Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Sunday Salon


It’s been a while since I did a Sunday Salon! I’ve just not felt that I had much to report recently. Summer has started, and I’m a little less busy than I was in the spring—I’m only taking one class this semester instead of two. I find that I actually do better in my classes when I have more work to do. I’m a list-maker; when I made a list of things I need to do, it makes me do those things all that much faster (I also make lists of things I’ve already done, so I can cross them off!). I did well (for me, at least) in the two classes I took in the spring, although they were difficult. But I like a challenge!

I’ve also had some time this weekend to fool around with the layout and template of this blog. I’ve had the same one up for so long that I figured it was a time for a change. I've also been playing around with Blogger's new interface; there seem to have been some improvements. It's easier to upload photos; on the old interface, my computer kept crashing (or maybe that was just my computer).  Over the last 6 months or so virtually the only content on this blog has been reviews; I’d like to get back to creating a variety of content. Back when I started, I had this “Cover Deja-Vu” feature of identical or similar book covers; it might be fun to revive that if I run into any more.

I’ve recently come into the possession of some new furniture for my apartment. I as recently given as a verrry early birthday gift an enormous reproduction of an 1890s wall map of London. It is FABULOUS; I could spend hours looking at it. I’m endlessly fascinated by detailed vintage maps and imagining what a place might have looked like in another era (on the map I easily honed in on some of my favorite places in London: the British Museum and Lambs Conduit Street, now where Persephone Books's shop is located). The problem is how I'm going to get it hanged, it's so large and heavy. I’ve also come into the ownership of two new couches to replace the two ugly wicker chairs (ouch) in my living room; and I’ve also gotten a new bookshelf to hold the overflow of TBR Mountain (reduced due to a curtailing of book buying and increase in book reading, but it still takes up more than one Ikea Billy bookcase. My goal is to have TBR Mountain reduced to just one bookcase by the end of the summer).

Speaking of reading, I’ve been doing a lot more this year, mostly because I’ve been carving out more time in my day to read. I usually get about an hour in during the morning and then about half an hour during my lunch breaks. So in May I read 12 books, in comparison with only 7 in May 2011 (that said, though some of my reads last month were easy reads on plane rides; Mary Stewart, DE Stevenson, and the like). Yesterday I began reading a lesser-known, harder-to-find Virago; Geraldine Jewsbury’s Zoe, a mid-19th century novel set in the early 18th. Highly melodramatic and meant to titillate readers at the time it was published, but entertaining. It's one of those "classic" historical novels that say as much about the time in which they were written as about the time in which they were set (Katherine or Forever Amber, I'm looking at you). I’m trying to read “A to Z,” but not in order, again this year and this of course counts for my Z title—always a tough letter to find titles or authors for. 

Personally speaking, over the past couple of months I took a mini vacation in April to go to Arizona and last weekend I attended my high school reunion--my 10th. We had a good turnout with roughly half my class returning.

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