It was my birthday on Sunday. My family surprised me by taking me out to the mall, and saying my birthday present was a new cell phone, of my choice!!!! The biggest surprise ever, as I have never owned one before, though I have been looking at them for a while. I am now living just after the Iron Age according to my 23 year old son,as between the new laptop and a cellphone, I have leapt light-years ahead from being in the Stone Age before. Now if I can just figure out how to get music on my phone, and how to text, I'll be the hippest just turned 49-year-old ever. (Sadly, I know that last phrase 'hippest' dates me, and I've lost many cool points with that. Sigh)
At the end of the day, I realized that I was the lucky recipient of the new cell phone, Cranford on dvd (I'd already seen it this winter from the library and really enjoyed it, so am thrilled to have my very own copy of this very sweet BBC comedy-drama of village life by Elizabeth Gaskell). And two wonderful book tokens for Amazon so I can do some book shopping shortly. Then, this morning, I remembered - I had been making a box of books for my birthday! So my ex-partner brought down the books, and here are
Susan's Books to celebrate my birthday:
-The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin (Malcolm Fox #2......first book was very good, so I was so happy to see this in paperback so soon)
- Novel Destinations - Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon (subtitles "Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West", who could resist this?)
- The Bibliophile's Devotional - Hallie Ephron (subtitled, "365 days of Literary Classics". This is to remind me of how many great books are out there that I still have not read!)
- Why I Wake Early - Mary Oliver (my favourite poet, I am collecting all her books now. I love this title poem also. She is my heroine and guide when it come to writing as clearly as possible, to say exactly what I mean and not waste language if it's not needed)
- District and Circle - Seamus Heaney (another poetry book, how could I resist one that features a subway line that I've ridden on? His use of language and words is rich and fills my mouth - alliteration abounds (I know! bad me!), and the poems delve into the meaning of things - I could write this in all literary terms, but really, these poems have depth and they are about every day life in England, and they teach me about using language. Remarkable)
- The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni - this has been on my wishlist for almost a decade. I love her speech patterns, her poems are like she is talking directly to us, and she is wry and funny and moving and bitter and wistful and even loving in them.
- A Train in Winter - Caroline Moorehead (another subtitled book: "An extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship and Survival in World War 2. I had to get this as soon as I saw this. It's about a group of women who were resistance fighters in WW2, who were rounded up in the detention camps and sent to Auschwitz - and how they tried to support one another and keep each other alive during the trip and in the camps. Only one train during one trip, took the 230 women to the death camps during the 4 year war, hence the title. It was the only time women of the Resistance from France were sent. The book explores why they joined the Resistance, and how they helped one another. A must-read, for me)
Now, to be honest, my birthday list I gave to my family did have many books listed on it, so I was careful not to pick any up for the box. Dervish House by Ian MacDonald is top of the list, as is Tim Power's new book, Hide Me Among The Graves, the sequel to The Stress of Her Regard,which I am rereading now to refresh my memory as I read it many years ago. I'm also waiting for Artur Erlandur's Outrage to come out in softcover. I don't think I will have any difficulty using my book tokens, do you?