Books I’ve read recently:
The Little Stranger by Sara Waters – I thought it was a very good story, and DUDE it gets super creepy for a chapter or two…but its not her absolute best work, in my opinion. I think Fingersmith is still one of the best books I’ve ever read (possibly top 10). Anyway, the basic plot is centered around a doctor in a small village in England, post-World War II. He becomes acquainted with an old-money family living on a large estate – a family that is slowly spiraling into debt and obscurity. Strange things begin to happen – fires set in the night, strange noises, accidents… the mystery comes in figuring out who (or what) is causing these irregularities.
I liked the build up, and found myself clutching a pillow nervously at one point. Waters has clearly taken notes from Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw (a fantastic piece); unfortunately the climax of the story didn’t quite reach its full potential. I don’t want to give anything away, but what could have turned into a truly scary piece of work became a little commonplace.
Elizabeth I by Margaret George – Blah. I read almost anything Elizabethan, and I can’t NOT check out a book that purports to tell her story, fiction or nonfiction…but this was not very good. The language was inappropriate for the time period depicted, and the famous people surrounding the Queen (Robert Dudley! Francis Walsingham! Francis Drake!) were turned into one-dimensional placeholders. I’m always happy for new information or ideas about Queen Elizabeth, but I don’t recommend this one.
Book I plan to read this week:
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – I received this book from the Gomers for my birthday, and am finally ready for it. Yes, it’s another piece of British history – this time focusing on Henry VIII (yes, THAT guy). Anyone out there have thoughts on it?
Highlight of my Saturday: a book purchase!
Specifically, a full set of 1966 encyclopedias for $5 at an estate sale. I love them. Check out these beauties (iPhone pics, taken using the Hipstamatic app):
The ‘Library’ article. I love it! Notice my lovely silhouette bookends?? I love them.
Their new home
This will be a random post – lots of things on my mind.
First, my dog, Chloe, is still doing poorly. She’s happy, luckily. However, her head still tilts to the right, and a few days ago, I noticed that her right eye looked funny when she blinked. It looked like a second eyelid was covering her eye when she tried to look to her right. It’s gotten worse over the past few days, and now everytime she blinks, her second eyelid does it for her. I took her to the vet this morning to get it checked out, and they gave me some bad news. He said that it’s likely a symptom of something going on in her brain. First, we’re going to try a couple of things to see if it is just swelling (a round of prednisone). But if that doesn’t help, then we have to get her an MRI… All this will be ridiculously expensive and scary. I’m really hoping that the prednisone will help, because visits to the animal neurologist will be scary for Chloe, and for me.
Then, Marco has been kind of cranky the past few days, and has been drooling like crazy – but I don’t think he’s teething, because he’s only 4 months! I don’t know what’s wrong, but he is refusing to nap during the day, so the days feel much longer and more tiring. Luckily for us, he still sleeps fine at night (10-11 hours).
SIGH. What gorgeous eyes.
There are some good spots to this week. I got some great deals on used books at the library and my favorite used book store, Main Street Books in St. Helena. I spent $30 and ended up with 11 books! Check out my updated LibraryThing profile here.
Also, a great blogger, Julie at Brown Eyed Belle, mentioned a few days ago that she found a great artist on Etsy, flapper doodle by Kate Gabrielle! I fell in love with her adorable drawings, and decided to purchase a few items myself. You can see more of her work here. I picked out the bookmarks (purchase the pdf file and print them yourself! I used cardstock), and some 4×6 prints to frame. She has a great deal where you can buy 4 prints for the price of 3! I can’t wait for them to arrive.
We finally have my lounge chair for the library – here’s a few pics:
Also… the carmelita bars at Model Bakery are to die for. Just sayin’.
My library is (basically) done! Here are some pictures:
Non-fiction and Children’s
Temporary desk, but it works until i can find the right one. It was just a cheap desk from Target that we bought 4 years ago, but Tim painted it to match my room so I could have something to keep the computer on.
An old Mac that Tim configured for my library, plus a barcode scanner that I can use to keep my books catalogued through LibraryThing.
