Catch-Up Time for a Cool November

catch_upLife has been great lately, most notably for its normal day-ness and just going smoothly along. It’s not that life has been hard, but it’s just noticeably going without any large unexpected bumps so that’s nice. Work has evened out a bit more and I seem to have broken my dreadful reader’s block which has been hindering me over the last few months. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to work around a reader’s block, and I had forgotten how it felt – Blargh. I was adrift in a sea of book pages, but couldn’t get anywhere. Frustrating, but after a while, I started to embrace the experience and did some other things for a while. (One new interest is that I have learned that I really enjoy editing doctoral dissertation work. Go figure.)

But now, for whatever reason, that block is now over and I’m back to enjoying reading loads of books and being interested in loads of things. Yippee. Recent reads which are good, but just don’t trigger a great deal of deep and meaningful discussion are as follows:

Dishes – Shax Rielger (2013) book320

This was a fun coffee table-type book (although very small in size, presumably for a very small coffee table :-)), and it featured lots of lovely photographs of lots of lovely dishes. More of a superficial worship of dish design than an in-depth investigation, this was packed with well composed photographs featuring both new and old dish graphic art, and although it wasn’t a particularly deep read, it was a fun way to spend an afternoon. (Great graphics and good photography are always a good combination in books.) So – nothing too deep and meaningful, but it does just what it says on the tin: looks at dishes. Nothing that I can’t live without, but a nice taste of something very outside my normal interests.

One of my favorite reads at the moment is a large collection of book-review columns by Nick Hornby. (He would be a fantastic dinner party guest, along with Robert Lacey. Still working on the rest of the guest list for that event, but would definitely invite those two.) The book is called Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books and is a compilation of Hornby’s book-related columns in The Believer magazine. (I’ve never seen this on the newsstands around here, but have heard about it.) Hornby is also the author of several other good novels (such as High Fidelity, About a Boy, Fever Pitch et al.) and his blog is pretty entertaining. (Lots more Believer columns as well. <rubs hands with glee>) Plus – he has a new book (Funny Girl) out in the UK with a US release next year.

sailingNon-fiction, I’m coasting along with a travel memoir by Jonathan Raban (with whom I’ve only had good reading experience). Called Coasting (see what I did there? No? DIdn’t miss much. 🙂 ), it’s a description of the time Raban took to sail solo around the edges of Britain down the west side and up the east. It’s a mix of personal reminiscence along with some sailing and UK history bits popping up now and then, and although the book got off to a bit of a rough start (not enough wind), it’s good now and I’m enjoying it. (If you like travel journalism, you’ll probably like Raban’s works. The only other one by Raban that I’ve read is called Bad Land and describes his driving across the open land of North Dakota etc. It’s a very good read if you’re interested.) This is another title that’s been on my TBR shelf for far too long. What’s cool is that I happened to come upon a small paperback edition in a recent book sale which meant that I could ditch the HUGE imposing Scary Big Book that I had which meant that I actually picked it up to read. Score!

And it’s been all super-cold here that last few days which is FAB as I have had enough high temperatures (thank you). Yeah for cold weather (without the snow difficulties). cold_temps

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