouse novels to be had at my favorite used bookstore, but I made myself stop at four. Now I wonder if I should have left with the entire pile?
I think you might know I like Susanna Kearsley. Since I've read all I own it was time to stock up on more. Good excuse, right? These are all earlier books, so I'll be curious to see how they compare with her most recent novels, all of which I loved. The Shadowy Horses came recommended, and with a Scottish setting I fully expect to love it as much as her other books. I think Season of Storms is set in Italy (doesn't Il Piacere sound Italian?), so it was a shoe-in. And Every Secret Thing was actually written under the name Emma Cole and is a mystery, and I am always up for a mystery or suspenseful story.
And then there are a couple of library books (because there are always library books in amongst the rest). Edith Pearlman's short story collection Binocular Vision arrived on my last day of work and it looked so good I thought I might try a few of her stories. As you can see it was a finalist for the National Book Award. I'm completely unfamiliar with Pearlman, but I love short stories and wish I could get back into the habit of reading them.
I also picked up Reif Larsen's The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet for the upcoming Slaves read, though I don't expect to begin reading until January. It's kind of cool as it is oversized and filled with drawings and footnotes, which accompany the text.
As always, spoiled for choice chez A Work in Progress.
Oh, and can I just direct you to this post? If you like Matthew Macfadyen you really need to watch the Marks and Spencer (M & S) Christmas food commercial he narrated. I'm not sure which is more tempting--his voice or the food!