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I always feel obligated to read my ILLs too! I'm now quite curious about Patrick Leigh Fermor: off to see if my library carries him. :)


Eva--I get my ILLs free, so I feel especially bad if I return something unread. There have been a few that I've returned that I just couldn't get into, but I've been very good at reading and returning those particular library books. I do hope you like PLF--I think he's marvelous!


Funny you should mention Anna Karenina movies. I will probably post on the one with Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean as I rewatched it yesterday. I am stuck in the middle of the book as well. I thought the movie might put me in the mood to pick it up again. I think Sophie Marceau is the wrong choice. When I watched it first I thought Sean Bean was the wrong choice. I don't think so now. He is perfect. In any case the movie is sumptuous and worth watching.


I am glad you will have some days off. I would like that too right now but have to wait until Christmas.


I too am a 'silence' person. I like having family days and so on but when we're free my husband and I are a bit anti-social and enjoy peace and quiet and just our own company. And I certainly don't want the radio or TV on all day! Must look for the Leigh Farmer book as I didn't know there was anything other than the two travel books. Hope you enjoy your break.


You're around the part in Anna Karenina where I gave up on my edition! I will try again in January. I'm glad to hear you felt like getting started again :)


I find myself seeking silence and solitude more and more as I age. I so enjoy the moments of morning when I awake, without the blare of an alarm, and just enjoy the quiet around me before the day begins. Then, ah then, the day does start and the quiet becomes a gift to find, hidden, like a present. Your post is wonderful this morning as I read it and I am now intrigued and must find Leigh Fermor. In the meantime, this ol' gal is having fun in a children's book - again.


"Bookish desires"--I know exactly what you're describing! Sometimes, you just HAVE to read something, no matter what else you have on the nightstand.

Five days off??? Oh, think of the reading time... Hope you take a real break and enjoy yourself completely.


From 2000 to 2007 I spent four days yearly in silence in a convent of a contemplative order for the same reason you and Karen Armstrong write about. I still feel grateful for the opportunity and the depth it added to my life.

What a good idea to give yourself an extra long weekend. Wishing you many hours of uninterrupted happy reading!


Are you reading the AK that is illustrating the post? I am currently reading War and Peace in an edition translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky and it is wonderful; I see that they are the translators of this edition of AK. They have also recently released Dr. Zhivago in a new translation. I am beginning to appreciate the importance of the translator(s) more than I used to; these two are an excellent team. It looks like my quota of 'big books' is going to rise dramatically! I read Dr.Z and AK many years ago, but want to visit them again; I read W&P when I was sixteen but skipped the war parts.....I am doing much better this time around!


I love the sound of a five day weekend of reading! Every now and again I get the urge to reread Anna K, but then it passes! I must get back to reading War and Peace. I started it earlier this year but then put it down.


I have wanted to read this one for years but I am always turned off by the length. Someday, I swear!


Forgot to say....have a lovely 5 days off!


