Mary Stewart Reading Week 2014 & Giveaway Winner

Mary Stewart Week Badge 2014

When Mary Stewart died in May I was terribly sad, but so grateful that she’s left us a legacy of charming, sophisticated, witty and intelligent suspense novels (and her Merlin series) to feast on for generations to come. I enjoyed last year’s Mary Stewart Reading Week so much and I thought it would be a wonderful tribute to Stewart to once again read her novels and celebrate her work during the week of her birthday. So, I invite you all to join me in reading Stewart’s fantastic novels from September 14 through the 21 of this year.

I’d also like to invite anyone who’d be interested in writing a guest post for the week to let me know. You can write about your discovery of Stewart’s novels, your favorite of her books, her heroines, anything you’d like. Please email me if you’re interested at gudrunstightsatgmaildotcom.

Thanks to my friend Charles for creating the badge again this year. Feel free to use it on your own blogs to let others know about the event.

I’m really looking forward to the week! I think it’s a great way to honor Stewart’s legacy. You can see all the posts from last year here.

The winner of a copy of The Mountain Lion is Michelle. Congratulations!

Have a beautiful Sunday.

Third Birthday Giveaway {Closed}

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The third birthday of Gudrun’s Tights was actually over two months ago, but I completely let it slip by. I admit that I have been a bad blogger lately, but I’m still here and I’m still reading and I still love the book blogging community. I had a bit of an upset this past week and was feeling really blue. It was the kind of heartache that consumes your existence and makes it hard to see the good things in life. On Friday night I was so, so sad and, in an effort to distract myself, I started reading blogs. And you know what? It worked! I began feeling like myself again. Just being reminded of the things I enjoy in life, the things I am passionate about, made all the difference. And from there I moved on to reading about the new Virginia Woolf exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and fantasizing about finding a way to make it to London before the exhibit closes. Yes, just back to my normal self. Of course, my heart is still bruised and slightly broken, but these things pass. Thank goodness literature (and people who talk and think about it) is here to sustain us during the hard times. Novels are truly better than any self-help book I’ve ever read.

mountain lion

One of my favorite books from last year was The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford. It is a powerful coming of age novel set in Colorado and has as a character one of my favorite young girl protagonists of all time. I think this novel deserves much more recognition than it gets and I’d love for everyone to read it, but for now I am giving away one copy of this hard edged, compelling story.

The giveaway is open to anyone from anywhere until Friday, July 18, at 11:59 pm, Pacific Time. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner next weekend  and also notify them by email.

To enter, please go to the entry form here.

Thank you all for reading and for being passionate and excited about books. You have enriched my life immensely.

Also – Mary Stewart Reading Week is still on the calendar for September 14-21. A badge will be coming next week sometime.

Have a great Sunday!

A Few Photos From My 4th of July

Last Friday I left home at 5 am to drive up to my grandparents’ house in Springerville, Arizona for Independence Day. I got to town right before the parade started, but I unfortunately didn’t get any good photos of the floats. I did take lots of pictures around the ranch, though, so here is a look at the family homestead. I’ll be back in a few days with a book-related post!

 

 

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New Arrivals

New Arrivals June 2014

I’ve been feeling a bit down lately – I’m blaming it on the heat – and nothing cheers me up more than buying new books. Here are a few I’ve acquired over the past month:

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger – I bought this at my local Barnes & Noble after finishing My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff.  I tried reading The Catcher in the Rye earlier this year and didn’t connect with it so I think starting with some of Salinger’s short stories might work better for me.

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh – I’ve checked a copy of this out of the library a few times and couldn’t bring myself to read it because it was grubby and smelly. Sometimes you just have to buy your own copy.

Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart – I bought this in anticipation of Mary Stewart Reading Week ( Sept. 14-22), but I might read it before then as I am looking for escape these days.

God on the Rocks by Jane Gardam – I read Claire’s post about Jane Gardam with curiosity and made a mental note to read her some day. While foraging at Half Price Books just a few weeks later I came across this novel and knew it was meant to be.

Mrs. Ames by E.F. Benson – I found this book on the same Half Price Books trip and, though I know nothing about it, it’s from Bloomsbury Group and by the Mapp & Lucia author. In my basket it went.

Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser – Our last book sale at the library was for half-off all paperbacks and this was included. Originally $1 I was able to buy it for only .50 during the sale. I couldn’t pass it up! I might read it for Paris in July.

What have you bought lately? Does buying books cheer you up?

Currently

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I haven’t had much time to blog lately, in fact I think this is the first time I’ve turned on my computer in almost a week. There hasn’t been anything major occupying my time, just the little tasks, chores and time-wasters of life that have eaten up my hours. And I’ve been reading a lot. I’ve entered an obsessive phase and can’t stop reading and reading about American women writers from the 30′s-60′s. Carson McCullers, Jean Stafford, Katherine Anne Porter, Shirley Jackson, Mary McCarthy, Sylvia Plath, etc. I’m reading their works and have printed out lots of academic articles from the databases at the library about their art and their lives. You’ll probably see more about them here in the future.

I also finished this month’s book group book, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, have almost finished My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff and am deliberating possibilities for Paris in July.

What are you obsessing over/reading this week?