Monday, December 13, 2010

Wherever You Are...

I hope you are enjoying the season.  Up here in Upstate New York, winter has arrived.  It is 10 degrees Fahrenheit and, if I must say, pretty darn nippy.   But, contrary to popular belief about the blizzards of Buffalo, it really is truly beautiful, and hardly ever life threatening (unlike those tornadoes, mudslides, earthquakes etc. etc. found in other parts of the world).

Skating on Park Lake (Delaware Park), c. 1910.
Image from Private Collection

The snow was falling pretty heavily today.  Not the kind that sticks to the road creating treacherous driving, but the white, fluffy stuff that just blows across the road and just looks so pretty.  I had a miraculous moment this morning.  What I can only describe as a "stag" crossed a suburban main road today directly in front of my car as I was driving.  He was the biggest, most astounding deer I have ever seen!  Just his antlers seemed as big as my car.  Then, in a flash, he was gone.  

I am sending these lyrics out to you in honor of winter moments like this, whether you are lucky enough to be basking in the sun, or have the great pleasure of a white winter wonderland.  By the way, you can listen to this song as well, if you just scroll down to the bottom of my blog and find it at the beginning of my playlist.  Happy Holidays and a Wonderful Winter to you All!

Snow by Loreena McKennitt

White are the far-off plains, and white
The fading forests grow;
The wind dies out along the height
And denser still the snow,
A gathering weight on roof and tree
Falls down scarce audibly.

The road before me smooths and fills
Apace, and all about
The fences dwindle, and the hills
Are blotted slowly out;
The naked trees loom spectrally
Into the dim white sky.

The meadows and far-sheeted streams
Lie still without a sound;
Like some soft minister of dreams
The snow-fall hoods me round;
In wood and water, earth and air,
A silence everywhere.

Save when at lonely intervals

Some farmer's sleigh, urged on,
With rustling runner and sharp bells,
Swings by me and is gone;
Or from the empty waste I hear
A sound remote and clear;

The barking of a dog, or call
To cattle, sharply pealed,
Borne, echoing from some wayside stall
Or barnyard far afield;

Then all is silent and the snow falls
Settling soft and slow
The evening deepens and the grey
Folds closer earth and sky
The world seems shrouded, far away.

Its noises sleep, and I as secret as
Yon buried stream plod dumbly on and dream

At Home with the Georgians

Finally, I believe I have returned from my very extended hiatus.  I did not plan to be gone this long, but a brief illness had me unable to write, let alone think, for a little while, and of course, the holidays are in full swing and it is quite difficult to find the time to sit down at my laptop for longer than it takes to go through all my e-mails (which are a lot and mostly Christmas advertising).  I wanted to come back with a bang, though, and I think I have found it!:

Click on the above link to view the new BBC series "At Home with the Georgians"  hosted by Amanda Vickery.  It is so spot on with my own research interests and is quite an enjoyable look at life, married and unmarried, during the Georgian period.  We even get a privileged glimpse of Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen's home for many years and where she wrote most of her novels.

If, like me, you are not from the UK, you need to download Expat Shield in order to view this series.  It will then think you are indeed an "expatriot", so you then, as a qualified Brit, would be allowed to view the show :).  Happy viewing, and enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Brief Interruption...

I know, I know...I'm on break and not supposed to post, but I wanted to announce a giveaway on Stephanie's Written Word blogShe is giving away three copies of The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.  I am pretty excited about this book, since I loved her other book, The House at Riverton.  Check out Stephanie's great review, also.

Good luck!  Since there are three copies, I hope you win too! ;)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This Blog is Now Officially on Mini-Break

I have to write this post because, if I do not, I'll keep just keep on posting when I should, instead, be working on my application to graduate school.   For those of you who are interested, I am applying to an MA in Humanities program with a concentration in English and Art History.  My tentative topic is:  Jane Austen, Social and Gender History, and the Home.  I am completely fascinated by the whole idea of marriage and the transfer of property in Jane Austen, and how the two intersect i.e. the woman being transferred as a sort of property in marriage.  I would also like to contrast this with the attitude of Austen's female characters towards the home, in general, and what home itself means to them.  Wish me luck, and I'll be back when I am finally done! ( p.s. I will still be commenting and checking my dashboard, so I won't be completely absent, just so you know. :) )

Friday, November 5, 2010

Culture Clash: In Pictures

Italian "Camping" in style
Tristan adapted quite well to Italy- he's been speaking Italian since we returned home in July

A Child's Mask from Venice

Gentleman in traditional garb- Graz, Austria

Iced Coffee and "Macher" torte in Graz
A Whole Plate full of Meat!!  Now how do I eat this?!  My gall bladder is screaming right now...

