Saturday Reads: February 4, 2012

Young Woman Reading by Hermann Jean Joseph RichirI am a true converted fan of Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman cookbooks (the new one is due out soon) and cooking blog. Part of the artistry of her blog is her ability to take excellent photographs of her cooking. I have been pinning so many of her recipes to my Recipes board on Pinterest. I just love Pinterest.

The New York Times has more Downton Abbey reads (yet another reference to the new book about Lady Almina).

Paulo Coelho is encouraging folks to pirate his books, arguing he actually sells more books when they do.

William Boyd’s article on Vienna at the turn of the 20th century was fascinating reading.

Julian Barnes wrote a short story “The Defence of the Book,” and The Guardian offers a taste.

Sam Jordison argues that if you’re going to read Bleak House, need to go about it in the right way.

James Lasdun has a good review of Nathan Englander’s new short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.

Flavorwire has a list of 10 Great Science Fiction Books for Girls (driven, of course, by the 50th anniversary of A Wrinkle in Time). My favorite on the list is The Handmaid’s Tale, but I have to admit the list skews older than I thought it would when I followed the link. I think girls might like André Norton’s Outside (out of print, but easy to find second hand), or Lois Lowry’s The Giver (though it has a male protagonist).

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is 50, too. Flavorwire has a gallery of book covers. My favorite is either the Penguin classics cartoon cover or the one with all the pills.

Feast your eyes on these gorgeous bookstores.

I loved this post in Better Living Through Beowulf about turning to Austen when you’ve been jilted by your fiancé.

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Saturday Reads: A New Weekly Feature

Young Woman Reading by Hermann Jean Joseph RichirAs usual, Robin Bates’s exploration of literature as a mirror enlightens. In this case, Robin considers the notion of books as friends.

I’m enjoying Carl Pyrdum’s Thesis Thursday posts (but have to save them for the weekend). This one explores Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, and prompted me to remove my copy from the shelf. I should read it this year. All the way through. I’ve only read parts of it, and I’ve had it since about 1992. Also, a side note: Why did Shakespeare never write about King Arthur? I would have loved to have seen what Shakespeare could have done with the Matter of Britain.

Mandy has convinced me I need to read Bleak House. Downloaded it on my Kindle.

Fans of Downton Abbey might want to check out this New York Times article for suggested reads. After reading about these books in post after post on Downton Abbey, I’ve added the following Downton-related books to my list:

The American Heiress: A Novel

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by the Countess of Carnarvon (I do hope some mention will be made of the Earl of Carnarvon’s connection to the Tutankhamun find). Lady Almina is the inspriation for Cora, Countess Grantham, and Highclere is where Downton Abbey is filmed.

The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton. Wharton didn’t finish this book about wealthy American women who travel to England in search of titled husbands. Looking forward to it.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin, which has the much better title of My Last Duchess in the UK.

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. I read a story somewhere (perhaps apocryphal) about an elderly woman who hung on in her last sickness until the last book in The Forsyte Saga was published.

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison. Lady Astor seems to have been a rather fascinating person.

Howards End by E.M. Forster. I’ve actually had this on my list for a while.

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Reading Update: November 28, 2010

A Love Story

I have been doing a lot of writing for NaNoWriMo this month. Unfortunately, I fell so far behind when I went to the NCTE Conference that I have no hope of catching up. I think I have a good book idea, and I’m not giving up on it, but I also don’t feel so pressed now to work on it every day. I might take the day off today, unless I feel inspired to write. As a result of participating in NaNoWriMo, I haven’t had as much time to read, but I am going to try to make up for it during December.

I am currently reading Anne Fortier’s novel Juliet. So far, interesting. I know Romeo and Juliet very well, and Fortier has thrown in some cool Easter eggs (references to lines in the text) in dialogue. Fun stuff. One conclusion: I need to read more books set in Italy. No wonder Shakespeare was fascinated with the place.

Check out this gorgeous photo taken in Tuscany:

alba a settembre
Creative Commons License photo credit: francesco sgroi

By the way, I have been reading a great blog by Robin Bates called Better Living Through Beowulf. If you haven’t checked it out, you really should. It’s like listening to a mini-lecture on literature from your favorite English professor. Speaking of which, if you missed out on a great English professor, maybe you have some gaps in your reading? Why not try out my reading challenge?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Andrew Stawarz

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