Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Musings: Books and things

This beautiful site is one of the many views that make my transition back to Baltimore and city living so wonderful. I love taking walks around the harbor and to the top of Federal Hill and just enjoying being outdoors in the city. So much has changed in the past year.

On April 30th last year I lost a very good friend. It was so unexpected and took the wind out of my sails. This year I look back on our time together and remember him with so much love. Brian was a beautiful soul and he is blessed to be with God. I will always miss him. Much love is to my dear friend Leigh and the boys!

Shortly after this there were changes in my husband's job that forced us to look at even  more change. We began the long process of looking for new opportunities and facing the reality of new beginnings.
Of course our beautiful daughter gave us a beautiful gift that helped to balance out the dryness of summer last year.

Our youngest son moved on campus, our oldest son left for Marine boot camp, our daughter and her husband moved into their own home and promptly gave us our baby girl. So much change! All of this was followed by our move to Baltimore. Can you say big year?!

Now here we are a year later and we are finally beginning to settle into our new life. God has been good through all of this. I am going to start a new job next week-not teaching. The atmosphere for education has become so dismal in the US that being a teacher is well less than great. So I am moving on reluctantly. The new job is exciting and very different. I am looking forward to getting back to work.

Through all of this change I have continued to read but not really updated my blog. Sorry. I can only say that I was overwhelmed with everything going on. I have listed a few of the books I have been reading and posted a few reviews. Today I want to share some of the great reads that have seen me through the turmoil of last year.

During the summer I sat on my deck and contemplated life a great deal while delving into the works of Proust. It was comforting and distracting to imagine a quiet life in the Provence of France. I can only describe the work as Beautiful! Slow moving and gentle.

Kate Carlisle
Then I breezed through a stack of cozy mysteries for the fall. They were light and fun, easy to get in and out of while making heavy decisions about our move and packing. Kate Carlisle blessed me with an advanced copy of her fall release, as did Laura Childs. They were wonderful works. Love cozy mysteries.


  When I arrived in Baltimore early this year I began to pull some of the ARC's that I had not gotten to yet and work through those. Andrew Taylor's wonderful book The Anatomy of Ghosts, Queen of Your Life, and others. I read and posted the review for Bruno, Chief of Police. Good times!

I had a Laura Lippman book that I had bought ages ago sitting on my TBR stack that I finally pulled off the shelf. What the Dead Know, set in Baltimore, was a great introduction back to charm city. I had such fun keeping up with the setting. I had eaten several times at the Bel Loc Diner during our visits to Baltimore while looking for a place to live, so it was a delight when the detective went for breakfast there early in the book. This was a delightful book that made me enamored with Laura Lippman. I recently bid on a package of 10 signed copies of her newest book that included a visit to your local book club meeting. I didn't win sorry to say but I am still enjoying her books. I began reading from the beginning her Tess Monaghan series. I am on Number 7 in the series now.

And yes I finally found a book club! It is a wine and book club which is perfect for me. The first meeting I attended we read and discussed Room by Emma Donoghue. Great book, quick read, only 210 pages. I read it on my Nook. I missed the May meeting where James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia was discussed. I read the book but am not generally drawn to the film noir novels. Next up for our club is a favorite Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. It will be great to not only discuss the book but how the movie, one of my favorites, differs from the book. I love the variety of reads that are picked and discussed. It keeps you from getting stuck in one direction and missing so many other great books.

And the big accomplishment, I finished the first volume or Part One of Don Quixote. I will be starting the second part soon. The book is a slow start, even with the windmill incident, but I am glad I kept going. It is a magnificent book. I can certainly see where Shakespeare was intrigued. Love the book.

I am still working on my summer reading list. How about you? What are you planning to read this summer? I have added Mildred Pierce by James Cain. So many options!


bookmagic said...

wow, sounds like things are much better. It's always good to keep reading even if blogging has to take a back seat.Reading is more important of course. I can't believe you were reading Proust, I'm impressed!

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mike draper said...

You have certainly had some ups and downs this year. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.
The sailboat in the Baltimore harbor looks like just the thing to bring some peace to your life.