Must Americans make a sandwich out of everything?

Rabbits in your own backyard?  Visiting family in Hungary

Thermal spa in Hungary, or floating in a pond full of weeds!

Palenka! goes down pretty easily...

Hector, the family dog in Hungary-he was even part of the wedding procession until he got kicked out of church!  Poor Hector...

Cool!  Basketball in a Hungarian back yard

View from a Rest stop- Austria

Camping on Lake Garda

Pool at Camping with Afternoon Activity-locked in a see-through ball!

Ahhh!  Una Siesta...

Finally a decent cappuccino!  Lake Como

Risotto with shrimp and saffron- Bellagio

Jumping in Lake Garda with my Danish friends at camping.  Last day of the trip and oh so sad!
Viva Italia!
Buona Notte!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Everything Austen II Challenge Wrap-Up

Today, I'd like to wrap up the Everything Austen II challenge, so I can get on with the mini-break I will be taking, over the next week, or two.  I'll be leaving my blog for a little while to tie up some loose ends at home and prepare my application to graduate school.  I wanted to complete this challenge to the best of my ability at this point, and here are my results:

1. Lost in Austen mini-series-FINITO! 4 stars-see my review from Monday.
2. Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict-Laurie Viera Rigler-FINITO! 3 1/2 stars-see my review from Monday.
3. Pride and Prejudice-a re-reading and re-viewing of 1995 film-I will be reviewing below. 5 stars, of course!
4. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo
FINITO! 2 1/2 stars
5. Attend my first JASNA regional meeting in Rochester, NY (I wish I could have gone to Portland this year, but I didn't want to miss Halloween with my son!!) FINITO! 4 1/2 stars
6. Finish reading Becoming Austen by Jon Spence-not very motivated at this point to finish, and not sure I will!

This has been a great challenge, all-in-all.  It has definitely forced me, a person with not much patience for long term projects, to complete most, but, unfortunately, not all, my self-imposed tasks.  For those of you who have read my review of Lost in Austen and Rude Awakenings, you know that I enjoyed both takes on the same theme:  the interchange through some kind of time travel between the Regency era with our Modern one.  I have read Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattilo, but this didn't give me too much of an impression, so I won't review this one.  It is more of a fun novel for leisurely reading, and I find these days, that I really prefer something more intellectually stimulating.  Maybe at another point in my life, I will enjoy it more.

I did attend my first JASNA regional meeting in Rochester, NY this past month, and I was wowed!  Not only by the fact that there is a such a place to celebrate Jane, but by the fact that there are people out there with such an incredible knowledge of Jane Austen, almost bordering on encyclopedic! One particular attendee claims to have all of her writing memorized, and she took the opportunity on many occasions to "show her stuff".  What a resource she was!   Everyone was fully attentive, and the discussion was quite thorough and intense.  We discussed the issue of money in Austen's novels, which is one of the most interesting aspects of her novels, in my opinion.   I am so glad I made the hour-long drive to attend and spend a couple hours immersed in Jane's writing.

So, there are two items left on my list.  Becoming Jane by John Spence is still in the works, but, to be honest, I haven't touched it in a while.  It is a slow moving , rather dry biography, and right now, I have so many other books keeping my attention.  I do have until the end of the year, right?  Well, one can only hope.

The last item then on my list is the combined reading and watching of Pride and Prejudice-both the original novel and the 1995 film, written by Andrew Davies.  I have actually read the novel twice:  once in the form of her traditional novel format and the other an annotated edition by David  M. Shapard.  I loved both re-reading the novel (I had read it a few times previously) and reading an annotated edition.  I love Shapard's analysis of this novel, and it would be the book I give to someone who wants to read Austen, but never has before. I love some of his comments, and here is a good example:

Shapard gives us this note about Mr. Collin's proposal to Elizabeth:
pg. 199
            "It is significant that, amidst his lengthy explanations as to why he has decided to marry, Mr. Collins has said almost nothing in praise of Elizabeth herself; clearly she has little to do with his decision.  All this makes his next sentence, speaking of his violent affection for her, especially ludicrous."

