Hi there, friends in book-land. I do still have a blog, I promise! It’s just been, well, hibernating through the summer and fall. It would appear that buying your first house, moving, and adopting your first cat all take up a good deal of your time, and there’s not much left for blog-writing!
But the great thing is that having a new house means having more space for bookshelves, which means having more space for more books! I now have two huge bookshelves and one smaller one dedicated only to my women’s library, and another one of spillover “maybe” books that I have to read first before I put them permanently in this library.
And then, of course, there’s six more shelves of everything else: the poetry, the nonfiction (I had to buy some gardening books now that I have a yard!), the children’s illustrated fairy tales (which was something I collected before this project), the general fiction, etc. etc. It’s wonderful to have books everywhere!
And while my reading definitely slowed down during the packing and the moving and the unpacking (which seemed interminable), I still managed to finish a couple great books since I stopped writing:
Carson McCullers’ Clock Without Hands (sooo much to unpack with this one)
Bobbie Ann Mason’s Shiloh and Other Stories
Louise Shivers’ Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail (I was on a short-southern-books kick!)
Zora Neale Hurston’s Moses, Man of the Mountain (continuing with my New Year’s Resolution to read all of Hurston’s fiction)
Rosamond Lehman’s Invitation to the Waltz (so excited to talk about this one in a later blog, especially for Downton Abbey fans)
Evelyn Lau’s Fresh Girls
And I’m in the middle of Hester Lilly by Elizabeth Taylor (no, not that Elizabeth Taylor). It’s my first Taylor and I’m excited to finally read one of hers. And it’s a Virago Modern Classic, so it’s twice as nice to finally get to crack it open!
I’ve also added some great books that I was really on the hunt for. At a used bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina I finally found a used copy of The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken. The seller commented as he sold it to me, “now, this is a good one. That really brings me back. You’ll enjoy this one!”
I told him I was visiting from Baltimore, and of course he had lived in Maryland (I always end up randomly talking to strangers in my travels who have lived in Maryland. It just happens). “They do great barbecue here, but don’t trust their seafood,” he warned me. “They don’t know what they’re doing!” Now that’s a Marylander.
Speaking of Maryland, on a trip to the WONDERFUL Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, we stopped at an antique bookstore in Easton, Maryland, that had a really ridiculously well curated selection. I bought a first edition of Edna Ferber’s short stories, One Basket, and a rare copy of Pulitzer Prize-winner author Julia Peterkin’s novel Black April.
And I made a trip (while Brian was out of town) to the wonderful Book Thing of Baltimore, where all the books are free! Which is a dangerous situation, of course. I came home with a pile of new books to consider for the library.
And now, in addition to the new shelves in the new house, I also have a new kitty to act as overseer for the operation! Every library should have a cat, and mine now has Miss Anastasia. Anastasia, who was a stray that I adopted from a local shelter, is quite naughty, but does all the things a cat ought to do, including snoozing away in your lap (or on your head) while you’re reading a book, and snuggling up to the laptop while you’re typing. Two of her favorite things (well, besides begging for food)! So, welcome Anastasia the Cat to the Women’s Library project!