Saturday, February 7, 2009

Good reading for winter days

No pictures today -- just the kind you create for yourself as you read!

For me there are two kinds of reading: new stuff, and rereading novels I've owned for years and years and always go back to sooner or later.

Under the rereading category: Diary of a Provincial Lady, by E.M.Delafield, very very funny, spare writing, best if you like brit style humor. She wrote several other books from Provincial Lady, but the others are hard to come by. I have The Provincial Lady in London, also very funny. It's from an earlier era, and a life I have no knowledge of, but it's still very good. Particularly if you have any French and can spot the tone of the French speaker there. The writer was obviously fluent in French, and knew the kinds of characters she wrote about.

She's full of those wonderful musings that are so familiar: "Does not a misplaced optimism exist, common to all mankind, leading on to false conviction that social engagements, if dated sufficiently far ahead, will never really materialise?"

This is exactly what happens to me when I'm asked to create and run a workshop a year hence, and agree happily, fully confident that by then I will probably be dead. But I never am, and I end up having to do it. Terrible nerves ahead of time, extensive planning, boring, then the workshop, such fun from the first minute that I happily agree to come back next year...but of course I am confident, etc. etc...

Then there's new: the latest PDJames detective novel, The Private Patient, much better than her other recent books, where she seemed to be starting to repeat herself and where her characters were hard to tell one from another. No such problems in this novel, very well drawn characters, and a good mystery.

And there's the Brand New category, the latest Mason Dixon Knitting book, Knitting Outside the Lines. The two authors have a joint blog, called Mason Dixon, you can google it, and their title stems from living a thousand miles apart, one in N. Carolina, one in NYC. They are totally funny, very good at encouragement and at explanations that don't make the reader feel like a fool for not already knowing this stuff. And forget all the traditional boring old knitted things -- they are really adventurous, and replicable.

Anyway,suffice it to say that within a few minutes of reading, I'd set aside my almost completed green crochet vest, and got several new ideas for my Milkweed project, and have inches of trial stitches already done....these women are dangerous!


annie1931 said...

Enjoyed! I found The Provincial Lady in London in our library system - the only one listed by E.M. Delafield - what's to say it's been stolen? We'll see. I came across her books mentioned yesterday (and for the first time) when I was looking for something else. Funny, then, reading your posting about her!

Sparky2 said...

All a grand read, Liz, to see what you've been/are up to these days! This made me lol and nod in fierce recognition of myself as well:

"This is exactly what happens to me when I'm asked to create and run a workshop a year hence, and agree happily, fully confident that by then I will probably be dead. But I never am, and I end up having to do it...."

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