Four

Some years, self reads by theme. There was the year she read only women authors. Another year, she read only memoir. She remembers the summer she decided to read everything ever written by Henning Mankell (That was a very fun summer)

Last year, hmm, she doesn’t think she had a theme last year. Looking at her reading list for 2020, it’s clear 2020 is the year for reading fiction. Just straight-up good literary fiction.

Self read twelve books so far 2020.

Here were her top reads (arranged in the order in which she read them):

  • January: Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory, by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
  • February: The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison
  • February: I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
  • End of March, beginning of April: Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh

She’s currently reading her first Liane Moriarty: Big Little Lies.

She’s hoping to get into the Ruth Galloway detective series. She’s just ordered Book # 1, The Crossing Places.

Even if there were no “shelter in place,” self knows she would still be doing the same things she’s doing right now: reading, writing, watching TV, gardening, cooking, laundry.

Sharing a picture of her Fourth of July rose, just starting to bloom.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

A Twitch Upon the Thread: BR Book Three, Ch. 1

My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time.

These memories, which are my life — for we possess nothing certainly except the past — were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark’s, they were everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl.

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BR Sentence of the Day, p. 194

I made my way through a crowd of diseased Moors to the Doctor’s room.

SPOILER

It seems Sebastian is now the companion of a disabled German, who makes him go and fetch and treats him like a servant.

And he looks terrible.

Stay tuned.

Dinner with Rex (BR, p. 156)

If I had to spend an evening with him, it should, at any rate, be in my own way. I remember the dinner well — soup of oseille, a sole quite simply cooked in a white wine sauce, a caneton a la presse, a lemon soufflé. At the last minute, fearing that the whole thing was too simple for Rex, I added caviar aux blinis. And for wine I let him give me a bottle of 1906 Montrachet, then at its prime, and, with the duck, a Clos de Beze of 1904.

Living was easy in France then; with the exchange as it was, my allowance went a long way and I did not live frugally.

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The Christmas Present from Rex (BR, p. 149)

It was a small tortoise with Julia’s initials set in diamonds in the living shell, and this slightly obscene object, now slipping impotently on the polished boards, now striding across the card-table, now lumbering over a rug, now withdrawn at a touch, now stretching its neck and swaying its withered, antideluvian head, became a memorable part of the evening, one of those needle-hooks of experience which catch the attention when large matters are at stake.

Waugh’s Dialogue: On Point

Brideshead Revisited, Chapter V

“Members?” asked a stout woman, in evening dress.

“I like that,” said Mulcaster. “You ought to know me by now.”

“Yes, dearie,” said the woman without interest. “Ten bob each.”

The club is hot, noisy and disagreeable but the boys are extremely flattered when, “without its being ordered, the waiter immediately brought a plate of eggs and bacon.”

They immediately fall to.

“That’s another six bob,” said the waiter.

The dialogue is absolutely delicious.

Stay tuned.

Cordelia, Sebastian’s Sister (Age: 10)

“You are fond of wine?”

“Very.”

“I wish I were. It is such a bond with other men. At Magdalen I tried to get drunk more than once, but I did not enjoy it. Beer and whisky I find even less appetizing. Events like this afternoon’s are a torment to me in consequence.”

“I like wine,” said Cordelia.

Alas! BR, Chapter III

  • I returned home for the Long Vacation without plans and without money.

To Be In Such a World! BR, p. 50

It’s not like self is even getting that much of a Catholic vibe, to be honest.

What she is getting a lot of are the aesthetics of being young, male, white, and attending Oxford:

It was the last Sunday of term; the last of the year. As I went to my bath, the quad filled with gowned and surpliced undergraduates drifting from chapel to hall. As I came back they were standing in groups, smoking; Jasper had bicycled in from his digs to be among them.

I walked down the empty Broad to breakfast, as I often did on Sundays, at a tea-shop opposite Balliol.

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Oxford University, November 2018

Eights Week, Oxford

Brideshead Revisited, Book One, Chapter One: Et in Arcadia Ego

“Gentlemen who haven’t got ladies are asked as far as possible to take their meals out in the next few days,” he announced despondently. “Will you be lunching in?”

“No, Lunt.”

 

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