Saturday, February 24, 2018

Books, Books, and More Books

That's what my husband titled the two photos he took of yesterday's purchases.  He's right.  I had no business buying books when I have 50+ boxes of books waiting for shelves to be built.  They can't wait to get to their new home, or maybe I can't wait to have them there.  Why is it that when your books are right there, on the shelves or stacked on the floor, your bedside table, etc., you can ignore them for months, but when you can't see them, can't touch them, you need them?

If you've been reading my sporadic blog, you know that we've been moving since last October.  We bought a house just outside Lancaster, PA, where I was born.  We did some updating, some painting, and loaded the car with smaller items to move on each trip from Philadelphia to Lancaster.  In January, we put our Philadelphia house on the market and sold it in 24 hours.  Amazing and wonderful.  The sale closed this past Thursday, so we have cut ties with Philly and have become Lancastrians.

But there are still boxes and boxes of household items to unpack.  It's difficult to decide where things go.  Some are easy, but which drawer or cupboard is the best place for the bowls that seldom get used or the oversized utensils?  The blender doesn't fit on the counter under the cabinets.  Where can it live so it's available for the smoothies we plan to make?  I've been culling clothes and 'stuff' as I unpack.  I have two bags to go to Goodwill or some charity organization.  We've been stashing boxes in what will be my library, the guest room upstairs, and another room.  At least we can relax in an uncluttered living room, bedroom, and dining room.  But the boxes are waiting, or lurking.

We haven't used the stove or dishwasher yet, but I did laundry last week in the big, old washer and dryer.  I'm holding my breath because the dryer didn't roll the sheets up like cigars, one of my greatest frustrations with the new dryer we had in Philly.  I hope this one continues to just fluff up the sheets until they're dry.

Back to the books.  Lancaster Public Library has several book sales each year.  I saw the notice in the newspaper and a friend e-mailed me about the sale.  So, yesterday, Jack dropped me off at the sale while he went to fight with Comcast (no winners in that one yet).  I'm only in the market for paperbacks these days, books to read and pass along.  At the sale, they were $0.50 each.  At that price, I bought quite a few authors I'd never read, mostly mysteries.  I've never read the Peter Mayle book or anything by Richard Russo, so I'm looking forward to those.

I bought these books for Jack, hoping that, as an ex-competitive sailor who misses his boat very much, he could get a sailing fix from reading them.  In case the photo's too fuzzy to read, they're eleven books in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and two stand-alones by the same author.  Truthfully, I've only read Master and Commander and am looking forward to reading the series, too.  Twenty-eight books for less than $15.00.  Really.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Books Read

This is the best I can do at the moment.  We're still in the middle of moving house.  We bought a house in late October and thought how great it was that we'd have time to paint and renovate and move things before we sold our house in Philly.  Well, I'm not sure moving slowly is the way to do it.

The house in Philly sold the day after the Open House.  It's 99% a done deal, all the preliminary papers signed and inspections completed, just one thing to clear up and then the closing on the 22nd.  Movers are coming on the 13th to move the big furniture that we can't move and my many, many boxes of books.  I've already apologized to them twice.  We moved some of my more fragile or valuable books ourselves.

But, in just a few weeks, we get to sort out the chaos that is our new house.  How did we get all this 'stuff' and where are we going to put it?!  But there are gardens, a fireplace, huge mature trees, a fenced yard, a large patio, peace and quiet.  And good and old friends very close.  And family close, too.

In the meantime, here's what I managed to read in January:

Blackbird Fly  -  Lisa McClendon

Death Walks the Woods  -  Cyril Hare

Between the Pages  -  Kathleen Adelaide

The Wanted  -  Robert Crais

Dirge for a Dorset Druid  -   Margot Arnold

Nine Coaches Waiting  -  Mary Stewart

Blackbird Fly was sort of a combination of those 'ex-pat moves to village in France / Italy / some other European country and has trouble with the natives.  Except that this one is a suspense novel and includes more than one murder.  It didn't grab me and whirl me along, but I liked it enough to keep going.

I've always liked Cyril Hare and this one didn't disappoint.  There's a murder in a small village, there are quirky characters, there's even some humor.

Between the Pages is exactly what I expected from one of my favorite book bloggers, mirabile dictu. She write erudite blog posts about her love of Latin and books, and, sometimes, Latin books!  None of the books she writes about in Between the Pages are Latin books, though.  I love people who love books, but isn't that why you're reading this?  I recommend both her book, available on Amazon, and her blog.

The Wanted was good, but there wasn't enough Joe Pike!  More Joe Pike!  More Joe Pike!

With Dirge for a Dorset Druid, I've realized that although I like this series, my enjoyment is marred by the size of the type in the copies I've been able to find.  It's small and crowded on the page.  I'm at the age where my eyes blur and cross when confronted with too much small, crowded type.  It takes me forever to read.  That said, I like the archeological and murderous adventures of Sir Toby and Dr. Penny (I think she's a Dame now).  They're characters themselves and they're often in interesting locations to solve crimes.

Nine Coaches Waiting is a reread.  It's not on my list of Books Read, but I know I read it back in my teen years.  I wasn't as compulsive about keeping my list then as I am now.  Maybe I need to keep order in my life more now than back then.  Mary Stewart always delivers an exciting, romantic, suspenseful book.  At least that's my experience.  This one takes place in near the French / Swiss border, at an estate on the side of a mountain.  It involves a young boy set to inherit the estate when he comes of age and his uncle, who is his trustee.  Maybe his uncle thinks he should inherit the estate.      The new governess thinks the boy is at risk.

That's all folks until I get moved and settled.  I hope after that happens, someone will return my mind!