Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Birthday Books

      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?


Chris said...

Awww happy belated birthday Susan :D and congrats on the cell phone :D I'm a huge Mary Oliver fan too!! There's a poet named Marie Howe that wrote a collection called What the Living Do about a brother that died of AIDS that for some reason reminded me quite a bit of Mary Oliver..I have no clue why…her poetry had nothing to do with Oliver's normal subject matter..maybe it was the style of poetry? Anyway, I think you'd enjoy it! Enjoy your birthday goodies :)

Nymeth said...

Ooooh I want the new Tim Powers SO badly! How did I miss that it was out?

Enjoy your birthday books! I haven't read any of them, though I did read a couple of different Mary Oliver books thanks to you and Debi. Sounds like you have some excellent reading ahead of you.

Cath said...

Glad you had such a wonderful birthday, Susan. That's a nice box of books! I have a mobile phone but hardly ever use it so that puts me somewhere back in the stone-age too! LOL.

Jeane said...

I'm smiling because I'm like you. It took me forever to get a cell phone, and now my husband bugs me about it because I still have the same old-school cell phone I've had for five years, when everyone around me has smart phones. I also listened to cassette tapes long after all my sister had moved on to cd collections, and now that I only have cds for music the rest of the world has apps on all their gadgets for their listening pleasure. I'll never catch up with technology, ha ha!

Stefanie said...

Happy Birthday! It sounds like you had a wonderful day and wow, all those books!

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a good birthday! You will laugh when I tell you I read your post while travelling on the District Line this evening!

Susan said...

HI Chris: I'm so sorry that I missed your birthday again on Facebook! I should just leave my computer on for the month of May, between you, me, my sister, brother-in-law, Cath Read-Warbler), and tons of co-workers, this is like birthday month for me! lol Happy late birthday to you too, Chris.

I remember you talking about Marie Howe in a recent post, so I've already added her to my books to look for soon :-) thanks!

Nymeth: Our Chapters store had the new one for about one week, and no other copies since! I am getting ready to place my order just to make sure I get a copy! I'm really enjoying my reread too of Stress of Her Regard. I wondered if you had read it, since it features the Romantic poets :-)

Cath: Thank you, I hope you had a wonderful birthday too! I was off the computer for about a week, life stuff, so I'll come see if you got any birthday goodies too :-)

Jeane: what are smart phones? My friend in Texas asked me if that's what my cell phone is, and I have no idea! I press buttons and it works! lol I am happy with my cds too, I hope they never go out style, I hate having what feels like virtual music - nothing to hang on to, and it doesn't seem real, does it? I will never catch up either with technology! lol

Stefanie: thank you! I am hoping to get back to reading as soon as the lure of cell phone technology wears off! I just learned to text tonight :-)

bride: I am laughing!! lol that is so cool! I love it :-) Have you read the poem Heaney wrote about the District and Circle Line? I enjoyed it very much, it brought back memories of the Tube, and is a different way of seeing it.

Aarti said...

Happy birthday! I didn't know Powers had a new sequel to The Stress of Her Regard out. I actually own The Stress of Her Regard but haven't read it yet- I didn't fall in love with the Powers book I have read (The Drawing of the Dark), and so I am not sure I want to try Stress of Her Regard. I have On Stranger Tides, too. I should read at least one of those!

Ian MacDonald is another author I have big plans to read one day :-)

Bybee said...

I love what you got in the way of poetry. Congratulations on the cell phone! Happy Birthday...you're just a baby, BTW!

Kailana said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday! Enjoy your new books. :)

Nan said...

A belated happy birthday to you!!

DesLily said...

Glad your birthday was so lucritive! I am still in the stone age (no cell phone) and plan to stay that way. I really have come to detest them and the fact that everyone can't put them down and never lives in the "now" time of where they are, what they are doing or who they are with. For all intent and purposes the cell phone was made for it was wonderful.. then it got abused and misused so they can keep it. But I am glad if you like yours because being happy is most important present of all!!!!

DesLily said...

p.s. oh but I am up to date on my computer with windows 7 and it's a 23 inch touch screen (don't ask if I touch it because I don't lol tooooo mouse oriented)

Debi said...

Happy very belated birthday, Susan!!! Sounds like it was a winner! :D Though you may have just left me as the lone non-owner-of-a-cell-phone...guess I'm even unhipper than you, huh? ;)

Susan said...

Aarti: The Drawing of the Dark was one of his early books. Stress of Her Regard is much better, and On Stranger Tides is so much fun! They are both far better than Drawing of the Dark, in case you do want to give Powers a try. I'm enjoying my reread of Stress of Her Regard very much right now. Thank you for the birthday wishes!

Bybee: Thanks, book twin!! for the wishes, saying I'm a baby still, and for the poetry book love :-)

Kailana: Thank you for the wishes! I did. I'm playing the jewel blitz game far too much, though.....

Nan: thank you for the birthday wishes!

Deslily: believe it or not, I'm with you on the using the cell phone too much! I'm amazed at all I can do, like download right off the web (or go to the Internet), and it has everything - I really wanted one just for phone calls! I am afraid of going over my plan, too. I'm such a newbie at it! I love making phone calls from it though, that is fun :-)

Thank you for the birthday wishes too :-)

You and Debi below are now in the no-cell phone group....there are a number of you out there, don't worry about it! lol

Debi: you and Pat are now part of a select group! lol you can be cool and unhip at the same time, I know, because I think I run this club! lol

thanks for the birthday wishes, Debi :-)

JaneGS said...

Happy birthday! What a wonderful set of books. I have a book of literary landmarks too and really enjoy browsing it and using it as a reference.

Love Cranford--I rewatched it not long ago and it just doesn't get old.

Susan said...

Jane: thanks so much for the wishes! I am hoping to watch Cranford this weekend. It is very enjoyable. I watched it because of your post you know, a while back when you had rewatched it! lol Now to read the book at some point :-)

Kathleen said...

Happy Belated Birthday Susan! Sounds like you had a wonderful day!

Susan said...

Kathleen: Thank you so much! I did have a wonderful day. :-)