I've been a little remiss about sharing my needlework progress, but to be honest there has not been as much progress as I would have liked over the long weekend. So, here is where I left off last time around.
Not much new to look at, is there? But every little bit helps and over time it does add up. Happily my little robin now has a mate, or a companion in any case. And they do look rather companionable sitting on their branches, don't they? My next needlework goal is to finish stitching the house; as a matter of fact I hope to finish stitching that entire upper area where the house and birds sit. I am ready to begin on my Summer Sampler, so the sooner I finish with Spring the better! And I still want another project on the go--something long term is okay. Maybe a larger project, a Quaker sampler perhaps, where I can just at a new motif or so each week.
Let's see, in bookish news my 1970s reading continues. I will be writing about Deborah Moggach's A Quiet Drink next week. It just happened that I had picked it up to read and the setting/period coincided with my reading plans. It is another reminder of just how much I like her writing.
Judith Rossner's Looking for Mr. Goodbar is my 'big' 70s read at the moment. It's based on a true story and was written in 1975, so it's smack dab in the middle of the sexual revolution and I suspect there is probably an interesting Feminist reading of the book I might explore. While William Boyd's Restless (one of those books I have long wanted to read but never seem to have gotten around to picking up . . . until now) moves around in time, but story is told from that long, hot British summer of 1976. So it not only is the right time, but there is the added benefit of it being a spy story and with a female protagonist. In the case of both books, there is the added possibility, too, of watching the film adaptations.
Is it too soon to be thinking about my next 1970s book choice? At the moment I am leaning towards either a novel that focuses on diversity like something by Rita Mae Brown or Andrew Holleran or Erich Segal's famous "love means never having to say you're sorry" novel (not sure I agree with that one!). But you know how whims can change in the blink of an eye.
I've fallen behind in my NYRB reading. I've been doing really well this year in keeping up with the books as they come in, but Teffi's Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea proved to be a book that was interesting when I picked it up, but I was not feeling overly compelled to reach for it as often as I needed to. I general sign of how my nonfiction reading seems to be going this year. And then Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel came in the mail, which I was eager to dive into. I have heard many good things about the novel, but once again I am finding it a slowish going story, or perhaps I am not quite far enough into it to be really engaged with the characters. It's the sort of book you need to spend a nice chunk of time with to get involved with what is going on--not the sort of book to read in short bursts I think. And now my July book should be coming any day. It is D.G. Compton's The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (fittingly published in 1974!), and is a science fiction novel that sounds quite intriguing. I am hoping it will jump start my NYRB reading. I will persevere with the last two books as well--just keep chipping away at them since one of my goals this year is to read all my subscription books by the end of the year (preferably not all at once but as they come out!).
I decided it was time to stop 'thinking' about reading a classic and just make a choice and stick with it. So I have picked up M.E. Braddon's novella The Lawyer's Secret. It's short (about 120 pages) and who can resist a good Victorian melodrama? Now that I have publicly announced my newest read, I have to stick with it.
Now for my current reading whim . . . in search of a book moment (which I seem to have a new one each week). I've been feeling tired and frumpy and generally uninspired by life in my own corner of the world. Personal life, I should say. There is already far too much going on otherwise in the world, so maybe I should be happy and careful for what I wish for. But I need a good story about a woman of 'a certain age' (I fear I am that age, whatever it is) who reinvents herself. Did you ever see the wonderful movie Shirley Valentine? So, I am not married nor do I have children of any age, but anyone can still be in a rut. Yes, rut is a good word for it. I need a Shirley Valentine sort of read. Something a little satirical but humorous and hopefully happy in the end--nothing dark please. Maybe something by Barbara Pym, or a Mrs. Pollifax novel? I think Mrs. Pollifax is a widowed grandma, which is a little outside my own experience, but I do like the espionage slant. Along those lines is what I am in need of I think. If you have a suggestion, please do share.
And in the interim, I just discovered that the third season of the Great British Baking Show are now in progress. I have already missed the first episode, but I will quickly catch up. I am not a cook or a baker, but I love this show and can watch it endlessly. So, a little cause for happy celebration this weekend.