Yes, "especially ludicrous" would be a good term to use for Mr. Collins.  He is always ludicrous and exasperating, and his proposal is him at his most foolish.  He is such a buffoon!  
I highly recommend Shapard's edition to anyone, whether you know Austen by heart, or have never heard of her before. 

So, lastly, we come to the film, the most celebrated of all the P&P adaptations:  the 1995 BBC film with a screenplay by the great Andrew Davies.  I think the majority of us will concur that this is the definitive adaptation, and it would be extremely difficult to improve upon.  I think one of the few criticisms I have heard about this film is the excessive masculine references added by Davies.  Yes, of course, these parts were not in the novel.  We see little of the male perspective in Austen's novels.  In my opinion, a film does not need to follow the novel word-for-word.  That is why it is called an adaptation for the screen.  The novel must be adapted to fit the viewing audience, and I think seeing things from a male perspective is a wonderful addition, especially Darcy's personal perspective, which I highly enjoyed!  

Another aspect I enjoyed about this particular film is the purely evil Mr. Wickham, played by Adrian Lukis. He is definitely the best Wickham I have seen:  so slimy, duplicitous, a true cad, and a very bad human being.  I feel sorry for the actor because he probably cannot get past this casting.  We will always know him as that awful Mr. Wickham. 

Mr. Bingley is also wonderfully cast.  He is so incredibly positive and friendly, and I think this is who Austen had in mind.  Lastly, and most importantly, the casting of Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Darcy and Elizabeth is iconic, and cannot be touched, by anyone, anywhere.  The romance, the chemistry cannot be topped.  It is amazing to me that they are not married in real life, but I guess that is the true power of acting.

I do love the visual quality of this film, from the costumes to the landscapes and buildings chosen, especially Pemberley, but as far as the set design, I would give Joe Wright's film higher regards.  Wright's film is just amazingly rich and beautiful and the colors are exquisite.  The music as well, in this film, is perfect and cannot be improved upon.

But, having said this, when it comes to a Jane Austen film, especially P&P, what really matters are the characters and how they deliver her witty lines, how they interact with each other and bring her story to life.  So, I think that the 1995 film is the best and takes top honors, and prove me wrong, but it will always be the best ever made.

So, this is my wrap-up.  I may have to add to it, but right now this is what I have to say.  Happy Reading, Crafting, Viewing etc. Everyone!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jane News from the Blogosphere

Hot off the presses!
Laurel Ann from Austenprose posted today on her blog about Day 2 of the JASNA AGM.  Sounds like she had a wonderful time! I would have liked to hear Stephanie Barron speak.  I've never read her books, but she wrote an essay about writing that is the best I have ever read on the subject.  She also posted about Day 1, so click here to read more.  Oh, I am soo jealous!

Also, the blog Jane Austen Today compiled a list of all the first hand accounts out there.  Click here for the post with links.

Finally, Laurie Viera Rigler, author of Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, is having a giveaway.  Visit her website for more info.

Happy Voting today!  I know I for one cannot wait until this election is over and done with.  I can't take these campaign ads anymore!  Agggh!

Monday, November 1, 2010

And November Begins...

As much as I look forward to Halloween every year, I am excited when it is finally over.   The coming of November means that, finally, book-reading season is here.   The weather starts to get pretty chilly (today in Buffalo it is 41 degrees, and there will be snow by the end of the week), sweaters and scarves come out, and the fire begins to blaze.  What perfect moments await, snuggling in front of the fire with some great books!  Time to catch a little bit of solitude before the crazy holiday season begins. 

This week will be all about Jane Austen.  I would like to write a little bit about each of the items on my Everything Austen II challenge list.  I will also be honoring her by sharing anything I read out in the blogosphere about the Annual General Meeting in Portland that was held this weekend.

Today, I will be crossing two items off of my list:  The Lost in Austen mini-series, combined with Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler.

