Christmas 2012, I am writing my third novel, title unknown at this time, and look what I got! Books, books, books! What’s wrong with that you say? Just this. When I’m writing, I have to be very disciplined. Can only read at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Otherwise, must work on novel. This year, I received such glorious books from my family (and bought two used for myself on vacation) that I’ve been hard put to keep my rigorous writing discipline. I’m twenty pages into Commander, for example, reading about one of Commander Pellew’s battles with, who else, the French. Now I have to close my book, insert my favorite Ronald Reagan bookmark, “Trust but verify,” go upstairs, close the door, and get back to work on my book. O
Here are the Christmas books that are singing to me from downstairs. I will not give in until dinner. I will not give in until dinner.
Green Dolphin Street, by Elizabeth Goudge. A beautiful old hard cover with a dark green cover and gold lettering. A lovely looking book but to my horror I can’t read it. Ms. Goudge overwrote the whole thing. It’s like a pie stuffed with too many raisins. After a while, I had to put it down after the umpteenth description of the nunnery. I bought this in an antique shop. There is a hammy old movie of it, I recall, with Lana Turner. Source: antique shop.
The Most of S.J. Perelman. 630 pages of this genius of comic writing. The inspiration for Woody Allen’s greatest stuff. Another antique shop prize.
The War of 1812. Donald R. Hickey. Haven’t started this yet, but looking forward to it. This war has always been a mystery to me. The 437 pages in this massive book ought to clear up all the holes in my understanding. Gift.
Commander. Stephen Taylor. I loved this book, couldn’t put it down several times, but whipped myself upstairs. If you are a Hornblower follower and have seen the A&E DVD’s, you will remember Commander Edward Pellew, who, I found out to my fascination, was a celebrity in his day along with his contemporary, Lord Nelson, who eclipsed Commander Pellew in the British consciousness because he died tragically had a scandalous affair. The beautiful writing, the exciting experiences narrated, and even the footnotes delighted me. Gift.
The Red Pyramid. Rick Riordan. I started way back witht the first book Riordan ever wrote where dylexic Percy Jackson discovers he is a demi-god, the son of Poseidon. The movie didn’t do the book justice but still I loved it. In that book, Riordan locates the entrance to Hell next to the Hollywood Sign in California. If you get stuck gambling in Las Vegas, and can’t get out of the casino, you are a Lotos-Eater. You might meet Medusa in a nurserey. This newest book is about young people whose father, an Egyptologist lets the horrible Egyptian god Set loose by accident, and the sister and brother must try to defeat him. Gift.
The Greater Journey. David McCullough. Just started. The story of American artists who went to Paris to learn more about their craft. Did you know James Fenimore Cooper went, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and John Singer Sargent all went? A lovely book. (Always the case by DM.) Gift
Last. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. Catherynne M. Valente. Don’t know anything about this book but do love the title. Looking forward to it. Gift.