Last month was bursting full – several book-related events, several bouts of out of town company, a party and quilt presentation for a new great nephew, Thanksgiving – to mention a few highlights. Here’s a link to a web album of November pictures.
The making of yet another quilt – how many have there been? When she was born twenty-some years ago, this baby’s mother, my niece, received a quilt made by our community of friends and family. At her wedding a few summers past, she and her husband received another quilt, made by many of the same friends and family. And this latest quilt, for baby Asher, contains scraps from that wedding quilt and was made, once again, by friends and family. Not all the same, there are always new participants. And on this one I had a co-organizer, Justin’s girlfriend Claui, who has quickly become an expert embroiderer and quilter.
I love Alphabet quilts for babies – the ex-teacher in me sees a learning tool; the community quilt organizer sees an opportunity for each participant to exercise her (or his -- Cousin Charley did the D square) creativity. There are some goodies here: the smug little Fairy, the Iguana, the Neptune and Narwhal, the Pterodactyl (now there’s a learning experience in store for young Asher!) the Uman on the Unicycle with the Umbrella . . . but see for yourself HERE.
May this month and all of your holiday season be full of good cheer and joy!
Beth E. says, I seem to be reading a lot of pre- and post-WWI these days, "Duty of the Dead", Maisie Dobbs, "The house at Riverton" by Kate Morton, and "Stone's Fall", a new one. How many maids must have advanced by using the family library secretly?
From a past newsletter, listening to Tracy Chevalier "Virgin Blue" (Huguenot France) and "Falling Angels" (again pre-WWI and suffragette I stuff). Love her! Also read "Lost Symbol" but found it irritatingly unrealistic--time better spent elsewhere.
Beth also wants to know why the pub date for the Birdie book is so late in the year. (good question)
Why the late date (Sept. 28, 2010? I'm not sure. I was originally told it would be May 25 and then was informed that Random House was 'tightening up' its lists in response to the gloomy financial times -- publishing fewer books in order to cut costs, I assume. And now you know as much as I do!
Judy in Washington D.C. tells me, I just added “Her Fearful Symmetry” to my “to read” list last week and now you mention it in your newsletter!
Aleen writes: Can't remember if you reviewed Olive Kitteridge, I couldn't stand Olive and found it interesting to press on reading about a protagonist whose neck I wanted to wring. Have you read The Help? Just finished it....Ohmygod, I was back in Palma Ceia listening to Junior League matrons spit and spew about the affrontery of their blacks and remembering a man in my neighborhood who ran out and chased my maid off his lawn cause she had ventured a few feet on his sod to avoid a small lake of rainwater in the dip in the road in front of his house. And how she cried. AGGGGGHHHHH. I wanted to see him in very deep water, perhaps in the bay…
Did I ever share this bit of hill wisdom with you? Old mountain man muttered it years ago, I said "what?" he repeated it and the wisdom stuck with me. It came up in conversation the other day, and I reminded myself to share it with you.
"Flies that live in vinegar bottles don't know nuthin' 'bout honey."
Nancy M: Just finished reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett - and enjoyed it.
Declare by Tim Powers -- My older son Ethan recommended this one – a kind of supernatural suspense thriller with elements as diverse as Mount Ararat, djinn, Kim Philby, cold war politics, and spying -- for starters. I enjoyed it but I’m a fast reader and its 500 plus pages might seem slow going for some.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger -- So many of you have recommended this one that I finally had to try it. I was only a few pages into the book when I found myself wishing I had written it. I really, really was entranced by, not only the premise but the writing. As you know, I like jumping about from character to character and from present to past – and this book does it beautifully!
Jesus, Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman – Ever since my husband was in grad school studying comparative religion, I’ve been fascinated by the subject. This book is a look at what Biblical scholars have to say about some of the apparent contradictions within the Bible. It’s also a history of the church as it has evolved over the centuries.
December 4 – I’ll be at Malaprop’s Books in Asheville from 5-6 – delighted to sign and personalize books for holiday giving.
And speaking of holiday gifts – if you think that one of my books might make a nice gift for a friend, the following independent booksellers have autographed copies on hand – and will arrange for me to personalize books, if that’s your wish, at no extra cost.
Thinking of Christmas decorating and gift-giving . . .
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