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Thursday, March 23, 2017

More Comfort Reading: Some of the Books that Fell on the Floor

I have been much in need of comfort reading. It is difficult to find the right book. I like cookbooks with a personal sensibility (Diana Kennedy, John Thorne, many others); I like reading organization books (though it would be better if I actually followed some of the recommendations); I like Diana Phipps (a frugal countess!). Fiction is hard. I don't like reading most best sellers, even those of higher brow (sorry Ann Patchett; I do like your essays on owning a bookstore and I love that you spoke about my favorite clothing shop UAL, which has a branch in Nashville). 

So to continue the list I started a few days ago: my efforts were interrupted by the falling down of a teetering pile. 

John Mcmcgahern: The Leavetaking (a book I bought at a library sale, had never heard of author---WONDERFUL)

Coln Toibin: The Master (a fictionalized bio of one of my faves--Henry James. The book has a creepy sense of repression, perhaps appropriate to its subject)

Somerset Maugham: The Painted Veil (We saw the film based on this. The book is ok, but I got bored and skipped a lot--a privilege of age. What is so great about Maugham??? Not feeling it)

Maugham again: The Razor's Edge. (See above)

Lily King: Euphoria (a loan from a colleague. She said "Don't give it back." OK, but I can hardly believe that the main female character would submit to....spoiler. Must find someone to give it to.)

Deneice Schofield: Confessions of an Organized Housewife. (A Mormon mom of 5 who is super-organized. Worst tip: chop suey recipe containing canned mushroom soup and bean sprouts. Best tip: use dish pans for easy and cheap shelf storage--genius).

More on the floor, alas. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

What is my Gift?

Thinking about retirement. The thing about frugal people. We don't fear retirement (TOOOOO MUCH) because if the stock market tanks, we can always be MORE frugal. Though, of course, we'd rather be less frugal. That's why I've been frugal all these years.

Reading/Literature: LOVE
Teaching literature: LIKE, sometimes a lot
Doing Academic things: not so much anymore

The only one I can't do in retirement is #2. And no, running book discussions at the library is NOT the same and, in fact, I don't like doing that.

One of my favorite things to teach is Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. One of my favorite lines in the play is this one:

What is yours to bestow is not yours to reserve.

Viola, disguised as Cesario, is urging Olivia to reciprocate Duke Orsino's love. The larger point is a Biblical one (from the Parable of the Talents): what is yours to give is not yours NOT to give.

You need to use your gifts.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Personal Bookshelf: Bedside Stack

Once again, I must note that this is no longer a blog about frugality, but a personal site for my musings about this and that. Older posts on frugality remain. Frugality is timeless!

From Roy Strong, "A Country Life": "The classification of a private library ought to reflect the structure of the owner's mind, and that inevitably changes over the years" (147).

That explains why this book (by the great scholar of Elizabethan portraiture among other things) is in a stack with Ferrante's "The Story of the Lost Child" (I cried to finish this series, but am also angry/annoyed at the cruelty of the ending--to readers?--and the cruelty shown by the narrator to her friend), Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" (comfort reading/comfort cooking in these stressful times), library copies of BOTH Marie Kondo books (which are spiritual at core), plus a bunch of others that have now fallen on the floor.