Friday, March 23, 2007

The Fruits of My Labors

It's been awhile since I posted about my son -- almost a month -- so I thought it was time for an update.

He and I went furniture shopping this morning. Ever since he moved to Enfield, he's been sleeping on an old futon mattress we had lying around in the cellar, on the off chance we ever had company that had to stay the night. (Very off chance.) We actually hadn't planned to wait so long on the furniture purchase, but the weather wasn't exactly conducive to shopping, so that put rather a crimp in our plans. However, today, with sunny skies and temperatures into the 40s and 50s -- 10c to 15c, for my European readers -- today we drove north to Ossipee, NH, to a place called Green Mountain Furniture. (I have yet to figure out why Green Mountain, since the Green Mountains are in Vermont, and this shop sits firmly established in the foothills of NH's own White Mountains.)

And there we found it, a replacement for the futon he had to leave behind in PA. There were, actually, quite a few futons, and I would have preferred that he buy one that was a little more expensive -- it was our housewarming gift to him -- but he really liked one that was a little less money, with a firmer mattress. (My only problem with it is that I thought the other frame was sturdier. But it's his furniture.) Now the only other thing he needs is some kind of easy chair for his living room, and he's all set for furnishings -- more or less -- I mean, that living room is really only big enough for an easy chair and a couple of tables! But a sofa-bed, an easy chair, and a few occasional tables are hardly "furniture." Frankly, it strikes me as an austere lifestyle.

But that's Chris, the original "I have all I want" man (his standard response to, "What would you like for Christmas, Sweetheart?"). Once he finds a chair he likes, he will have everything he wants: A good job, a place to sleep, a place to sit, and a place to eat, since his kitchen comes equipped with a "bar" arrangement for eating. A true minimalist, and his furniture style reflects that: Craftsman. Simple, rugged, masculine, uncomplicated.

Now (whispers Mom), if only he could find a simple, uncomplicated, outdoorsy, but totally feminine girl.... ;-)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Book Meme

I would prefer not to make such an obvious pun, but there's no way around it: I get all my memes lately from, well, Mimi. (Sorry.) Considering that my husband and I met in a library, there's no way I could resist this one.

1. Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Hardback, if I can afford it. I figure, at my age it's time I had an adult-looking library. After that, mass-market paperbacks. To me, trade paperbacks are just hardback wannabes.

2. Amazon or brick and mortar? If I could find brick and mortar locally, that would be my preference. But as it is, I actually buy most of my books through Amazon.

3. Barnes & Noble or Borders? Borders isn't anywhere close by, though my son tells me there's one near him. Yet another excuse to visit him. ;-)

4. Bookmark or dogear? I use bookmarks for where I am reading -- I was taught never to fold down the corners of pages. However, if it is my book, I will do that if I've found something I'll want to reference at a later date, or a passage that really "speaks" to me.

5. Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? I'd prefer to catalogue them with a modified Dewey decimal system -- that's how many books we have! I really need to go through them again and come up with some sort of system for keeping them organized. I used to be so good at that, when I was younger.

6. Keep, throw away, or sell? We keep the favorites and share them back and forth (well -- I read his faves, he doesn't read mine). If I realize that the book has "outworn its welcome," I'll give it to the public library.

7. Keep dust jacket or toss it? I always keep it, having discovered from personal experience how tatty hardbacks get if you toss the jacket.

8. Read with dust jacket or remove it? I always leave it on -- the side flaps make useful bookmarks.

9. Short story or novel? Novel novel novel!! Can't STAND short stories!

10. Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? See previous answer.

11. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Who???

12. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? I usually shoot for the chapter breaks, but if I'm reading at night, I'll stop when I feel myself nodding out.

13. “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? Once upon a time.

14. Buy or Borrow? Buy, preferably. But only if I know I really like the author.

15. New or used? New, especially if it's a paperback.

16.Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? Come to think of it, probably browsing. One of my favorite authors was a chance pickup from a library table of new arrivals -- I saw the jacket, wondered if that was an English village I was looking at, and checked it out, and that's how I discovered Miss Read.

17. Tidy ending or cliffhanger? Tidy ending, preferably happy. That said -- one of my own books ends with a real cliffhanger (but it's resolved in the next book).

18. Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? My very favorite time to read is at lunch. I like to take myself out to a local (and cheap) eatery with a paperback stashed in my handbag, and read and munch at the same time.

19. Stand-alone or series? Either way. I do prefer series, but if a stand-alone book is by a favorite author, I'll go for it.

20. Favorite series? Miss Read. Her books have either "Thrush Green" or "Village" in the title.

21. Favorite children’s book? Oh, another series! Graham Greene's "The Church Mice" series! The only children's books I've ever read that don't wear thin by the hundredth reading, mostly because of the clever artwork and the hilarious puns. Who could resist, "J. Dowdy, Clothiers," or "Fleece and Guyle, Solicitors"?! (Edit note: Do I feel stupid. The author of the Church Mice books was Graham OAKLEY, not Graham Greene!)

22. Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? My own?? I don't read too many books of which no one else has heard. Oh, wait a minute: There was a series by Evelyn Anthony about 20 years ago. The first title was, "The Defector," and there were three more books after that. I just recently re-read the entire series, and it was as enthralling now as it was back before the Soviet Union collapsed.

23. Favorite books read last year? The Mountain of Silence, by Kyriacos C. Markides.

24. Favorite books of all time? That's cruel. You can only list a few, and there are so, so many!
1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
2. Father Arseny, translated by Vera Bouteneff
3. The Brother Cadfael series, by Ellis Peters
4. The Thrush Green and Village series, both by Miss Read
5. Anything by Agatha Christie

Personally, I think that was a very clever way to work in lots and lots and lots of books. ;-)

25. Least favorite book you finished last year? There wasn't really one last year, but this year, I just bought a book, "The Friday Night Knitting Club," and I'm already regretting it. Bor-ing.

26. What are you reading right now? As noted, "The Friday Night Knitting Club." "Gifts of the Desert," by Kyriacos C. Markides. "An Unorthodox Spy" and "Unorthodox Truths," by yours truly. Of course I read my own stuff!!

27. What are you reading next? Depends on where my tastes take me. I hope I will get on with my series, but who knows -- last time the desire to write hit, was 15 years ago. I thought it had disappeared forever, and suddenly, WHAM -- here I am, at it again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not Sure What's Going On Here, But....

For those of you who depend on BlogLines to let you know when new posts are up -- I have seven posts on my Other Blog (the Book Blog). For some reason, BlogLines isn't notifying me when new posts are up, and I'm not sure why; but since I'm basically blogging an old book that was completed 15 years ago, and is the background for the book I'm currently writing, I've been posting updates to that blog nearly every day.

Does anyone know if maybe I need to change my settings so that BlogLines notifies subscribers of new posts?