christmas 2009

on

I hope everyone received more than a few books that were on their list for the holidays. While the short one, Natalya, received fewer than usual, Sean and I were gifted more. As you know, this means a good start for the New Year.

There was a terrible moment when, opening presents in turn beside the tree Christmas morning, I unwrapped a gift with the Twilight cover on it. Apparently my face was humorous (and much anticipated). It was a gag gift, and not even the book at all. My daughter’s idea, and my husband’s help, to put the cover on a book I would actually read: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  Actually, it was a part of a two-part gift. The original idea was to put the Twilight cover on a copy of Baudrillard’s Simulacra & Simulation (which I had on my “please-can-I-own” list). Baudrillard’s was the wrong size for the cover, alas, I was gifted a second book that would fit the faux cover. Clever, though, right? Twilight cover on Baudrillard’s book on deceptive skin commodities, etc. Looking forward to reading through the whole of Simulacra & Simulation rather than all the excerpts and essays on the text.

I was also gifted Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics and Invisible Cities: I am so very happy about this!!

Then, during the vacation, my father had to take us to his favorite used book shop in Denton, TX, downtown in an old opera house, Recycled Books, I think it is called.  Picked up Roland Barthes The Pleasure of the Text and S/Z (thank you Sean for perusing the Lit-Crit section for me while I was tied up in Children’s). The store had just purchased Slavoj Zizek’s Looking Awry that morning, so I got lucky there. In the Teen/Children’s section I couldn’t have been happier to find my favorite (and been wanting) Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge–and I recently read she has written a sequel!  Also, managed a copy of The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, that I have heard nothing but good about; and I bought Utterly Me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Child–oh how I love thee. This used book store may now be my second favorite: Powell’s Books in Portland, OR being the first.

Natalya was given some of my dad’s store credit and managed to smile her way into an extra 50 cents. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (I kinda twisted her arm here), Matilda and The BFG by her beloved Roald Dahl, and Bridge Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. $8.50: not too shabby.

I found The Secret Goldfish by David Means at Big Lots for $1.00.  I remembered the name from somewhere, but for a dollar I hope for a good deal.

Other books in the family for Christmas?

Natalya received a signed copy of Michael Buckley’s N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, the first in a new series by the writer of The Sisters Grimm: A gift from her good friend Anna who shares an appreciation for the author. She is reading this aloud to me.

She’s raced through Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson. Is working on Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, which is slow going–I think it is the dramatic aspect.

Also new, the first three in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan: The Lightning Theif, The Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse. We read through the first, so far. The first two Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot (already inhaled). DK Pick Me Up, DK Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia, and (from Big Lots) Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about their Art, a compilation to benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Sean was gifted: Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen: Pride & Prejudice and Zombies (whose cover horrified my mother); The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba, and Dave Stewart; and Rant by Chuck Palahnuik, and Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. Picked up Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott at the used book store.

**

I have finished volume 1 of Wuthering Heights, a rather slow undertaking. I think I did absolutely nothing during my Texas vacation, nothing of the usual anyhow (not even sleep regularly).

***

But now that “vacation” is winding down and I am now home, there is little excuse to not read, and write about the reading. I am excited to read my new (some-used) books, and also some of Natalya’s and Sean’s. Now to just to finish Wuthering Heights

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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