Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Finally, the heat is gone!!

Well, that was a blast of summer. From Friday at 4 pm exactly, until last night, we suffered through heat and humidity that usually comes in July at the height of summer. I have realized that I need a fan by the computer, as evinced by the fact I haven't been on once since the heat wave began! So, I am way behind in book reviews, Weekly Geeks (I don't even know what this week's is yet!), but I am happily catching up with my book reading! Quick review: I finished The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, and so have 2 books left in the Once Upon a Time Challenge (plus the play to be read on June 20). I have 4 books left in the Canadian Challenge, so it's not looking good, but I should be able to get at least two done. And then the Banned Books Challenge, which also ends this month; I have one left to read, and I picked The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende as an alternate. So, with 17 days left until these challenges end....wish me luck, and finding a fan in the city!!! At least high humidity (it was near 40 c with the humidity, folks, and from 30 to 32 c just temperature) means I can sit in front of the fan and happily read, and not feel guilty about all the gardening etc needing to be done. So, I'm actually happy we had the humidity for that, but I am so enjoying today, back to normal late spring temperatures and it's not HOT.

Meanwhile, I did pick up some treasures at my daughter's school - they had their annual fund-raiser, called the 'Spring Fling', on Friday evening, which was our first time attending. A pony ride, police cruiser - for the lights and siren! my son adored it! - , some jumping and slides (the kind rented from fairs, all rubber), some skills contests, all for the kids to try (we adults paid for it, thus the 'fundraiser' part). And, best of all, a BOOK sale! By the time I got to the gymnasium, it was near the end of the fling, so while I was looking around, suddenly it was announced that you could fill a box for $3!! Well, that was fun! Here is what I found (mind you, the gym by this time was so hot that I was perspiring just standing looking at books, so this tells you how much I love books that I stayed there long enough to fill a box!) -
-Ulysses - James Joyce - what can I say? FINALLY!!!
- Goblins - Brian Froud - a pop-up book! Of actual goblins by Froud! cool, eh? (supposedly for the kids, but really for moi)
- War For the Oaks - Emma Bull - with the original cover that I first read it in, 20 years ago!!
- Chernevog - C.J.Cherryh - thanks to Nymeth for her reviews of these books, I was looking for this one and Rusalka. they're out of print, so this was a real find.
- Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi - Before they announced we could fill a box, it was $2 or $3 a book. This was one I saw several copies of, and thought ok, on to my TBR pile.
- The Once and Future King - T.H. White - again, another book out of print! I was so thrilled what I saw this one! One I've been meaning to read for years and years, and now I can.....so now my question is: do I join the Arthurian Challenge?? Already on the 1% challenge....
- Letters Home - Sylvia Plath ed by Aurelia Plath. I owned this book years ago, when I was in my Plath phase. Also, I wanted this book because she writes about her creative struggles, worries, and thoughts, and I wanted to compare how I find her thoughts now, versus when I was in my 20's reading this book. Plus, I've been writing over the years -and struggling, with being a mother and being creative - so I'm curious how much more I will understand/agree - or not- with Plath. It's a hard road, to be creative and find time to parent. Again, another author I had everything by, once, and gave away. I am learning so much these past few years on how much I will come back to books and authors I love, to reread again. So I still stand behind the meme I did (last post from last week), because I do go in circles. I might find new books/authors/genres to read, but books i love I will always come back to. And that's something I think really only age can teach. At least for me! Anyway, now I'm wondering where i can fit this book in one of my many on-going challenges. Maybe the Non-fiction five?
- Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card. Again, I'd read this and loved it, and then it got lost/given away over the years. time to reread! I so look forward to seeing if I love it as much this time round, especially as so many of you, Gentle Readers, have been reading it recently and have loved it.
- The Iron Daughter's Daughter - Michael Swanwick - I've been meaning to read this since it came out, and could not find a copy. It's also a World Fantasy nominee, so counts in the Awards Challenge (which I am choosing my categories to, still.) I am so excited! Oh, I wish there would be another fantasy challenge going on!
- One Writer's Beginnings - Eudora Welty - I read this about 15 years ago, and loved it. I had borrowed it from the library, and never got my own copy. So I was delighted to find this at the book sale! I love how she writes about her family, and about her writer's beginnings. (ok, so now, I have enough books for the Southern Challenge.....no, must not, cannot, will not finish any challenges if I keep doing this!!) A real treasure for me.
- Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny - one I'd read from the library again, but never had my own copy. I remember I really liked the story, though it is strange. I was really glad to get this.
-Tomorrow Midnight - Ray Bradbury - 'illustrated in comic book form' is what it says on the cover. But in paperback! I have never seen this one, so I was curious and opened it up. Lo and behold - 6 stories by him, told in comic book form! the six stories are written by him, and put into comic form by Albert Feldstein. Wow. And I love what Ray writes in his introduction to this volume: "One of the reasons we go into Space is to lose ourselves again, know magic, plumb mystery, ride high, be glorious, and have the heck frightened out of us. And we will be frightened not only by other worlds and creatures on those worlds, but by ourselves. We are still the greatest mystery and we shall spend several million more years trying to figure ourselves out." Who could resist picking this book up?
And that was my haul at Woodroffe Elementary Public School on Friday. For $3.

