I know there are colder places in the midwest right now, but it's all relative, and as I bundle up (with many layers of clothing) for my frigid morning and evening walks to and from the bus stop, I am dreaming of warmer climes. A sunny beach sitting under a parasol (book or stitching in hand) sounds pretty perfect to me right now. In keeping with the holiday mood of the postcard above, this is going to be a bullet point post (but without the bullets). Just a mishmash of things today.
Sarah at Reading the Past has compiled another tempting Downton Abbey readalikes list. Although a few were already on my wishlist, I've added a few more to it. I already have a few books from her last list on my reading pile. Although I don't tire easily of reading about this era, I do like to pace myself and make sure I have plenty of variety interspersed with these sorts of reads. It doesn't seem to take long however, before I am ready to return to this period.
The Edgar Nominees for the 2013 award have been announced. The Edgars are awards presented by the Mystery Writers of America in case you're not familiar with them. I've only read one of the books, but I have a few more on my reading piles and will be investigating a few more. The winners will be announced early in May.
Since I am very much into short stories this year I was interested to see the longlist for The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. I'm not sure where the stories were originally published (magazines like the New Yorker or collections maybe?), but I am going to try and track them down to read. I admire people who read all the books on various longlists for prizes like the Booker or Giller, but I don't think I would ever be able to manage it myself. Now, short stories are an entirely different matter. The winner will be announced later this spring.
And if you are looking for some literature with an international flare, check out the shortlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. I wouldn't mind expanding my horizons a bit by reading something from that list.
Did you know yesterday was National Handwriting Day? I should have celebrated in some way. My handwriting is pretty atrocious these days, as anyone who receives a card or letter from me can attest. Any practice or work towards improvement wouldn't be remiss. That's what happens when you work on a computer all day long.
Athough I missed out on any handwriting celebrations, I have decided that I am going to sign up for the A Month of Letters challenge. The idea is to send a letter for each mail day (23 days to be exact here in the US--not counting Sundays or one holiday) during the month of February. You can send letters or postcards--whatever strikes your fancy--and part of the challenge is to answer any letters you get, too. So, if I have your address, you might just get a card or letter (maybe even a Valentine!) from me next month. I have Melwyk to thank for introducing me to Postable. If you send me your mailing info I'll send you a postcard back! I'll probably chronicle my letter writing odyssey here. (And it's a good time to brush up on my handwriting, too).
So, in for a penny, in for a pound. I might as well make all this correspondence into a little project. I had already been contemplating joining Melwyk's Postal Reading Challenge anyway, so what better time than now? The challenge goes all year and I just need to read and write about postal themed books (epistolary novels--or books of letters). My goal is to read four books, but if I end up reading more, all the better. I've not yet come up with a list to work from (to follow soon), but I will kick things off with Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which has been sitting on the top of one of my reading piles for a little while now (it's been winking at me, so I have to pick it up). It's a slim volume, but not only does it have letters but there are poems, too! Me, Keats, Fanny--and poetry! A good combination if ever I saw one.
I'll leave you with just one more very cool item. This is a cross between books and correspondence. You might know I belong to Postcrossing (I really need to share more of my bookish postcards with you soon) and they highlight various Postcrossers on their blog. I think the largest number of Postcrossers per capita happens to be in The Netherlands (or if they aren't at the top, then they are very close), where Postcrossing is huge (they even have their own Postcrossing stamp!). The Bibliotheek Reuver has started a Postcrossing Bookclub. You can send them a postcard with the title of a book recommendation on it and they will add it to a display. They even have a map of the world showing the places they have received postcards/book suggestions from. You can read about it here. How cool is that? I think I might just have to send my own recommendation!
By the way I hope you'll stop by tomorrow for another Lost in the Stacks guest! If you have missed any of the posts so far and are curious about taking a peek inside some very cool personal libraries there are links on my left hand sidebar.