Sunday, November 21, 2010

TSS: A Big Finish

It's a cold, sunny morning in central New York. A snowy Thursday reminded us again that winter is on the way.  Zelda, our greyhound recently adopted from Florida, was shivering despite her new coat. It was an effort to get her out of the house. What will we ever do in February?

A huge sense of accomplishment highlighted my reading week as I finished Bleak House - all 989 pages and 26 CDs! Dickens is an amazing storyteller. I'm gathering thoughts for a final post later in the week.

If all goes well, I will also finish The Group by Mary McCarthy today or tomorrow. The book follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates, class of '33, as they make their way in the post-collegiate world. It is fascinating reading.

On audio, I've started Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck. This was a prize from Oasis Audio won through The Book Maven's Friday Reads (or #fridayreads) twitter meme. Buck's The Good Earth is a favorite of mine, but this was an unfamiliar title. I initially thought the reader was too slow, but adjusted quickly. The story drew me in immediately.

What to start next? After several long books, a short work is in order.

Verity piqued my interest when she wrote "Another book I'll be getting out of the library is The Virago Book of Christmas which is an anthology of writings about Christmas by over 50 woman, including many famous names. It sounds like it could be something that I might want to dip into on each day of advent."

The Virago Book of Ghost Stories was excellent, so  I have high hopes for their Christmas book. Unfortunately, my library does not own a copy and amazon's delivery time was 5-7 weeks. Luckily, The Book Depository came to my rescue. An order was placed and the book has already been shipped (free postage, as always).

Another possibility is Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris. I'm a big fan and this one is both timely and short.

Also on the immediate tbr pile is Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. It's long and has gotten some very mixed reviews. Both my mother and sister panned this one, but Wendy's review has given me hope. Besides, I loved The Corrections.

It may get quiet at Lakeside Musing this week as our house fills up for Thanksgiving. Today I'm going to read for a little while, then it will be time to get organized with meals plans, grocery lists, and a master cooking schedule for the holiday. Last, but certainly not least, there's a Syracuse University basketball game.

How will you spend the day?


  1. Congratulations on finishing Bleak House, I haven't read it yet but the BBC adaptation was excellent! I think 670 pages of The Distant Hours by Kate Morton is enough to keep me occupied at the moment...
    I have The Virago Book of Christmas on the shelf for some seasonal reading soon.
    Santa letters are being composed here today with lots of illustrations.
    Happy Thanksgiving for next week.

  2. I am so impressed that you finished Bleak House! Maybe you could try getting Zelda a doggy sweater. One of my dogs has the same issue in the winter and a sweater does help a lot!

  3. I have heard a lot of people say Bleak House is their favorite Dickens - I hope to get to it someday.

    Not sure I'll have much time for reading - I'm heading to my folks' house to watch a football game. If I do get some reading time, I will spend it with The Wishing Trees by John Shors and Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. :)

  4. Congrats on finishing Bleak House-that is a huge accomplishment.

    Poor Zelda. She certainly wouldn't be used to the cold. I hope she'll adjust. I am so thankful that little Sammy seems to love it because a lot of dogs here do simply refuse to go out. It's good he's a puppy in this because it won't be anything he won't know next year.

    I hope you have a wonderful Sunday JoAnn.

  5. Congrats on finishing Bleak House; that is a serious accomplishment JoAnn.

    Poor Zelda, perhaps (2) sets of childrens UGGS will help her feet stay toasty this winter! LOL

    (You think I'm kidding???)

  6. I'm off to the coffee house today to try and catch up on my reviews. Then I hope to spend some time in my studio working on a couple of projects I hope to finish before next weekend.

    I'm reading The Gargoyle by Davidson.

  7. Sounds like a lovely Sunday. I'm interested in hearing more about the Pearl Buck novel. I reread The Good Earth last year and it was just as good as the first time. I also have The Virago Book of Christmas on it's way to me. I'm in such a mood for Christmas reading. Hope you cooking marathon goes well. Enjoy the week.

  8. It sounds like you're finishing up a lot of reading! I have no idea what to read or what I want to read. I hope the right book catches my attention. Have a great week.

  9. I spent the day watching the Lions lose groceries for Thursday and did a bit of reading!! Our new puppy Lily hates the cold and I literally have to drag her outside in the morning. I think when it snows we're in deep trouble!!!

    Have a great week!!

  10. Yippee! You finished Bleak House!! Can't wait to read your thoughts.

    Poor Zelda; I don't know what to suggest for her, but many folks here seem to have the canine equivalent of a down jacket for their four-legged babies, and we don't approach the kind of cold temperatures you have in winter...

    A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, JoAnn!