I have to go make strawberries and fresh whipped cream for my daughter before her bedtime. Strawberries and cream and books! I love summer!!

7 comments:

Table Talk said...

Summer seems to have been and gone here as well. We had a really hot weekend and beginning of the week, but we're back to cool, if not positively cold, again now and the outlook is for more of the same.
Your comments on Plath made me turn round and see if my copy of 'Letters Home' was still on the shelf or if I'd given it away after I read it. Like you, it's some time since that was and as it is still here I might get it down again as well. The Zelazny has been sitting in the TBR pile for far too long, I must drag that out as well.
I was really glad to have read 'Reading Lolita'. It isn't the best written book in the world, but it is a real eye-opener for those of us in West about the way in which conditions in Iran have changed over the last couple of decades. I shall be glad to hear what you think.

Eva said...

Looks like you had a bunch of fun with that box of books!

I'm crazy behind on everything too; I was under the weather most of the week, and I couldn't even read. :(

I'm reading Flannery O'Connor's letters right now, and I finished Jane Austen's a couple weeks ago. I think I could become mildly addicted to these collections! Right now, I'm eyeing The Mitfords, but that Plath sounds interesting too.

Nymeth said...

mmmmm, strawberries and cream :)

What great acquisitions! May you have more luck with Ulysses than I did :P And I hope you don't hate the Cherryh series, lol. I've realized that I'm in the minority when it comes to liking that one. I had no idea that The Once and Future King was out of print...such a great book. Enjoy all your reads!

DesLily said...

Ohhhh.. you can always toss the Goblins - Brian Froud my way!! hehehe.. that sounds neat!

Susan said...

table talk: it's been a strange summer all over, hasn't it? I keep thinking it's here, then it will cool down again.
I'm not sure I'll get to the Plath this year, but I'd like to.....so says she with 10 + challenges ongoing! maybe I can slip it into one of them (hee)
I'll get to Reading Lolita too, I never expected to find it there, so again have to reconsider some of the books on my challenges. But that's part of the fun, isn't it, suddenly finding books to read?! I am curious about this book, too.

eva: i read a biography of Jane Austen last year (Claire Tomalin's) - I loved it - and a book about the correspondence between Jane and her sister, which also showed artefacts from that time - dresses, food, houses, carriages, etc - that I read from the library in York and never managed to find since. i would really liked to have met Jane Austen, I think! what's Flannery O'connor's letters like?

nymeth: fresh organic strawberries and I whip the cream myself, so it's fresh :-) wanna come and have some?? we could discuss books.....

deslily: I'll try and get a photo of the book on my post, because it really is neat and one of a kind. sure makes me want to keep going to school and yard sales just to see whatever treasures I find!!!

Bybee said...

I went through a Plath phase, too. Letters Home is so wild because sweet chatty energetic "Sivvy" burbles on and on and seems so different from the author of The Bell Jar, "Daddy" and "Medusa". It really shows that Plath knew how to gear herself to an audience, even an audience of one.

DesLily said...

cool ! can't wait to see the photos of the book !..

There are ALWAYS treasures to be found at yard sales!!! lol