Sunday Bulletin – November 30

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I had a great Thanksgiving with my family on Thursday. I hadn’t seen a few of my siblings (I have 5) for a couple of months so it was good to catch up with them and to spend time with my nieces and nephews. My mom asked me to bring a dessert so I made a pumpkin pie crumble (pictured above) that I saw on Miranda’s Notebook. I am not a fan of traditional pumpkin pie so this seemed a perfect alternative. It was a big hit with my family and I look forward to making it again soon.

A few weeks ago I chose to go on a social media fast. I’ve given up Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Instagram until the new year when I’ll reevaluate if and how I want to continue with these sites. The reasons I’ve chosen to avoid them for a while are complex, but it is mostly because they are a huge time suck and I was unhappy with the level of narcissism and attention seeking (mostly on Facebook and none of you, of course) that people just can’t help but exhibit on such a public forum. I do still have to go on Facebook occasionally as I help out with my library’s FB page and I have also logged on to Twitter and Instagram out of habit. But for the most part I’ve avoided them and I am somewhat surprised at how little I miss social media. I thought it would be supremely hard to stay away, but it has honestly been nice to keep to myself except for LibraryThing and blogging, which I seem to enjoy more now that I am off of social media. Funny.  How do you feel about social networking?

Books finished this week:

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel – After my fourth try with this sequel to Wolf Hall, I almost thought that this book was just not meant to be for me. With a weary heart I considered giving my copy away to the library book sale, but reluctantly decided to give it another go before escorting it out of my house. And the fifth time was the charm. I finally got past the somewhat slow start and really fell into the story of Henry VIII’s desire to rid himself of La Ana and Thomas Cromwell’s efforts to make that happen. Once again, Mantel works her magic and makes this familiar story feel real and immediate, though we all know how it ends. I don’t think it was quite as cohesive as Wolf Hall – it stuttered several times and almost crumbled into implausibility at a few points, but the overall effect was stunning and left me wanting more of Thomas Cromwell. I shall look forward to the third and final installment in the series, which I’ve heard will be published in 2016.

I did break my Twitter fast yesterday to tweet about being on Simon’s ‘My Life in Books‘ series because it was so darn exciting. I enjoyed having to think about the books that have influenced my reading tastes over the years – after sending off the email I realized I have a slight fondness for over-the-top drama and stubborn female characters!

I was saddened to hear of the death of P.D. James. She was one of the first mystery authors that I loved and I’ve read many of her Adam Dalgliesh novels. My favorite of her novels, however, are her two Cordelia Gray mysteries, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull Beneath the Skin. I’ve read both of them a few times and they are just astonishingly good. I highly recommend them.

On my next trip to England I want to go here.

Have a great Sunday!

25 comments / Add your comment below

  1. It was lovely to see you on ‘My Life in Books’.

    I read Wolf Hall in a bit of a rush, because it was a library copy and there was a queue of people waiting. Fortunately I knew the history and I did enjoy it, but I’ve decided to wait for the final book now so that I can read the whole thing from start to finish in one run.

    1. That is a good idea – to read the Mantel books all in one go. I did forget some things that we learn about Cromwell in Wolf Hall and had to catch up a bit in Bring Up the Bodies. That is always the sadness of reading a series for me.

  2. I am not a fan of pumpkin pie either, but I do like a pumpkin roll cake that a co-worker made, and she was kind enough to share the recipe. Your crumble looks delicious!

    I am not on Facebook or Instagram, but I decided recently I was spending too much time on Twitter. There are so many interesting people out there! I decided through that I want to focus on book and blogging people, so I have pruned down the list of people I’m following.

    1. Pumpkin roll cake sounds delicious, too!
      Twitter is so addicting, isn’t it? Before I went on my fast, I also pared down the people I follow. It’s just too overwhelming otherwise. I will probably return in January because I enjoy interacting with bloggers on Twitter, but I’m enjoying staying away for now.

  3. I had a massive purge of facebook ‘friends’ recently, and I only have very close friends and family members now. It feels amazing as I can keep up to date with their news/photos without being exposed to people advertising their wonderful lives!
    Glad you had a good thanksgiving, and your desert looks yummy 🙂

  4. My Life in Books is so much fun! How lovely that you were chosen to participate. Regarding social media, I do use Facebook to a certain extent since like Sam I appreciate the chance to keep up with friends and family I wouldn’t hear from otherwise. If I lose interest in someone’s posts I just hide them. I just could never get into Twitter or Instagram, and use Goodreads basically only to keep track of my TBR list. That’s plenty for me! It’s a good idea to take time to figure out what works for you.

    1. I’ve hidden people on Facebook in the past, but I still just find it all so braggy and annoying. It’s probably me just being cranky, but I don’t see myself returning. I’ve already let my family and friends know to text or call me to get in touch and it feels more natural somehow.

  5. I loved Bring Up the Bodies, though I think Wolf Hall was my favourite of the two. I’m looking forward to the third book now as well. I’m glad your crumble was a success – it looks lovely!

  6. I don’t even know why I ended up joining Facebook but I never do anything on it as I just don’t see the need for it, of course as you know I don’t even have a mobile phone. I’m on Goodreads to keep track of my books too. Wolf Hall is being dramatised soon on TV, and I’m with you on Lamb House, I want to go to Rye full stop!

  7. I hang onto Facebook mainly because it’s how I interact with a lot of my extended family, the ones who live far away. If it weren’t for them, I’d ditch it immediately. It’s not a crucial part of my life. Twitter, I love; I’d be sad to give up Twitter.

    1. I do miss seeing what various cousins are up to, but I am in phone contact with most of my very closest cousins so I don’t miss it too much. I also love Twitter and I’m pretty sure that I’ll return in January.

  8. I used to have Facebook but I deleted it a year or so ago, and haven’t missed it. I do no social networking now. I prefer to contact close friends and family by phone or in person. I am really pleased to hear you had a nice Thanksgiving and everyone enjoyed your pudding. I love a good crumble 🙂

  9. I enjoyed Bring Up the Bodies very much and saw the play when I was in London in September. Both Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies have been made into plays. I agree with you about social media, it is a time eater. I mostly stick to blogging and occasional instagram, The pumpkin crumble looks delicious. I also was saddened to hear about P.D. James. She was a great mystery writer who created one of the most memorable characters in Dagleish — a detective with the soul of a poet.

  10. Glad you had a good Thanksgiving, it must have been quite an event with that many people 🙂 In fairness I never really used Facebook to begin with but there were too many changes that meant it didn’t have much value. I do like Twitter though. Fifth time lucky is pretty awesome – I admire that you gave it so many tries!

  11. Reading blogs (only about 12 on a regular basis) is as social media as I get. We don’t have to be everywhere all the time telling everyone what we are doing.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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