Winter Reading

Happy 9th Day of Christmas! There are no ladies dancing - at least, not at my house. The weather is dreary, with a wintery mix of rain, sleet, and snow on the docket. We have been utterly lazy, and our sleep schedules are ruined. I am trying to get on top of things today.

Yesterday, I finished one more Christmasy book.

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories,
edited by Stephanie Perkins.
St. Martin's, 2014.

I highly recommend this book to fans of modern YA. There are some heavy-hitters here, including Holly Black, Ally Carter, and Rainbow Rowell. The stories focus on the winter holiday season, with romance involved, to varying extents. While not every story was memorable, they were all a worthy way to pass some time. I think my favorite was "Christmas, California" by Kiersten White. I don't think I've read anything else by her, and going by her blog, it looks as though her novels are paranormal romance, but this short story was different. The tales by Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, David Levithan, and Holly Black stood out, too.

I'm gearing up for my post-Christmas winter reading, too. Every year, our public library has an Adult Winter Reading Program, which I've only managed to participate in once. In 2013 and 2014, I was acting in plays that opened in February, and when I have lines to memorize, my reading slows down significantly. Alas, I have no plays on the horizon. Come February, it will have been one whole year since my last play, which makes me sad. Part of it is my availability, in that I won't audition for plays that run during Halloween or Christmas. Someday, my girls won't want to do fun family things with me, and maybe then I'll do holiday shows, but while they're young and still care, I want to be available. Unfortunately, whenever I have auditioned lately, it hasn't panned out. I'm crossing my fingers that I might get to do something this spring or summer.

Instead of feeling down, I'm looking at the bright side. I get to participate in the Adult Winter Reading Program this year!

This year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the old Carnegie library building downtown, the theme is "A Century of Reading." The website states: "Read or listen to five different books, in five different decades between 1915 and today (may be first published in, take place in, or be about the decade)." 

Over on Facebook, the Audrey Eclectic Read-Along group has decided to read Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm for January. I have a gorgeous copy of that book from a used book store, a Folio Society edition from 1977, with full-color illustrations by Quentin Blake!

This takes care of the 1930s. Cold Comfort Farm was first published in 1932. It didn't take long to decide on F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, published in 1920, for another selection. As you might be able to tell from my top photo, my copy of the book is just a cheap Dover Thrift Edition, not even as attractive as the one Dover currently has in print. I love The Great Gatsby and Fitzgerald's short stories. I've read The Beautiful and Damned and Tender is the Night. Yet despite my choice in wall decor...

I've never read This Side of Paradise. [I want that cover.]

For the 1940s, I ordered a new copy of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick. 

It's part of a new line called "Vintage Movie Classics: Novels that Inspired Great Films." The 1947 movie starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison is one of my all-time favorites.

I had to request my last two choices from the library. For the 1950s, I have decided to read Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis. For some reason, there is only one copy available at the library, and it's in storage! It looks to be an original 1950s edition, though...

I've wanted to read it for a long time, and I was just talking about the Rosalind Russell movie version with someone the other day.

I thought I owned the last book I chose, but if I do, I don't know where it is! My mother has pestered me to read Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle for years. I was sure I finally picked up a copy somewhere. Who knows? Perhaps it will turn up, but until then, I've requested the one copy at the library. That will take care of the 1960s.

If I want to be terribly ambitious, I can try to read 100 books in 2015, as part of the library's Century Book Club. While I did bump up my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 50, I think 100 might be out of my reach. Unless they started counting picture books...  [wink]

I still have Christmasy stuff to share this weekend. Are you tired of me yet?  Stay tuned!

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  1. I still haven't finished My True Love Gave to Me, but I do love it so far. I 've never participated in a reading program, but now I want to! It sounds fun! Your book choices look great, I haven't read any of them but yeah, maybe it's about time for me too to read some grownup books -my sister has the Shirley Jackson book but I haven't read it yet. I think this reading challenge might be the one for me: But I checked out the Audrey Eclectic Group you mentioned and it looks great too. I wonder if I could join. Anyway, reading challenges are great!
    I love that you still post about Christmasy stuff. Never tired of you!! :)

    1. You are so very sweet! The Audrey Eclectic group is very loose and friendly. I haven't read along with anything until now, because I'd read everything previously, and had other things that needed reading. (Of course, when the group read A Wrinkle in Time, I discussed stuff anyway.) I joined a real-life book club, too, but I've only been able to make it to one meeting. The book was The CasuL Vacancy, which I loved. I'm so self-conscious, and shy to share my opinions at times. Funny quality in a book blogger, but that's me!


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