Mary Stewart Reading Week – Two Weeks from Today

Mary Stewart Week Badge 2014

In just two weeks the second annual Mary Stewart Reading Week will kick-off here at Gudrun’s Tights. It seems so long ago that I decided to host this event again in honor of Lady Stewart’s memory so I can’t believe that the week is nearly upon us. I envision the event working much the same as last year, but I’ll let you all know if there are any changes.

msrw14

I haven’t quite decided yet what I’ll read and post about during the week. I really would like to try The Ivy Tree and possibly This Rough Magic and maybe even Rose Cottage too. Do you have any idea what you’ll read that week?

Have a great Sunday!

New Arrivals

I’ve had a very relaxing weekend with a stroll through a large and mesmerizing antique store and dinner with a friend on Saturday and doing absolutely nothing but try to read and lounge around the house today.

Despite being in a massive reading slump I have still bought books, maybe in the hope that I would be inspired to actually read one of them. Here are my recent arrivals:

Ladies of Lyndon

 

The Ladies of Lyndon by Margaret Kennedy – I bought this shortly after learning about the Margaret Kennedy Reading Week coming in October. I’ve never read Margaret Kennedy and I am looking forward to experiencing her work for the first time.

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust – I’ve never thought I wanted to read this before, but Mimi Thorisson, a woman I highly admire, wrote about it on her blog a while ago and she made it sound enchanting and something I now must read.

Here Be Dragons

 

The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen - Another addition to my Elizabeth Bowen collection.

Here Be Dragons by Stella Gibbons – I’m still reading and liking Westwood and I know I will want to read another of her novels at some point so I snatched this one up. Don’t you love the cover?

Mrs. Bridge

 

Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge by Evan S. Connell – I’ve always heard wonderful things about these two novels so I couldn’t pass them up when I saw them in my library’s used book sale.

What have you purchased lately?

Mary Stewart Reading Week starts just three weeks from today!

Forest Lakes

pine trees

I spent this past weekend at a friend’s cabin in Forest Lakes, Arizona. Forest Lakes is about 2 1/2 hours northeast of Phoenix and is a favorite area for many desert dwellers to take refuge from the heat in the cool mountain air. When we arrived on Friday morning it was rainy and so chilly that we lit a fire and put on our sweaters – a complete opposite of the stifling heat and humidity we had left behind at home.

The weekend was completely relaxed, especially as I had no phone or Internet service for the entirety of the stay. At first I felt a bit anxious about being disconnected from the world, but it really didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would and I enjoyed the sense of isolation. We hunted for geodes, which litter the ground around the cabin, took walks on the mountain roads, played darts, talked and, of course, read. I managed to finish my first book in over a month while there (March by Geraldine Brooks).

On Sunday afternoon we drove to Willow Springs Lake, about 15 miles from the cabin, and I took photos and read while my friends fished. They caught a few trout and a sunfish before storm clouds rolled in and we went back to the cabin for lunch before packing up and heading back to Phoenix.

Following are a few photos from the weekend:

cabin smoke

Smoke from the chimney.

crystal geode

Crystal geode.

 

mountain road

Our walking path.

yellow stalks

There were gorgeous wildflowers everywhere.

willow springs lake

Willow Springs Lake.

Mistie and J

My friend’s dog watching the fishing.

fishing boat

The fish were biting for everyone.

I hope you all had a great weekend too. What are you reading this week?

 

Spinning in the Summer

016

I hadn’t intended to participate in the Classics Club Spin this time around, but I think it might be just what I need. I don’t really have a Classics Club list any longer so I just looked around my shelves and chose books that I think I would like to read over the next three months. I even included some chunksters like Anna Karenina and Middlemarch to keep things interesting. I truly hope I return to normal soon and joining the Classics Club Spin is part of the effort to bring back my usual passion for reading and blogging. Here is my list:

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
  3. The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes
  4. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  5. The Echoing Grove by Rosamond Lehmann
  6. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West
  7. The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton
  8. Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark
  9. Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers
  10. The Cranford Chronicles by Elizabeth Gaskell
  11. The Custom of the Country – Edith Wharton
  12. The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdanov
  13. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  14. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  15. Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden
  16. South Riding by Winifred Holtby
  17. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  18. Mrs. Ames by E.F. Benson
  19. The Sleeping Beauty by Elizabeth Taylor
  20. Because of the Lockwoods by Dorothy Whipple

I’m secretly hoping for #3, 8 or 20. If you’re participating in the spin I hope you get something wonderful tomorrow.

Cover Collection: Emma

1. Penguin Threads // 2. Pocket Penguin Classics // 3. Vintage Classics

4. Headline Review // 5. Everyman’s Library Classics // 6. Oxford World’s Classics

I’m slowly reading Emma, or trying to, as I am in the most major, epic reading funk of my life. I would say I’m probably in a life funk as well. I’m trying to shake it, but I could definitely use some of Emma’s confidence and self-assurance right now. I think I like #1 best out of these covers. Which one appeals to you? And do you have any strategies for getting out of a rut?