I watched Lost in Austen on YouTube, in ten minute segments of course, with french subtitles.  Quite an interesting way to watch it, but nevertheless, I was able to watch the whole thing in almost one piece.  I found the series incredibly funny and an interesting take on Austen.   When Amanda Price (played by Jemima Rooper) discovers a secret passage in her bathroom, she enters the fictional world of her favorite novel by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.  As Amanda meets all the characters in this fictional realm in many hilarious situations, she notices the plot start to change.  She spends the rest of the movie trying to fix these changes, so that the novel ends the way it was intended.  So, as not to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it already, I won't say how all her machinations work out, but I will say it is a great series, and I highly recommend it for any of you avid Austen fans out there.   4 stars

I'd like to start out by giving you the context of my reading of Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.  I bought a paperback copy of the novel with the above cover in Toronto airport on the way to Venice.  I proceeded to read it during my entire summer trip from Venice, to Hungary, to the Italian Lakes.  I read it here and there, so I did not get much continuity from the novel.  I do remember finishing it poolside on Lake Garda, and the ending of the novel will always bring me back to that particularly pleasant moment.

I did enjoy this novel and now believe I would have enjoyed it even more if read in one long sitting, or over a couple days.  Since I didn't (I wanted to savor the book over the entire 2 1/2 weeks for my nightly read before bed. It is very difficult, to say the least, to find good English books in Italy.), my initial impression was lukewarm.  But, looking back, it was a wonderful read.  Actually these books had to have been pretty difficult for Rigler to write, and I admire her for writing them. And, I love that she attended my alma mater, the University of Buffalo!  I learned this from a recent alumni newsletter.

The main character, Jane Mansfield, a gentleman's daughter living in 1813 England, awakens in the body of Courtney Stone in 21st century Los Angeles.  Contrary to what most people say, the aspects of this novel I most enjoyed weren't the trials of Jane trying to adapt to our technologically advanced society.  I loved how Jane Mansfield uses her own particular strengths and point of view from her own life in another century  to succeed in our 21st.  I think what is most important about Jane's time travel experience is her awareness of both her lack of choice in early 19th century England, and her abrupt awareness of having too many choices in our modern world.  As Jane says herself, from pg. 265 of the novel, "I cannot deny that in the brief time I have been here, I have had more choices in a single day than I had in my entire life as a gentleman's daughter.  Choices of everything from what I might wear and how I might spend my day to how I could earn my living.  But the thing that I now know I want the most seems the farthest from my reach." And that "thing" turns out to be love.  This novel proves to the reader that attaining love is difficult no matter who you are, or what era you live in, or come from.

I would next like to find Rigler's other novel to compare it to Lost in Austen, and to see if it is as great as Rude Awakenings.  I give this one 3 1/2 stars after some reflection.  Reading Rigler gives me some hope for any other novels out there who claim to be continuations of Austen.  In my experience, there is a minefield of really bad books written using Austen's novels as a takeoff point, and I dread spending any money on them until I'm sure they will not disappoint me.

This was my first Everything Austen II review.  More to come this week....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Did You Know? Some Fun Halloween Facts

~John Keats was born on Halloween in 1795.

~The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

~The electric chair was invented by a dentist.

~If a candle flame turns blue, there is a ghost in the house, according to legend anyway.

~Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.

~Dracula, in Romanian, means 'the son of the devil'.

~The Native Americans believed that the owl escorted the dead to the spirit world.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick-or-Treating at the Amherst Museum

Friday night, we had the privilege of attending the Halloween event at the Amherst Museum in Amherst, New York.  The Amherst Museum is a museum complex set up like a 19th century village of 12 historic buildings, moved from their original site. These include homes, one-room schoolhouses, a barbershop, and a church.  Each building had its own stop on the trick-or-treat trail, and they really decked them out in all the Halloween finery!  One of the schoolhouses was set up for "Eternal Detention", filled with the skeletons of students who had been there for "ages".  Also, there was Zombie Detection school for training in defeating zombies, and the "Undecorated" Show house, filled to the brim with deconstruction advice.  The hanging skeleton barnyard was a place to store any unused skeletons and their parts.  There were zombies in the barber chairs, as well as a place to buy your ghoulish goods, such as eyeballs and lizard tongues.  It was great fun.  Now, on to the real deal, tomorrow night!

Friday, October 29, 2010

November Schedule

Week 1:
Since I will not be attending the 2010 General Meeting of The Jane Austen Society of North America (I am so bummed!), this next week will be dedicated to Jane herself.  I will be wrapping up my Everything Austen II challenge with some posts on my challenges, sharing what I have seen on other blogs of what the Portland meeting holds in store, and anything else that strikes my fancy as the week progresses.

