Reading Chit-Chat

It’s been perfect reading weather lately, with very cold temperatures for most of the day, a bit of wind, a bit of snow, and days getting darker. It’s been brilliant, actually, and I have been looking forward to this cold snap for ages (especially over the summer when it was 110 for days at a time)… My only grumble is that the winter months are so short and so fast to pass in Texas. (Note to self: enjoy every moment of days below 70 degrees.)

So – reading… It seems as though I haven’t been reading that much lately, although I’m not sure what I have been doing instead. I finished up a final read of Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine over the weekend. Lots to think about, and lots to chat about with my friends who are raising young kids of both genders. Unless you raise your child in a vacuum, I do not see how society-enforced gender expectations could be avoided (from pink/blue clothes to STEM* preferences etc.) I find the study of gender issues very interesting, and although this book was a little dry, it was still interesting for most of the time.

And then I looked at the calendar and realized that we are close to the end of the year. If I want to meet my year-long reading goal of finishing up The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology of the World’s Greatest Diarists (ed. Irene and Alan Taylor), then I had better get cracking… So been picking up and reading this fascinating brick of a book. (It’s huge.) I find it very hard to put down as I am fascinated by reading epistolary or journal-based books and this is even better as it’s non-fiction. It’s so interesting to read about historical events as they happen to the writers of the diaries; for example, King George is just about to abdicate the throne for Wallis Simpson back in 1936, and the diary writer is wondering how this will affect the monarchy in the future…

And then, my gym book is James Herriott’s All Creatures Great and Small. I cherished these books by Herriott when I was younger (about 12 or so), and read them one after the other and then repeated the whole thing. It’s always a bit of a risk to re-read a cherished childhood book as it’s not always guaranteed that you will have the same thrill again in your older years – however, not to worry with Herriott as he is still a great read even 35 years on.

And then still soldiering through the Anthony Trollope Barchester Chronicles. Now on book III: Dr. Thorne which seems to have completely different characters than the other earlier two books, but perhaps it all fits together at one point…

Long live the cold weather (and the availability of heating!).  The cats have realized that they have the option of a comfortable warm bed in the evenings, so they have been leaning against the front door in order not to miss the opportunity of being inside. (Smile)

* STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths

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