Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Birthday Gifts to Myself

My 58th birthday passed pretty much without notice this year, but for my dear friend Vivien's kind remembrance. Others were away or busy or whatever. I didn't mind but then I did and then decided it was too late to worry about it.

One thing I did do was think about what I wanted to give myself for my birthday and to carry that out. So, each month I look at my Amazon wishlist and spend £10 on books. Several of the books I decided I would rather read at the library, particularly the fiction that I might not want to re-read. Some of the books no longer interested me at all.   I noticed that some of the more recently published books are listed as having fallen in price by as much as 40% since I added them, so I decided to go through the four pages of books and to first select the cheapest ones (1 pence plus £2.80 postage). The more expensive books may get even cheaper in the meantime!

In June I bought:

Uniforms - Why We Are What We Wear, Paul Fussell. It was an OK book, but mostly about what men wear.

Class - A Guide through the American Status 

System, Paul Fussell. It's much more fun to read about other cultures, ie Kate Fox's Watching the English, than about your own, though I did put a lot of things into place, things I'd just always thought of as 'how people are'.  On the negative side, Bill has now learned the word 'prole'.

Vita - The Life of Vita Sackville-West, Victoria Glendinning. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it being about a rather odd but compelling woman who lived during the interwar period. I might yet learn to love gardening!

In July I bought:

Tim Gunn - A Guide to Quality Taste and Style. A rather disappointing book. I learned a bit about the author but can't say he told me much about the ideas in the title. 

The Edwardian Country House, Juliet Gardiner. I gather this was written following a reality TV series which I very likely would not have watched, but the book has been quite enjoyable. I'm very nearly finished reading it. 

Modern Fashion in Detail, Claire Wilcox. I flipped through this at the library one evening and never forgot the glorious photos of designer details. I've not yet re-read this and taken in the text as well as photos, but I'm looking forward to it!

August's selections have just been made and I'm waiting for:

The Fishing Fleet - Husband Hunting in the Raj, Anne deCourcey (I've read several of her books and loved them all)

Eating for Victory: Healthy Home Front Cooking on War Rations

Child of the Twenties, Frances Donaldson


Gam Kau said...

Happy birthday! What a lovely idea to purchase books each month. Music would be good as well. Or wine… I use my Amazon cart as a storage place for future book purchases as well. It's really wonderful how inexpensive 2nd hand books are - and how easily available they are as well.
I just had my birthday as well and my family knows not to buy me anything because it is so hard to think of anything I want. I usually just tell them to buy me a bar of chocolate or a pack of biscuits if they insist on something. I barely acknowledge my birthday anyway. :)

Bmore Bungalow said...

Happy Bday! I love that you give yourself gifts. I think I will start doing this. It's the best way to truly get what you want :-)

sanda said...

Happy birthday late. Haven't read any of the books you mention. Great way to keep track of books you want. Ido the same but on a Pinterest board. Great thing to give oneself birthday gifts.

Indigo Dragonfly said...

Hello, Shelly. I've been a lurker here for some time, but seeing your birthday book list, I had to comment.
First: Belated Happy Birthday!
Second: I'm very interested in the August selection of Eating for Victory... I'm researching WWII era home-front history for a story and have been wondering about this very thing, and WHAM! there's the very title I needed! Thanks! (Interested to know what you think of the book)