Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Christmas Books

Helen asked if I got any more books and the answer is a resounding Yes!   

Red Lily is one I asked for -- on Kay Byer's recommendation. "Isabel Zuber's poems weave their way quietly and sinuously into the reader's ear and imagination.  Their emotional landscape pulses with mystery mixed with a keen-eyed awareness of life's seasons and the reverberations that ripple ceaselesly from that knowledge."

Oh, yes. They do, indeed.
My niece, who reads my blog and has probably noted that I like wandering about graveyards and looking at old headstones, sent me this terrific field guide(profusely illustrated) to cemetery symbolism and iconography. 

I absolutely love it. And I forsee taking some day trips to graveyards farther afield.
My sister-in-law sent this charming old book -- copyright 1885. It's set in a boy's school that reminds me in many ways of the Plumfield of Alcott's Little Men. Most of the boys are manly little fellows and the girls are paragons of womanly virtue. It should be cloying but it isn't, at least not to me. But then I grew up reading my grandmother's old books. And it's a painless way to research the era.

Interestingly enough, the illustrations --"by the best American and English artists" -- seem to have been gathered nilly-willy and fit to the story, much as we bloggers glean images from the Internet.
The Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, a fascinating and eclectic little book, roams all over the place from lazzi (comic gags used by Renaissance actors) to confetti (originally candied fruits) . . .
to omelets, frilly lingerie, big hair and beyond.
The Hare with Amber Eyes is the story of a wealthy, cultivated Viennese family who, because they were Jews, lost everything on the Nazis' entry into Austria. Everything, that is, but a collection of netsukes. I've just begun and am really enjoying it.
The hefty package from my son and daughter-in-law had the clue "interred in the desert sands"on the label. (In the family, we put clues on our gifts to one another and try to guess what's inside before ripping the paper off.)

I should have guessed but the size and the weight had me confused. It's a Doonesbury Retrospective and I'm having a great time filling in the years I missed before I discovered that I could begin my day with a fresh Doonesbury on line.
So, what are you reading? 

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Martin said...

That's a neat selection of books, Vicki. "Boy's Republic' looks charming.

Our daughter bought us a Kindle this year. It stores up to 3500 titles, would you believe? I've been downloading the odd classic (for free) from the Gutenberg Project. Some real treats there.

Pat in east TN said...

My reading time over the holidays has been cut way back, but I'm ready to get back on track now.

A friend sent me "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" on my Kindle for Christmas .. it's quite interesting. My 'wish list' grows, but one book I'm looking forward to reading is "Heartbroke Bay" and I'm also waiting on Amazon to get "Mountain Born" back in stock.

Rainsong said...

Seed Catalogs
I cannot pick up a book for myself until school is out. Sometimes I cannot even blog or take a picture to blog about. By June I am so hungry for words not written by a reluctant high-schooler that I disappear for a week or two until I am finished. We are on Christmas break until Jan 3 so I have had a little time to keep up with my blog at least.

Beth said...

What a lovely collection of books! I like old cemetaries, too. There are some wonderful old headstones at a church (called simply "Brick Church") on Leicester Highway in Leicester, N.C. And, yes, it IS brick. :-)

Crafty Green Poet said...

What a lovely looking selection of books! I'm currently reading Ian McEwan's Atonement; The End of Oil by Paul Roberts and Staying Alive, a brilliant poetry anthology edited by Neil Astley.

Brian Miller said... have such facinating books...the first two graveyards...

i am reading never let me go which is facinating...and rereading some saul williams and the newyork cafe poets...

Louise said...

You got a treasure trove of books there. That will be happy reading for quite some time. I've got some old L.M. Montgomery books, that I missed growing up, on my Kindle that I'm making my way through. They're good, but Anne Shirley is definitely her greatest heroine.

Stella Jones said...

An interesting collection of books for your shelf. Love the illustrations.
I'm reading 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett. I'm loving it.
Blessings, Star

Helen T in SC said...

Love the graveyard book. On my Nook I'm reading C.J. Sansom's Dissolution. At a Barnes and Noble after-Christmas sale I bought "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" by Tom Franklin. Last night I went to an Inklings exhibit at Greenville Library. I was thrilled to be in the same room with Dorothy L. Sayers autograph, hence her fingerprints.

