NYTBR Holiday Books Issue (2013)

Did self ever mention how humongous her PILE OF STUFF is? LOL. Self has no clue how it got that big.

Nevertheless, she is making inroads.

Today, she finally gets to the huge December 2013 issue of The New York Times Book Review.

It is, naturally, full of reviews of interesting books self wants to add to her reading list. And it has the annual “100 Notable Books List.” A couple of selections from that list:


  1. Bleeding Edge, by Thomas Pynchon (Penguin, $28.95)
  2. The Color Master: Stories, by Aimee Bender (Doubleday, $25.95)
  3. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra (Hogarth, $26)
  4. Dirty Love, by Andre Dubus III (Norton, $25.95)
  5. Duplex, by Kathryn Davis (Graywolf, $24)
  6. The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride (Riverhead, $27.95)
  7. The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, by Andrew Sean Greer (Ecco/HarperCollins, $26.99)
  8. The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton (Little, Brown, $27)
  9. A Marker to Measure Drift, by Alexander Maksik (Knopf, $24.95)
  10. Submergence, by J. M. Ledgard (Coffee House, $15.95)
  11. Want Not, by Jonathan Miles (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26)
  12. Woke Up Lonely, by Fiona Maazel (Graywolf, $26)


  1. The Barbarous Years, The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600 – 1675, by Bernard Bailyn (Knopf, $35)
  2. The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood, by Roger Rosenblatt (Ecco/HarperCollins, $19.99)
  3. The Faraway Nearby, by Rebecca Solnit (Viking, $25.95)
  4. Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, by Sheri Fink (Crown, $27)
  5. A House in the Sky, by Amanda Lindhout (Scribner, $27)
  6. Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, by Katy Butler (Scribner, $25)
  7. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, by Robert Kolker (Harper, $25.99)
  8. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures, by Mary Ruefle (Wave Books, $25)
  9. Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance, by Carla Kaplan (Harper, $28.99)
  10. Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26)
  11. This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital, by Mark Leibovich (Blue Rider, $27.95)
  12. Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala (Knopf, $24)

There’s also:

  • The Most of Nora Ephron, a collection of her essays (Knopf, $35)
  • A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York, by Anjelica Huston (Scribner, $25)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Yellow 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self is really enjoying this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge:  YELLOW.

At first she thought it was rather a strange prompt. But after looking through her archives, self realizes that she must like yellow (the color) a lot, as she’s taken so many pictures with the color in them. Here are just three, beginning with the cover of a collection by the Irish poet Marcus Cumberlege. She discovered a book of his in the shelves of the main house at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and called every bookstore she could think of. Stairwell Books in Galway finally came up with one copy and mailed it to her:

Self discovered this poet when she was in Ireland, this spring.

Self discovered this poet when she was in Ireland, this spring.

Every summer, self’s backyard blooms with color. This bush grows with hardly any care:

Euryops (Bush Daisy), one of self's most reliable plants

Euryops (Bush Daisy), one of self’s most reliable plants

And here’s a wider view of the same bush:

Beach Daisies, my star performers every summer

Beach Daisies, the star performers every summer in self’s backyard

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Scenes From Self’s Hunger Games Fan Fiction (AU, Canon-Divergent Finnick and Peeta)

Gaaah, self wrote this (so far) 12-chapter thing (10,000+ words) in the last four days!

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 11: Finnick and Peeta are having a drink in a seedy Capitol bar. Self imagined the universe as being a cross between John Wick and The Hunger Games.

He throws some coins on the table, gets up and starts to walk away.

“Peeta!” Finnick says. “There are two units. Here, in the Capitol. I’m sorry. I should have trusted you.”

Peeta returns to the table. “When?”

“Soon,” Finnick says. “Very soon.”

Peeta nods. “So the next time we talk,” he says, “I want to know what’s going on. What’s really going on.”

“What I can,” Finnick says. “I don’t like that it’s this way. Believe me.”

Peeta spares him a withering look, turns, and walks away.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

From Des Dillon’s SCUNNERED

Des Dillon is a Scottish writer and a stand-up comic. Self picked up a copy of his book, Scunnered: Slices of Scottish Life in Seventeen Gallus Syllables, when she was doing a residency at Hawthornden in 2012.

Here’s a piece called ATTITUDE:

Treating every time
Like it’s the very last time
feels like the first time.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Donna Leon’s ABOUT FACE, pp. 81 – 82

Self very cognizant of the fact that she seems to be moving backwards (her last quote from About Face was pp. 115 – 116) rather than forwards. But anyhoo:

What was Guarino doing in Venice, and how did he know about the bar at the bridge? Brunetti did not want to return to the bar, he did not want another coffee, he did not want a sandwich, nor another glass of cold water, nor even a glass of wine. But then the idea of a glass of hot punch came to him, and he got his overcoat from the armadio and left.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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