Today was dreich: cold, grey, and dank. There was a little snow: tiny, tiny little flakes that seemed to melt before they hit the ground, and everything was dark with damp. There's still a little snow left (here's two pictures of the moors taken yesterday), but it's hard - patches of great chunks of ice all over the landscape. But I kept warm and I kept looking for spring flowers. Every day, we're a little closer!
And today we went to Barter Books. I haven't been in a long time, and having perused some icy cold antique shops along the way, the warmth and light there, the smell of coffee, and even on this cold Tuesday afternoon, the place was bustling. I love the energy of Barter Books, the quiet excitement and expectancy of everyone in there, the model train chugging away along the top of the central room, and of course those thousands of books all waiting to be picked up have an energy of their own.
Of course, I bought too many. Here's my new stash:
- The Prelude, by William Wordsworth
- Eugene Onegin, by Alexander Pushkin
- Lady Anna, by Anthony Trollope
- Cousin Henry, also by Trollope
- The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
- Is God Happy? by Leszek Kołakowski (this will be my introduction to Polish writing)
- The Magus, by John Fowles (who I've just been discussing on Twitter!)
- Little Men, by Louisa May Alcott
- Characters, by Jean de la Bruyére
- Essays, by Michel de Montaigne
- Lonesome Traveler, by Jack Kerouac
- Ninety-Three, by Victor Hugo
- Thérèse, by François Mauriac
- Letters from a Stoic, by Seneca.
Most excited about the Leszek Kołakowski, and of course Little Men, and I do feel I'm one of the few people who haven't read The Marriage Plot! Also intrigued by Jean de la Bruyére, a 17th Century French writer. Oh, and Thérèse - I nearly bought this at Shakespeare and Company, until I saw the Zola!
So, there's my books. Next up - The Classics Spin:
My five I am dreading:
- Go to your blog.
- Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
- Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
- Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday.
- Monday morning, we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
- The challenge is to read that book by April 1, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading! (No fair not listing any scary ones!)
1. de Cervates, Miguel - Don QuixoteFive I cannot wait to read:
2. Gogol, Nikolai - Dead Souls
3. Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr - August 1914
4. Lawrence, D. H. - The Rainbow
5. Rushdie, Salman - Midnight's Children
6. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - The Eternal HusbandThe neutral list:
7. Scott, Walter - Ivanhoe
8. Orwell, George - The Road to Wigan Pier
9. Wharton, Edith - The Age of Innocence
10. Nesbit, E. - The Railway Children
11. Sackville-West, Vita - The EdwardiansFive free choices:18th Century Literature.
12. Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
13. Burroughs, William S. - Naked Lunch
14. Marquez, Gabriel Garcia - One Hundred Years of Solitude
15. Du Maurier, Daphne - Frenchman's Creek
16. Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans
17. Defoe, Daniel - Roxana
18. Radcliffe, Ann - The Italian
19. Sterne, Lawrence - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
20. Swift, Jonathon - Gulliver's Travels
This should be fun, unless the number picked is between 1 and 5, in which case it really won't be!
Finally, other news: Myshkin, my little blue budgie, is a girl. Since we've had her, she's had blue in her beak, which suggests that she was a boy, however, on returning from Paris, I looked at her with 'fresh eyes' as it were and saw there was not one bit of blue left in her beak. It's a pinky brown, which means she is female. I am a little concerned, given that she lives with two boys and I am rather worried that they will, how to put it? interfere with her, and I'll have a deluge of baby budgies on the way. It does explain why she's been so difficult since we've got Oliver - I see now she was making clear she has no interest in him and Trotwood is her mate. I won't separate her from Trotwood, I do think that's cruel, so the plan at the moment is keeping an eye on them and making sure she doesn't have the option of nesting. I have talked to someone about it, but I think I need further advice. I have no interest in breeding budgies, and if the worst happened I couldn't give the babies to a pet shop (part of the reason I have budgies is to rescue them from being bought and kept in a cage all their lives, which so often happens with budgies. Sadly, because they are so inexpensive and small, they are seen as "starter" birds, which means if it doesn't work out for an owner it is deemed perfectly acceptable to leave them locked in their cage for all eternity). Myshkin and Oliver are still too young to worry right now, however Trotwood isn't, though that said he's shown no interest in that aspect of budgie life! So, I'll just have to see how it goes, get some advice and whatnot. A little worrying. They're not worried, though: all sitting above me on the curtain pole, Trotwood asleep, Oliver dozing, and Myshkin staring at me, knowing she's being discussed.
So then, there is my news. And hurrah - I finally did my post about Book III The Faerie Queene this morning!