I received a phone call three weeks ago. "Your date for surgery is Feb 14," the secretary said. Feb 14! Ever since then, I've been feeling anxiety build. I've been reading much less, and cleaning more. Cleaning! The floors are sparkling, the windows are clean (on the one warm weekend day we had since New Year's), and tonight the stove top is shining. I wish I could settle and read, but I'm not able to. It's gall bladder surgery, so not super serious, but still - any abdominal surgery is a frightening prospect.
I haven't bought many books, surprisingly, for my recovery. I still have a stack of mysteries, biographies, and assorted science fiction and fantasy to read - a huge towering pile, to be honest. So I didn't want to buy a lot. However, there was absolutely no way I was facing surgery without something sparkling and brand new to cheer me up when I get home from the hospital. With any luck it will be day surgery only, and I will be in and out the same day. I will be on pain meds for the first several days after, and not able to do much. What better than to have a stack of dvds ready to hand, and, even better, new books to read that are so new that I am still at the 'picking up and admiring that they are mine ' stage still?
Reading the Pre-Raphaelites by Tim Barringer was a splurge at the National Gallery of Art, the first book bought to cheer me up, two weeks ago. It has some lovely paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites that I have never seen before. Along with that, I found to my wondering gaze that our Art Gallery also had a book on the Tate paintings, Introducing the Pre-Raphaelites by Jason Rosenfeld.
This has larger pictures of paintings, plus houses, photographs, and a bit on the lives of the Pre-Raphaelites. I have been hard-pressed to not sneak more than a glance at these books since they came home, but I have promised myself they are for my recovery, so they are mostly unread still. At the least, if I am very uncomfortable, I can just gaze at the art and forget where I am for a little while.
I also found at the Art Gallery a little book on the life of Charlotte Bronte for $6.99: The British Library writer's lives: Charlotte Bronte, by Jane Sellars.
Again this is mostly a photograph book of places she lived and a brief history of her life. I love Yorkshire and miss it very much, and the pictures in this book will go a long way to soothing me and bring up memories for me. I went to Haworth when I lived in England in 2000. I loved seeing the village and the house where Charlotte and her sisters grew up and lived on and off as adults. Seeing that bleak and wild beauty that Yorkshire is famous for, helped me understand how the sisters could write such wild passionate books. So even though not a big book, I think it will help soothe me over the coming days.
I did buy two other books last Friday, two mysteries. I was out with one of my friends from work, and she was raving about a new-to-us series by a Canadian writer she had just found out about from another co-worker.
So I bought one of Ian Hamilton's books, The Water Rat of Wanchai, the first one in the Ava Lee series. She is supposed to be a little like Lucy Liu, and is a forensic accountant. It looks like great fun, and she gets to travel all over the world, so even though I will be house-bound for the first week or more, I can still go places in my books.
The other book I bought was one that I'd been thinking about for a couple of weeks: Now You See Me, by S.J. Bolton. I heard that S.J. Bolton's first Lacey Flint mystery features a copycat killer to Jack the Ripper, and is very good according to Kay at Purple Sage and Scorpions, here. Since her review of SJ Bolton, I have read Blood Harvest, and been looking and thinking about Now You See Me.
I broke down and bought it, because so far every book I've read by
Bolton has been intriguing, absorbing, a bit thrilling, mysterious, and
with good characters. I'm really looking forward to this in the next couple
Jack the Ripper seems to be making a come back in the past few years - Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star is an eerie take on the history - I first mention it here., still have to do a review. (I feel very badly about this, the book is very good!). 'Ripper Street' on tv is a new show from the UK set in Whitechapel the year after Jack the Ripper killed his victims. I am enjoying it.
So, there you have it. I broke the Double Dare Challenge, as the surgery date was so unexpected. I thought it would be much later in the year. I do intend to keep to this challenge in the weeks around the surgery/recovery period, but for two weeks while I recover, I think that sparkly new books are just the thing this bookworm needs to recover. Don't you?
Have you read any of these? Can you recommend anything for the next few weeks? I will let you know that all went well as soon as I can after Thursday.