In the High Peaks

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Coming Up: Titles I'm Banking On

What I'm reading now: Broken Harbor by Tana French, a book that is on many of the "Best of 2012" lists. I'm progressing slowly because I have so many other things I'm supposed to do this week. As of this morning I'm finally starting to make some progress with it. I have found the beginning to be slow going and the book is about 430 pages with a small font. It's a detective/mystery set on the east coast of Ireland, north of Dublin. I do like it, though I don't find Detective Kennedy all that original. The plot is intriguing, though.

Lots of snow has fallen in the past 24 hours to cover the 8 inches we already had. Very nice.

Christmas was very pleasant--a dinner with the friends I care about the most. Anne cooked a splendidly moist turkey with homemade stuffing, Evelyn brought her cranberry sauce made from the wild cranberries from a wilder Adirondack lake that she gathered by boat, roasted root vegetables from Noel's organic garden, mashed potatoes, salad, and many varieties of Anne's homemade Christmas cookies.

This week I'm guiding nature snowshoe hikes at Garnet Hill Lodge in North River. Lots of fun and a bit of extra money.

The final day of my semester break is Tuesday, January 22, and it feels today as though it is around the corner.

I will reveal more reading plans soon!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Reading and Winter Break Intentions

So far my Christmas-related reading has gone bust. Every title I try seems trite and stupid. Actually, my beleagured mind could benefit from a trite and stupid read at this point, because I am unutterably exhausted, but these books are not doing the trick! I'm in desperate need--if you have a title to suggest, please do!

I'm still reading bits at a time of Paul Auster's Winter Journal and am still enjoying it immensely.

I have once again misplaced my Kindle. Who knows where it is now? I have not a clue why this happens to the Kindle. It is a very slim tablet, it's true. My Nook is available, however.

I am rereading the following American children's book classics to be prepared for my students' final exam: The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, and The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.

I highly recommend the first three titles for adults. I guarantee you will enjoy them and they're all quick, though deep reads. They all won the Newbery Medal and are absolutely outstanding American classics.

On my break from teaching, even though I'm going to be working guiding winter nature trips, I want to read the following books: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (one of my favorite American authors) and Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, who is another favorite author of mine. I am so in tune with his sensibility that I'm never, never disappointed by anything he writes.

HOPES FOR 2013: I do want to make reading books a priority again.

I have classes through Dec. 13th. Then loads of papers and exams to grade. Oy!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Books: Please Help Me Compile a Grand List!

Do you have favorite books either set in the month of December or with a Christmas or New Year's theme? I'm encouraging all readers to think of a book or two or maybe nine that they consider their all time favorites set in early winter, during the winter solstice, at Christmas or New Year's, or in just plain old December.

My confession: I have been collecting books with these settings and themes for decades. Yet some of my favorites are not yet in my personal library.

This month I'll revisit as many as I have time for and hope that you'll add several of your own. Please do!

In the Bleak Midwinter, a crime novel, by Julia Spencer-Fleming, set in the so-called Adirondack foothills. First-rate and her series debut.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher.  True confession time: This is the only book of Pilcher's I've read and I loved every delicious minute, though I'm embarrassed to say so. A superb December comfort read! I listened to the audiobook, read by Lynn Redgrave, which is a masterpiece of audio narration.