  11. Congratulations on finishing Bleak House and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  12. Lovely treez - Will look forward to your thoughts on The Distant Hours. The Forgotten Garden was very good on audio and I want to read The House at Riverton, too. I miss the letters to Santa days - enjoy!

    Stephanie - Zelda has a fleece coat with a waterproof outer shell, but it seems like she doesn't even like to breathe the cold air.

    Carrie K - I think Great Expectations will remain my favorite Dickens for now... hope to get my final thoughts up before Thanksgiving. We got to watch a little football after the SU basketball game.

    Darlene - I'm sure Zelda will adjust eventually...and I look forward to hearing more about Sammy. He's a cutie!

    Diane - I'm laughing at the idea of Zelda in little uggs! I have actually seen dog booties in some stores...

    C.B. James - Sounds like a perfect Sunday! Daughter #1 and I will spend time at the coffee shop over the Thanksgiving weekend... looking forward to it already.

    Margot - There will definitely be more talk about The Pavilion of Women as I get into it, but I'm totally hooked by the first CD. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving week, too!

    Vasilly - I've been reading such long books lately that it feels like I haven't finished anything in ages - this has been a big week :-)

    Staci - Those poor Lions! I think our dogs need to get used to the snow and cold pretty soon... especially if they live where we do;-)

    DS - We bought her a fleece coat with a waterproof shell, but may need to get something even heavier for the real cold. Poor pup!

  13. Gavin - Thanks... and a Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  14. Thanks for the mention, and I'm glad you did, because you've reminded me that I've been to the library twice since I wrote that and not taken that book out!! I would buy my own copy but I have all of £2 left until payday (7 days away - ouch!)

  15. The Christmas anthology sounds terrific. I look forward to reading your review!

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, JoAnn

  16. Yay for completing Bleak House (i still haven't started that one).

    And I absolutely wanted to let out a squeal after reading you adopted a greyhound. You. Are. Awesome. (post pics PLEASE!) I have three cats, one of which was a rescue from outside. Getting a pup is near impossible for right now, but greyhounds are the way to go. They are so sweet and lovely. And they have lived such hard lives! (Oh and I also live in Florida, so I don't have to drive anywhere...)

    Cheers to you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  17. I really need to read Bleak House one of these days...and The Group sounds like a book I would also really enjoy.

    So glad you're going to give Freedom a try - the fact that you enjoyed The Corrections is a good sign too as I am hearing that people who liked The Corrections will love Freedom :)

    Like you, the next couple of days are going to be "prep" days for Thanksgiving!

  18. The Virago Book of Christmas sounds really good! As for The Group, I cannot wait to read it myself, even if that means I will have to order it first. So many books and so many books to forget about along the way!

  19. The Virago Book of Christmas is wonderful, I got it from my library the other day after Verity mentioned it and it's got the short story Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm!! Plus an excerpt from Nancy Mitford's novel Christmas Pudding! Both really funny and there are other moving pieces in there too, a really great collection.

  20. Congrats on finishing Bleak House! The Group sounds quite interesting - I will look forward to your review of that one.

    Holidays on Ice is a perennial favorite of mine - I think I will listen to rather than read it this year.

    Enjoy the holiday!

  21. Verity - I'm so glad you mentioned the book - I hadn't heard of it before. Hope it arrives soon!

    Molly - Thanks! Enjoy the long holiday weekend.

    Christina - Thank you! I just posted a picture of Zelda last week. If you click on greyhounds in the 'labels' section of my sidebar, it will take you to a few different posts with pictures. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Wendy - I'm sure you would love The Group. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Iris - I first learned about The Group from Claire (Paperback Reader). It's really an amazing book and captures the time period perfectly!

    Carolyn - Now I'm even more excited to start the book! Hope it arrives soon.

    Booksnyc - This will be the first time I've read a Sedaris book. I usually choose audio, but this was just a quarter at the last library book sale. How could I resist?

  22. Congratulations on finishing Bleak House! I have never tackled it! Sounds like you have some wonderful reading coming up. The Virago Christmas book sounds particularly lovely. Thanksgiving is almost here! My first one! I am so excited! I hope you and your family have a fantastic celebration together.

  23. Rachel - Thanks you! I'm hoping the Virago Book of Christmas arrives soon. Today is a cooking and baking day for me - enjoy your first Thanksgiving!

  24. So much to read, so little time, so much to eat, so few teeth! Ah, a feast here!

  25. Brava to all that reading you've accomplished lately!
    The Virago Book of Christmas has certainly piqued my interest, have put it on my list.
    Happy Thanksgiving!


  26. Lakeviewer - LOL! Thank you for visiting (and following). Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Dana B - I'm trying to wait patiently for the Virago to be delivered... can't wait to get started! Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving yesterday... now our focus changes to Christmas.


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