Sunday, May 17, 2015

5/17/15 Update: A Week in Barsetshire


 Sunday already? Spring is in full bloom in central New York. My daily walks have become more colorful, people seem more cheerful, and the Saturday Farmers' Market has opened for another season. Local offerings are still scarce, but will grow more plentiful as the season progresses.

Book Sale season is just around the corner, too. Since I'm back on the board of the local Friends of the Library, I have to carve out time for a couple of book sorting sessions each week. I've often thought that with more and more people using e-readers our book donations would be down, but that is definitely not the case. Lots of work to be done there!


This week I was consumed by life in Barsetshire. Every free moment was devoted to Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope, which I finished on Thursday. It was another 5-star read, and I am prepared to declare Mr. Trollope my new favorite author. Now I must decide what to read until July when our #6Barsets Project continues with Framley Parsonage. Do I possess enough willpower to wait six weeks? That remains to be seen.

Current reading//


Shotgun Lovesongs  by Nickolas Butler
I borrowed this book from the library, but also downloaded the audio version when I discovered it was a multi-narrator production... can't seem to resist those!


Up Next//
The movie still hasn't opened here. I think I have at least another week.

On the blog//


With all the time spent in Barsetshire this week, there was not much left for blogging. But I did introduce a new series, Pages from the Past. I've kept a reading journal for years and each month I will highlight one year... stand-outs, stinkers, book club favorites, and anything else significant.

This week's post: Pages from the Past: My 1998 Reading Journal

Book Shopping//

I haven't been accepting review copies and am trying to read more from my own stacks and kindle, so there haven't been many new books to speak of lately. But I was browsing in one of my favorite indie book stores on Mother's Day and also succumbed to a couple of kindle deals.

The Secret Life of Violet Grant  by Beatriz Williams

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Pevear & Volokhonsky translation

The White Queen: A Novel (Cousins War Series Book 1) by Philippa Gregory

The week ahead//
...  will hopefully be a little more productive as far as blogging goes. I'm looking forward to my SIL's midweek visit. The other big event is Twin A's boyfriend's college graduation and party coming up on Saturday. They've been together for a few years now... seems like he's part of the family.

Today we have a few outdoor chores - gutters to clean, round-up to spray, herb garden to plant... and then maybe some reading time?

How was your week? What are you reading?

34 comments:

  1. Gorgeous tulips! I love them and they don't do well here. Too warm, I suspect. We are about to wash away down here, but it's good as our lakes are filling again and we've been in drought conditions for quite a while now. It's just kind of gloomy.

    I'm waiting to hear about what you thought about Crime and Punishment. Just don't think I could handle Russian classics. Now, give me some nice murders and mayhem and I'm there. LOL

    Have a good week!!

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    1. Kay - Glad you're getting some much-needed rain, but sorry about the gloom. I've never done well with Russian classics. Anna Karenina may be the only one I've read, but I am determined to conquer C&P, eventually. It seems like a November book - it's so dark here then...

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  2. I'm glad you've had a great reading week. I am so grateful that our library has many new offerings available. I suspect that many are donations. It's great that you are on board of the local Friends of the Library. I hope you enjoy it. Enjoy the graduations and Happy Spring!

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    1. Pat - I was on the Friends board for many years, but took a break when the girls got very active with sports. Now I'm hoping it works out if we continue to spend winters in Florida.

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  3. We're pretty much into summer now and I love it. I agree that everyone is more cheerful when it's warm! Good luck sorting all those books!

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    1. Kathy - I noticed that people were much friendlier in Florida this winter, too. Maybe cold weather just makes people grumpier ;-)

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  4. Such beautiful tulips! We had a terrible year for tulips here so I'm enjoying everyone's pictures. I'm curious about the Madding Crowd movie. I've only read Tess by Hardy but the movie has me thinking about picking up that one as well. The Secret Life of Violet Grant looks so interesting so I look forward to reading your thoughts on that one. I'll let you have my share of Crime and Punishment! Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - The deer usually devour tulips around here, so I'm happy those managed to escape their feeding frenzy! We get movies a little later here, but I think Far From the Madding Crowd will be playing next at the arts cinema. Hope I can get it read before then. I picked up Violet Grant because I loved the author's previous book A Hundred Summers. AM also hoping to get through C&P before the end of the year.

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  5. Tulips make me feel so happy! Seeing them, smelling them....imagining them.

    I love the idea of your Pages from the Past feature....what great nostalgic moments!

    I remember reading Crime and Punishment and a couple of other books by Dostoevsky during one summer in the 60s when I was in college and had a summer job that was boring...and which allowed reading during down times. I called it my Russian Novel Summer.

    I always hated the names, though; they were so similar and confusing! LOL

    Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - The names in Russian novels drive me nuts... not that I've read very many, but still. It seems like every character has at least three of them!