Tipper said...

Sounds like some great books-especially the graveyard one. During my snowy days-I've put a way a few books:

Cataloochee by Wayne Caldwell
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
Made in the USA and Shoot The Moon both by Billie Letts.

Tammy said...

Sounds like you got some wonderful reading and research books! I got a whole stack of books too, and can't wait to delve in. I asked (as usual) for books, but also got some surprise titles too. Then there are the gift cards for Barnes and Nobles.... :-)

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks for the reminder about the Gutenberg Project, Martin! I have Kindle on my laptop -- I think I'll add some goodies from the GP.

Guernsey Literary etc is on my list of To Reads, Pat.

Poor Rainsong! I feel your pain. (I was an English teacher long ago -- and I'm a part time writing teacher now.) And I'm looking forward to seed catalogs too!

Beth -- thanks for the tip about the Leicester church -- I'll check it out when the weather gets better!

CGPoet -- ATONEMENT is another one I've been wanting to read.

Also NEVER LET ME GO, Brian.

Oh, Louise, I may have to reread my Anne books! Such joy!

Still haven't read THE HELP, Star -- it's certainly been high;y recommended.

I'm a big Sayers fan too, Helen -- I reread her mysteries almost every year.

I really need to read Cataloochee, Tipper. And his new one.

Darla said...

These sound so great, Vicki -- I've added "Red Lily" to my wish list.

I'm finally reading "The Secret Life of Plants" (been meaning to for literally years), as well as "The Home and The World" by Rabindranath Tagore, and "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramhansa Yogananda.

Since I'm writing fiction, I'm trying not to read it right now.

Vagabonde said...

Books and more books – they make the best presents. You received some nice ones and I did too. I pictured several of them (not all) on my new post. If you click on the picture you will see that I received Arts Blood from a favorite writer given to me by my daughter from California. My husband received many too – more than I showed, so we are going to be busy…reading. I have started Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese ( because my daughter wishes to read it too and I'm going to send it back to her. It is no.1 on the Independent Booksellers fiction.

Anonymous said...

When I was young, dating, and my boyfriend would ask where I wanted to go, I always said "to an old graveyard". From an early age, I loved reading the oldest headstones and trying to piece together, in my mind, the lives of those who had gone so long before I had been born.

Now? I don't go. It's not as "romantic and fanciful" when it's so near at hand.

Because of your recent posts, Amazon loves me.

BB said...

What great books. I'm in the middle of book 2 in the trilogy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, called The Girl Who Plays With Fire. I can't put it down but I get so sleepy when I read from my meds. Hard to stay awake..haha.

Brenda said...

Oh how fun! I didn't get any books this Christmas (am too far behind with the ones already on my shelf), so it was fun to see yours. One of the commenters mentioned The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I loved that book!

Anonymous said...

Oh ! how I love vintage books.

Dear Vicky I wish you a beautiful, peaceful, healthy, creative New Year with a lot of edited books !

All the best from me to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Oh what I am reading here and there : Walden ou la vie dans les bois by Henry David Thoreau, haïkus by Basho and my best "whodunit"

jennyfreckles said...

I'm reading....The Day of Small Things - about five chapters in and I'm seriously hooked. I'd enjoy the graveyard book though - having grown up right next door to the town cemetery, I've always found them fascinating places.

Vicki Lane said...

I read SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS years ago, Darla, and really liked it.

What good taste your daughter has, Vagabonde!

I may be the last person in the world to read THE GIRL WITH THE DT, Barb, but it's on my TBR pile.

Helene -- I Love Basho's haiku -- beautiful!

Jenny -- Maybe you can take us on a tour of Saltaire's graveyards. (Glad you're enjoying DAY OF SMALL THINGS!)

Folkways Note Book said...

What I would like to read are two books that you have. The first being Stories In Stone and secondly -- Mountain Born. Right now I am reading about five research books that are about graveyards, southern traditions, black culture in the south, and native American cultures. Also doing a re-read of Silent Spring. happy 2011 -- barbara

NCmountainwoman said...

I ordered "Stories in Stone" right after reading your post this morning. We love cemeteries and I know I will learn a lot about the symbolism. Great idea! I can't wait for it to arrive.