The chair that I ordered came in two boxes, and one was the black color I ordered, but the second part was in a tan color – and we’ve had to call CSN Stores twice to get the right part sent. But, thank goodness, it will be arriving this week!
Also…my birthday is tomorrow, which means my giveaway ends as of 11:59pm tomorrow night! Go here to enter!
…at the library! It’s not quite finished yet (still need to install the chandelier), but I wanted to give you guys another preview.
My assistant librarian, Stabler, is tuckered after helping me organize my books.
Decorating my library is SO FREAKING FUN! Here are the items I’ve chosen, thus far:
Curtains, purchased at Target
I wasn’t sure I’d find curtains that I liked, but these look fantastic in person, and are made from a good quality, thick cotton. I can’t wait to hang them up!
A black chaise lounge, purchased from Overstock.com
I am so excited for this chair. It’s the perfect size and shape for my library, and the seat opens into storage!
Chandelier, also purchased from Overstock.com
So lovely! It will look perfect with the charcoal ceiling.
IKEA is slacking on the delivery of my bookcases, and the overstock items won’t arrive until next week. But, that’s okay; I’ve waited my entire life for my own library…a few more days won’t kill me.
OR WILL IT!?
Our weekend was pretty rad-a-riffic. Marco and I chilled at Starbucks, and Tim started painting the library! We visited with his Grandpa Keith and Great-Grandpa Jack on Saturday, and then had dinner with the Dempseys and Almonds.
Me, Jacqi and Caleb (half asleep!)
I slept in on Sunday, helped Tim paint the library ceiling, and watched the rest of Season 1 of ‘Dexter’ (AMAZING SHOW!!).
In other news, we’re now 90% sure of the formula situation with Marco. I’ve basically stopped pumping and we’ll finish up some of the breast milk we’ve got left (yes, we froze it – is there anything weirder than breast milk in your freezer? I think not). He’s responding SO well to the soy formula that it makes so much more sense to continue. We’ve had him on a schedule of evening/night feedings of soy, and morning/afternoon breast milk – but I think he seems much more relaxed after the formula. Go figure.
Last night, Adrienne came up to Napa. We’d both read Eat Pray Love , so we decided to see the movie. I made sandwiches for dinner (grilled chicken breast on a toasted baguette with basil pesto, mozzarella, tomato and red onion), and we had just enough time to enjoy them before heading out. The movie was good, but not great. So much happened in the book, and it was impossible to fit all of it into a 2 hour flick. Unfortunately, the filmmakers sacrificed some pertinent parts of the story. They left out details about Elizabeth Gilbert’s struggle with her marriage, and her desire to understand God was merely glossed over. But it was enjoyable, and Richard Jenkins was a perfect ‘Richard from Texas’!
Timmy ordered the bookcases and shelving for my library!! It’s all due to arrive on Monday, so this Saturday I think we are going to paint. My library is going to be the girliest space in the house; pink, white and black. The bookcases are white, and I think the ceiling is going to be a charcoal color. The 1 1/2 walls that don’t have shelves will be a Behr shade called ‘Fuschia Kiss’. I have to pick out a chandelier and a lounge chair. Eventually, I’ll add a unit for my record player and records, and a small desk.
Now, to decide on the system I’m going to use to organize my lovelies. Can’t make up my mind between the Dewey or my usual( alphabetical by author’s last name). Probably have Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Children’s sections. Marco received so many books as gifts, and I’ve saved all my childhood favorites; he’ll have a whole section to choose from!
I bought some bookplates too. The Mac will be hooked up to our home server, and I’ll have my LibraryThing account pulled up so I can keep track. OMG who wants a Dickson library card?! Might make some for fun. YES, I AM GEEKY. But seriously, I rarely lend books out to people unless I know I’ll get them back; I’ve lost too many books to random people. I STILL don’t know what happened to my copy of The World According to Garp by John Irving. SOMEONE borrowed it. Just can’t remember who. Library cards might help… hee hee
I am so excited! I’ve been waiting my whole life for a library. Tim is amazing, he always manages to make my dreams come true.<3