Just a miscellanea of items today.
I'm moving right along in Charles Palliser's The Quincunx. After not opening the book at all last week I spent some quality (though limited quality) time with it over the weekend. I am actually thinking that maybe I should do a bit push this week and spend the bulk of my reading time with it. It's showing serious wear and tear as you can see, and I feel like I am, too. I want to try and finish it before I go on vacation in October, so that gives me just about three weeks to read the remaining 302 pages. Yes, only 302 pages left to go! That's about the length of an average book which under normal circumstances I could read in a week, right? The thing with The Quincunx, though, the print fills the pages and is teeny tiny, so it tends to feel like it takes twice the average time to read even one page.
Boy, talk about Victorian melodrama. Every awful thing that can happen to the main character continues to happen. Nothing surprises me anymore.
Along with The Quincunx, though, I will also be spending time with my current RIP read, Wilkie Collins's The Haunted Hotel (another excellent Wilkie Collins story) and I've just started reading Alexander Baron's There's No Home, which I think I am going to like very much. It is set in Sicily during WWII. But this is it, I think. I tend to drag a stack of books around with me (a bad habit I have gotten into), and this week--these three get my attention!
Friday after work I had to do an errand which was close by the bookstore, and as I hadn't been to a proper books and mortar bookstore for ages, I had (of course) to stop by. I must say I was very restrained in my purchases. I bought a few magazines (the top two are stitchery magazines and I have found a number of projects I would love to work on . . . ).
And I found this! I couldn't possibly pass it up. Doesn't it look great? Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense edited by Sarah Weinman. This is a collection of fourteen short stories from the 1940s to mid-1970s written by Patricia Highsmith, Shirley Jackson, and Margaret Millar to name just a few. I can't wait to start reading and have added it as a possible vacation book to my already too long list!
Now hold on a moment. Restraint. Really? Is that what I said just a minute ago? Must reassess things. This is the damage I did yesterday when I stopped by my favorite used bookstore. Can you see why it is my favorite? I went in search of a couple of books (which I didn't find), but in a matter of about ten minutes these are the books I found. I could have bought more, so maybe I did show restraint? They have two tables in the front of the store with newest arrivals and there was an especially good selection. I was tempted by a huge stack of NYRBs, I had to make myself put them back. And what I couldn't make myself put back:
Five novels by Cornell Woolrich, which I think are wonderful finds as they are out of print and in nearly pristine condition--excellent finds! My haul includes Night has a Thousand Eyes, Deadline at Dawn, The Black Path of Fear, The Black Angel and The Black Curtain. Noir joy!
Ever since I saw an exihibit last summer when I was in San Francisco of Lee Miller's work, I have wanted to read about her. How serendipitous then to find a biography by Carolyn Burke just before I am ready to go back to SF. Another one I can't wait to read.
Words of Mercury: Patrick Leigh Fermor edited by Artemis Cooper is a collection of excerpts of PLF's writing. A splurge but I had to have it.
One NYRB. That's all I walked away with, can you believe it? Maybe I will have to go back this weekend and do another sweep? Until then I have Elizabeth David's A Book of Mediterranean Food, which is a collection of British postwar writings that looks excellent.
And a book I have long wanted to read and now I have my own copy bought for a mere pittance, The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal.
If I wasn't going to devote my reading to just a few books this week I would most certainly dip into one or more of these (and who knows, I may cave in anyway). It's okay to dip into books, right? And then begin reading properly later?
This week my posts may be intermittent as I need to finish a project that has been too long neglected. I will be back by the end of the week, but don't be surprised if it goes a little quiet here for the next few days.
If I could grow free time I think I would start a really big garden! Ah, well. Never a boring moment.
Happy reading in the interim everyone!