      I had so much fun writing the Pages From the Past Post. Glad everyone seemed to enjoy reading it, too!

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  6. I want to see the new movie of Far From the Madding Crowd to compare it with the original film made in 1967 with Julie Christie and Alan Bates.

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    1. Harvee - It would be fun to read the book and then compare the two film versions!

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  7. I am happy to report that I am finally (!) well in to Doctor Thorne and I already love it too. I haven't had it open in a couple of days and am going to start again with the scene with Patience Oriel (isn't that a wonderful name?) and Frank Gresham out in the garden...

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    1. Audrey - Oh, hurray for Doctor Thorne! I'm so happy you thought up this project because I may never have gotten around to it on my own :)

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    2. I'm even happier that you (and Lisa) are reading with me!

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    3. Audrey - We'll have to see about the Pallisers next year ;-)

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  8. You have some great books swirling around! I've been in a bit of a slump, but it seems to be lifting. Thank goodness! :)

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    1. Andi - My winter slump has finally passed and I'm glad yours is finally on the way out, too!

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  9. I have Crime & Punishment sitting on the bookshelf but can't see me getting to it any time soon. I find the Russians a bit intimidating.

    Far From the Madding Crowd I love - Gabriel Oak is one of my all-time favourite characters.

    Cannot say the same about PG - I dislike her coloured queen series.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Cat - I find the Russians pretty intimidating, too, but can't wait to begin Far From the Madding Crowd. The only Philippa Gregory I've read is The Other Boleyn Girl (ages ago), but I love the Tudors. We'll see about this series...

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  10. I definitely need to read Trollope soon. Maybe not right away but he's certainly on my list. I've heard about Shotgun Lovesongs but don't remember what it was about. I need to check it out. Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Athira - I feel like I'm going to be singing the praises of Anthony Trollope for the rest of the year... hope I don't get too boring ;-)

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  11. I almost purchased Far from the Maddening Crowd yesterday. I hope you enjoy Shotgun Lovesongs! I did enjoy the read.

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    1. Melinda - I'm over halfway through Shotgun Lovesongs now and am enjoying it quite a lot. I love that type of novel!

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  12. Pretty, pretty tulips! Ours have finished blooming and now it's the rhoddies turn. Love all the spring colors and with all the rain we've had (7" in one day a couple of weeks ago!), everything looks very lush and green. I do love this time of weather as long as my basement stays dry and the tornadoes avoid my state!

    I started to listen to Shotgun Lovesongs a few months ago, but it didn't grab me. I still have it on my Nano, so maybe I'll give it another try. I've been in a reading/blogging slump for a few weeks and now that I'm back from a vacation (S.F. with my mom), it's hard to get motivated to do the latter.

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    1. Les - Judging from the instagram photos, it looks like you had a great trip! My town is higher in elevation than most of the surrounding area, so we're a little behind in our blooms. Tulips are among my favorites.

      Shotgun Lovesongs grabbed me right away. It reminds me a little of The Interestings, and I loved that one. If I remember correctly, you weren't as wild about it. Will be curious to see if a second try makes a difference.

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  13. Far From the Madding Crowd was my first experience with Hardy and I adored it. Hope you love it! Will have to wait to see the film as we're not quite ready to leave the baby for dates (he's just starting to get stranger anxiety, so we're trying to do social dates with friends so he gets used to them. THEN I'm hoping to go out some!)

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    1. Audra - I read the first chapter today and loved it! Thanks so much for the link to your review. I'm sure the film will be available on Netflix before too long....amazed at how fast that little guy is growing!

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  14. I've had a movie gift card I've been waiting to use until I had a movie I really wanted to see - Far From The Maddening Crowd is going to be the one!

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    1. Lisa - The trailer looks so good!! Can't wait.

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  15. I love Far from the Madding Crowd and can't wait to see the movie. I reread it a year or so ago, and fell in love with all over again. I also really liked The White Queen--I think it's the best of the Phillipa Gregory histories.

    And isn't Dr. Thorne wonderful? Book and man :) Can't wait for the adaptation. I really like Framley Parsonage too, and I imagine you will too.

    Happy reading!

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    1. JaneGS - Tess was a favorite a couple years ago and I've been looking forward to Far From the Madding Crowd ever since. The movie gave me a little extra incentive to get going!

      I though I remembered you read that Phillipa Gregory series... anything to do with the Tudors sounds like fun to me.

      And Doctor Thorne. I'll have to wait a couple weeks to write anything because all I can do now is gush.

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  16. I have not read Mr. Trollope yet so I best jot that title down. I'm impressed you're going for Hardy next before the movie. I should join in if I could get thru my books I have on my platter. The tulips are gorgeous! Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

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    1. Thecuecard - That Hardy has been on my list for quite some time, so the movie is really just giving me a little push. I'll take encouragement any way it comes ;-)

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