Already, the blog The Little White Attic has a post on Day One of the meeting. Click here to read about it.
She even gives us a glimpse of her own dress for the ball (Oh I wish I were going!)

Week 2:

I will be working on my application to grad school this week, so I might not post very much.  Bear with me.  I will soon return.

Brueghel's  The Harvesters from 1565
Week 3:

From the beginning of Week 3 until Thanksgiving, I will be posting about Thanksgiving and the harvest, in literature, film, and the home.

Happy, happy Halloween weekend, and I'll see you on Monday!

The Man Who Watched Me Sleep

This morning, I discovered this article from

Finally, a logical cause of my nighttime hallucinations: sleep paralysis. I'm not insane! I've been dealing with these things for years. Men at the side of my bed, toddlers trying to climb up on the mattress, and, for those who read my "Continental" article, sometimes the devil have been in my room (doesn't matter where I live) for for as long as I can remember. Just recently, I had a remote control car, all lit up, driving around the ceiling with sounds and everything! I usually wake up my husband, completely terrified, to check with him whether someone, or something, is really there. He is pretty used to it by now, and it is actually pretty funny in the morning, but never, ever, while it is happening.

A couple years ago, I told my mother about the man that was always in my room at night. She was convinced he was a ghost and told me to tell him to leave me alone and go into the light. Surprisingly, that man really didn't come back again, but others have. Although I was skeptical, I kind of believed that he was a ghost, and that our house was most likely haunted. But I really didn't think much about it, since I had stopped seeing that particular scary presence.  Thank goodness.

Just thought I'd share my own, very real, spooky experience.  

Enjoy all the Halloween festivities this weekend.  Just make sure no one is watching...:0  And, if you happen to encounter any ghosts or ghouls along the way, hope you too find some kind of logical explanation for them.

As for me, I will just play "Dawn" from the movie Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley (#2 on my playlist), and pretend it is already morning.

Painting above:  The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli (1781)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Will You Be For Halloween?

This painting is called "Sirin Bird on a Grape Tree" from 1710

Suggested musical pairing:
"Prospero's Speech"
"Penelope's Song"
"Marrakesh Night Market"
"All Souls Night"
"The Old Ways" (#35 on my playlist)
all by Loreena McKennitt
scroll to bottom of play list for the rest of the songs

I myself have been researching my own costume for the past couple weeks. I have a pair of black wings and some birdlike make-up stencils, so I wanted to transform myself into a combination of woman and bird, somehow. If I had to choose an animal to become, it would be a bird because there would be nothing better than having the ability to fly. So, of course, I had to start googling to find out if there was such a creature.
When I put in a search for half bird, half woman, I came up with "sirin" which is the Russian form of the traditional Greek siren. And, this is what Wikipedia had to say about sirins: Sirin is a mythological creature of Russian legend with the head and chest of a beautiful woman and the body of a bird (usually an owl). According to myth, the Sirins lived "in Indian lands" near Eden or around the Euphrates River.

These half-women half-birds are directly based on the Greek myths and later folklore about sirens.They were usually portrayed wearing a crown or with a nimbus. Sirins sang beautiful songs to the saints, foretelling future joys. For mortals, however, the birds were dangerous. Men who heard them would forget everything on earth, follow them, and ultimately die. People would attempt to save themselves from Sirins by shooting cannons, ringing bells and making other loud noises to scare the bird off. Later (17-18th century), the image of Sirins changed and they started to symbolize world harmony (as they live near paradise). People in those times believed only really happy people could hear a Sirin, while only very few could see one because she is as fast and difficult to catch as human happiness. She symbolizes eternal joy and heavenly happiness.

The legend of Sirin might have been introduced to Kievan Rus by Persian merchants in the 8th-9th century. In the cities of Chersonesos and Kiev they are often found on pottery, golden pendants, even on the borders of Gospel books of tenth-twelfth centuries. Pomors often depicted Sirins on the illustrations in the Book of Genesis as birds sitting in paradise trees.

Sometimes Sirins are seen as a metaphor for God's word going into the soul of a man. Sometimes they are seen as a metaphor of heretics tempting the weak. Sometimes Sirins were considered equivalent to the Polish Wila. In Russian folklore, Sirin was mixed with the revered religious writer Saint Ephrem the Syrian. Thus, peasant lyrists such as Nikolay Klyuev often used Sirins as a synonym for poet.

