Sunday, 2 January 2011

Bestest Christmas Prezzies!

The people who know me best know I love books, so I got a stack of 'em:

The Happiness Project was on my wish list.  I've been reading Gretchen Rubin's blog for months now and so although I knew I'd be familiar with much of the book's content, it did give a bigger picture of how she went about this project.  About every other page she would write something that I'd have to laugh out loud about how many traits we share.  Love of books and pens for two, but also her interest in understanding spiritual ideas - why she thinks non-religious people read biographies - and her compulsion to take notes for no explicable reason.  In some ways I felt I got a book written by my unknown twin.  Then again, I would never have gone to law school, would be unlikely to chose to live in NYC and certainly wouldn't have lived  hundreds of miles from my parents when they were living.   

I've already finished this book and am looking forward to reading it a second time - this time, taking notes!

Earlier this year, my friend Vivien sent me a newspaper clipping about Kirstie Allsop's upcoming TV series, Homemade Home, in which the presenter/author wanted to encourage people to furnish their homes with second hand and handcrafted items.  We were both sure I would enjoy watching it.  Then I went and completely forgot about it until Vivien and I met up again and the series was over.  Bill and I did find 5 of the 6 programmes on ITV iPlayer and I did enjoy them, particularly mixed in with watching Amanda Vickery's At Home with the Georgians, on BBC iPlayer.  (I took loads of notes on all those shows!)  As I told Vivien, the minute I opened this present, I sat down and devoured it like a bag of crisps. 

You may or may not have ever heard of A.A. Fair.  It's a pseudonym used by Erle Stanley Gardner, who wrote the Perry Mason stories.  I'm pretty sure most people have heard of Perry Mason.  He and Della are pretty cool, but I always preferred Donald Lam and Elsie.    Actually, Bertha Cool owns the detective agency and hires Donald, who later becomes a partner.  Elsie is the faithful secretary.  The stories are set in the 1930's.  Mom and Daddy used to have stacks of these paperbacks along with Perry Masons and various science fiction authors.  I never really got into sci-fi, but I've never gotten over detective stories.  I also got a copy of Lam to the Slaughter for Christmas.   I hope to collect the more reasonably priced books. 

Simon bought this one for me.  I was fairly stunned when I opened it, wondering how he managed to have so much insight into what I would like.  Then I realised it was probbly on my Amazon wish list.   I put all sorts of stuff on that list to review when I make my wish list.  It's amazing how many things I tag that don't really appeal when I go back and look at them again.  [A real lesson for me in not impulse buying, that.]  Just glancing through it, I had some doubts but now that I've started reading it, I like it a lot.  The topics she's selected as 'exquisite' (from a Latin word about seeking out) reflect her personal interests, not always mine, but I'm enjoying it all the same. 

Bill gave me this book, a compilation of articles from the 1930's in The Daily Mail, a British newspaper.  This cover, listed in is much prettier than the British version, but I'm sure the content is the same and it's very fun.  I may have to share a few recipes or fashion ideas with you.

On the day of this writing [28 Dec], Bill had gone on an un-cluttering frenzy, the likes of which I've never seen him undertake before.  Unfortunately he discovered that much of what we had considered to be 'his' space was in fact taken up with my stuff, so his complaints - the verity of which I've never denied - are entirely justified.  A little while later, I was watching a video and he came up to hand me a book.  I pressed 'pause' and he explained that he'd been searching for a lost Christmas present, this book by Clarissa Dickson Wright.  I didn't ask for this, I've no idea what it's about, but I'll let you know if I can recommend it.

Technically, not a Christmas present, perhaps, unless one I gave to myself.  When Simon was up the other weekend and we visited the Flea Market, I spotted this and another book about Pre-Raphaelite art.  Bill is nuts about both, but particularly the latter and so I bought the two books - one for him and one for me.  I promise I'll share with him - and perhaps with you as well.

Again, not a present, just a loan, but I've just finished this Kinsey Millhone mystery.  Just as with Gretchen Rubin, I have loads in common with Kinsey:  I do the occasional run (she runs 5 days a week), we both love Quarter Pounders with Cheese almost better than life itself and we're both given to clipping away at our own hair with only the occasional professional hair cut.  Never mind, I have a couple of new hair dressers to check out, ones that do 'dry' haircuts; after all, why do I need to pay for someone to wash my hair when I just did that myself?

So you see why I've been having such a wonderful time of late, with so many great things to read.  Of one thing I'm pretty certain, if there is a Heaven, it has a great library.  

Don't you agree?


Ian said...


James said...

You have to give Simon the insight to check your want list, right? I was a big Perry Mason fan, but never knew about AA Fair. I will have to check it out ,thank you. Happy New Year and thank you for all your extremely interesting posts. Please carry on in 2011.

Tote said...

I am glad you love books, you have enough to keep you busy for a while. I love reading books. I wish I had more time! Enjoy!

Jo said...

I agree and the Library book sale is coming up soon. Will have to decide what to look for there. It is not like I don't have any books, even though when I read on it goes to Nancy.

Rick Stone said...

Yes, but it will probably all be on a Kindle by then. ;->

Ian said...

Thank you for your comment.
Poetry is just as you feel it.That's all.

The English Organizer said...

What a great collection! I could happily curl up with several of these. Love your thought about heaven having a great library.