Caroline--I will see if my library has that version--I think we must have a couple different versions of it, but I want to finish the book first. If nothing else it would be nice to have visuals in mind--clothing and what the houses looked like--I enjoy costume dramas, too. I am counting down days until my break--eight more work days!!
Cath--I think he wrote a number of books--travel narratives and even a novel, which I have on hand and am looking forward to. My library also has a book of letters between PLF and Deborah Devonshire, which I would also like to read. And I'm with you on liking peace and quiet. I often leave off the TV and radio--silence can be very nice--comforting.
Iris--Part three was very long and I think I sort of lost the thread there for a while. I also wanted to grab Levin by the collar and give him a shake, but he seems to have chilled out. The story is moving along nicely again now that he and Kitty have decided to marry. Hopefully it will keep me going through to the end!
Penny--Patrick Leigh Fermor's writing is really wonderful--I hope you have a chance to check it out. And it is nice to have moments of quiet--not always possible between work and kids but all the more appreciated for those reasons!
Kathy--It's strange how all of a sudden I will be in the mood for a particular sort of story and will think of what I have that matches it and then must start it right away--even though I have other books that need attention. A bad habit, and one I can't break. I'm really looking forward to those five days off. I will hopefully finish a few things I have been reading, but I might pick up something new as well...not sure what yet...
Catharina--What a wonderful experience that must have been. I think I'd love something like that as well. Where the places you stayed in the Netherlands? A lot of people are taking the full week of Thanksgiving off, but as there are already too many people in my department gone, I will have to be happy with that added day at the end. Actually I don't mind too much as that week should be nice and quiet at work, too.
Cathy--Yes, I am reading the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation and it does read very nicely indeed. I saw they had translated Doctor Zhivago--I tried to read this several years ago but the timing was not right and I couldn't get into it. I will have to buy it when it comes out in paper and try again. I read War and Peace a few years back--a new translation, too, by Anthony Briggs, which was good but it had a lot of British slang (every man jack and that sort of thing), which sounded a little odd to my ears but it worked. I struggled with those war scenes as well, and those final 70 or so pages--all that philosophy--but I was determined to read every last page. Someday I will have to read it again. I like to read at least one long-ish book a year, and some years I manage a few more than just the one. And yay for long weekends! Something to look forward to.
Marg--I have wanted to read Anna Karenina for some time, but the moment just seemed right. It can be easy to lose momentum on big classics like Anna K or W&P, can't it. I need to stop being seduced by new books and try and finish some that have been languishing on my pile!
Stephanie--At least it is not as long as War and Peace! :) It's better to wait and read something like this when you feel in the mood for it I think. Otherwise it ends up being a slog!


I do admire the way you can pick up a book after having put it down for a while. I really struggle sometimes to return to books that have been bypassed. I did love A Time to Keep Silence, though (except it made me long to go on a retreat) and YAY for holidays! Here's to you having a wonderfully peaceful, restful time.


Hope you have lovely holidays next week, a break at the end of the year before the Christmas season always sounds so nice. I'm going to restrat AK next month and hopefully will finish before the end of the year too. I reckon you could finish it in an extended weekend though, as it slips down so easily.


I am glad you are enjoying Mistress of Nothing. I enjoyed that one too. Your new Leigh Fermor book sounds really good. And since among my many duties in my small library is processing ILLs I know exactly what you mean by wanting to make sure you read them since it took more effort to get them!


I had notice this morning that the L-Shaped Room is unavailable through ILL so I have added it to my wishlist.
Most of the time I spent at a convent, was an hour's drive away from where I live. Once we (my husband and I) went together on a retreat in a monastery in Belgium. We still hope to go to Caldey Island Monastery once, that is near the coast of Wales in Great Britain. But for now I make do with what I call 'silent time'(no television or music) in my own home from time to time.


Litlove--Sometimes I admit the book goes back on the shelf when it has gone too long without my having picked it up, but I am so far into Anna K that I have to finish it. I'm pretty good at picking up the thread, too, of a story, and have started taking little notes of books I am reading to help me remember details. I'd love to visit a monastery--peace and quiet sounds blissful!
Jodie--It is reading much faster now, you're right. I am hoping to finish it by the end of my upcoming break--we'll see, but I am enjoying reading it--most importantly. I'm lucky as the university where I work closes down between Christmas and the New Year holiday. I look forward to it so much every year!
Stefanie--I knew you had read it and thought you enjoyed it--always good to hear good things about a book I am reading, too. Our work area is very open, so I can hear the ILL people packing and unpacking books--I know they get a ton of requests--and since so many people are involved getting the book, mailing it out and then processing it in, I try and be cautious for what I am requesting--books I really want to read! Thank goodness for ILL, though! Aren't libraries great?!
Catharina--Sorry to hear you can't get The L-Shaped Room via ILL. I bet there are loads of used copies out there--maybe you'll find one cheap. I don't think I've ever visited a monastery in any of my travels, but this makes me very curious. I'm all for silence and quiet times--I think the world is far too noisy sometimes!

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