In the High Peaks

Friday, December 29, 2017

Am I Ready for Reading in the New Year? Oh, Gosh!

Actually, I have made a list of reading intentions for the New Year--particularly the beginning of the New Year. I have quite a towering TBR pile of books I've accumulated in the past few months.

I want to read The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown. I greatly admire her and have for many decades. And I think I admire her most for how breathtakingly vital she made The New Yorker while she was editor, in the years preceding her tenure at Vanity Fair. After she left, The New Yorker retrenched and eventually hired the throwback David Remnick as editor in 1998, who absolutely REFUSES TO HIRE women  journalists to do any investigative journalism for his precious magazine. He publishes the occasional woman writer's short story or poem, but no serious journalism. Personally, I don't think it helps The New Yorker's circulation. Circulation was very high when Tina Brown was editor. Sorry, David. You belong to the 1950s. And so does The New Yorker's circulation. How sad for such a historically prestigious magazine. How difficult for David Remnick to realize--women buy magazines, too.

In other reading, I'm investigating historical climatology--the effect of climate, especially climate change, on historical events and epochs. Has this ever been a fascinating line of research for me this week! I'm particularly interested in the climate of The Little Ice Age, which lasted from the 1500s through the 1700s. Fascinating, but deep reading. I'm especially interested in the effect of climate on  the settlement of New England in the 1600s. Wow...

For pleasure, I'm still reading Elin Hilderbrand's Winter Solstice, the fourth and final volume in her Quinn Family or Winter Street Inn Nantucket novels. Oh, gosh!! I have followed this series, book by book, and it's very, very good.   ***It looks as though my current proclivity for lighter reads of fiction is still very much with me. And I only have POTUS to thank, really, for making me see how important it is to nurture one's soul very, very well when all hell is breaking loose in this country. Thank you, to all my readers, for allowing me to be frank.



  1. It's good to see you posting again, Judith! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday and are surviving all this cold and snow.

    I read Winter Solstice over Thanksgiving. Loved every moment spent with the Quinn family. The series is a little lighter than what I usually read, but all four books made my holidays more enjoyable - I read the first three last year between Christmas and New Year. Have you read any of Hilderbrand's other books? I may have to give them a try.

    I look forward to following your reading journey in 2018. I'll probably continue reading more nonfiction (that sure helped my 2017 reading slumps) along with my usual diet of classics and literary fiction. Happy New Year!

    1. Hi JoAnn,
      I'm so sorry to be so late in my writing a response!
      I've got 90 pages to go in Winter Solstice, the fourth Quinn novel. I have read a couple of other of Elin Hilderbrand's novels but none recently. I liked her Quinn Family series better than the others I've read, but I must qualify that by saying that I haven't read any of Hilderbrand's other books in at least 7 years.

      I plan to read another, perhaps this summer when I'm dreaming of Nantucket.
      Ken and I spent four days there about a year or two after we got married. We visited, then, around 1988. Enjoyed it, but we both would like to say that we enjoyed our Martha's Vineyard trip in the 1990s much more.
      I think that even back then, the Nantucket wealth and snooty factor was a bit too precious for our tastes.
      I visited Nantucket as a teen two times. And thoroughly enjoyed it--time frame early 1970s.

    2. Judith - I picked up a copy of Hilderbrand's The Island at a library book sale and may give that a try sometime this year, but expectations are not high. I'd much prefer a visit to Martha's Vinyeard (have never been there)... maybe this summer.

    3. Hi JoAnn,
      Yes! I think you would thoroughly enjoy a trip to Martha's Vineyard. What a treat! If you're able to avoid the "high season," I would suggest visiting during the first half of June or anytime in September or early October. It is so insanely! crazy busy there in the high season that it makes it very difficult to tour around and see the island.

  2. I'm on the wait list for Winter Storms--yes, these are not my usual fare, but viva la difference. Loving this series. I'm not sure I want to read Hilderbrand outside of the Winter series, but this series is working for me.

    Happy New Year and happy reading!

    1. Hi Jane,
      Ah, so you've read the first two, Winter Street and Winter Stroll. I must say that the first two books were full-throttle pleasure. I must go back and read them again. I'll be interested to hear how you like Winter Storms.

      And a very Happy New Year to you and a bounteous year full of stellar reads!

  3. Judith....I need something to "nurture my soul" because of POTUS :(

    Happy New Year

    1. Diane,
      I think many people do!
      Reading has always been a balm for me, and I just need to keep finding and searching for the books to invigorate and stimulate on the one hand, and comfort and soothe on the other.
      I wish you some great reading in 2018!