How appropriate! "Sirin" as a synonym for "poet". I am definitely onto something here...

I guess I'll have to also research the Polish "Wila":

This is taken from Monsterpedia:

In Polish mythology, the Wila (VEE-lah) are reputed in Poland to be female fairy-like spirits who live in the wilderness and sometimes clouds. They were believed to be the spirits of women who had been frivolous in their lifetimes and now floated between here and the afterlife. They sometimes appear as the swans, snakes, horses, falcons, or wolves that they can shapeshift into but usually appear as beautiful maidens, naked or dressed in white with long flowing hair.

It is said that if even one of these hairs is plucked, the Wila will die, or be forced to change back to her true shape. A human may gain the control of a Wila by stealing feathers from her wings. Once she gets them back, however, she will disappear.

The voices of the Wila are as beautiful as they are, and one who hears them loses all thoughts of food, drink or sleep, sometimes for days. Despite their feminine charms, however, the Wila are fierce warriors. The earth is said to shake when they do battle. They have healing and prophetic powers and are sometimes willing to help mankind. Other times they lure young men to dance with them, which according to their mood can be a very good or very bad thing for the lad. They ride on horses or deer when they hunt with their bows and arrows and will kill any man who defies them or breaks his word. Fairy rings of deep thick grass are left where they have danced which should never be trod upon (bad luck).

Offerings for Wila consist of round cakes, ribbons, fresh fruits and vegetables or flowers left at sacred trees and wells and at fairy caves.

Well, I don't plan on being naked this Halloween (don't want to scare the kids too much), or wearing white (I will probably be in mostly black to match my wings), but offer me round cakes, ribbons, and flowers, and I may change my mind.;)

Happy Halloween Everyone! May your evening be as mystical as mine...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Despair by H.P Lovecraft

Now, is this a perfect Halloween poem, or what?
Suggested musical pairing: Spem in Allium by Thomas Tallis
Help, I'm Alive by Metric, Haunted When the Minutes Drag by Love and Rockets

Despair by H.P. Lovecraft

Despair O’er the midnight moorlands crying,
Thro’ the cypress forests sighing,
In the night-wind madly flying,
Hellish forms with streaming hair;
In the barren branches creaking,
By the stagnant swamp-pools speaking,
Past the shore-cliffs ever shrieking;
Damn’d daemons of despair.

Once, I think I half remember,
Ere the grey skies of November
Quench’d my youth’s aspiring ember,
Liv’d there such a thing as bliss;
Skies that now are dark were beaming,
Gold and azure, splendid seeming
Till I learn’d it all was dreaming —
Deadly drowsiness of Dis.

But the stream of Time, swift flowing,
Brings the torment of half-knowing —
Dimly rushing, blindly going
Past the never-trodden lea;
And the voyager, repining,
Sees the wicked death-fires shining,
Hears the wicked petrel’s whining
As he helpless drifts to sea.

Evil wings in ether beating;
Vultures at the spirit eating;
Things unseen forever fleeting
Black against the leering sky.
Ghastly shades of bygone gladness,
Clawing fiends of future sadness,
Mingle in a cloud of madness
Ever on the soul to lie.

Thus the living, lone and sobbing,
In the throes of anguish throbbing,
With the loathsome Furies robbing
Night and noon of peace and rest.
But beyond the groans and grating
Of abhorrent Life, is waiting
Sweet Oblivion, culminating
All the years of fruitless quest.

Look What $16 Can Buy!

Just thought I'd share a story of my good fortune this weekend. I attended the Kenmore Village Library book sale on Friday, and look what I found! My son Tristan and I have already delved into reading some of these! (btw, 50 cents for paperbacks, $1.00 for hard covers, can't beat that!)

Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle
Summer by Edith Wharton
The Oysters of Locmariaquer by Eleanor Clark
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Jane Fowler
Travelling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (never had a paperback)
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
The Portrait by Iain Pears
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
Middlemarch, Silas Marner, Amos Barton by George Eliot
The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck
The Tale of Tom Kitten
The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
by Beatrix Potter
(one can never have too many of these!)
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Trick or Treat Faces by Judith Moffatt (glow in the dark)
Abridged The Phantom of the Opera-retold from Gaston
Leroux (Tristan has been held entranced by this book every night since I bought it!)
Are there any of your favorites here, or any to recommend? I'd love to know...