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Archive for May, 2020

Library Lust

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Library Lust

credit: Pieter Estersohn

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badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I have discovered the only thing more frustrating that the library being closed: the library being closed when it is allowed to be open.  We are slowly figuring out what the “new normal” looks like here and as of this week a number of things are allow to reopen albeit in very new forms, including libraries.  My library system is (slowly, wisely, frustratingly) taking its time to figure out how to do this.  We know they’re planning to offer a takeout model at select branches but neither the timeline nor the branches have been announced yet so for now it’s status quo.  But there is the promise of new books at some point in the nearish future!  For now, I’m still checking out lots of ebook and working my way through the stack of physical books I borrowed at the beginning of March.

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler – I wasn’t going to miss Tyler’s new release!  (Book Depository)

Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe – In my whirlwind March stock up, I grabbed Reasons to Be Cheerful by Stibbe without realising it was the third in a series.  Very happy now to have gotten my hands on the first book. (Book Depository)

Thorn by Intisar Khannani – I spotted this on a list of Ramadan reading recommendations on Twitter and finding out it was a retelling of the Goose Girl fairy tale cinched it for me.  I cannot resist anything based on fairy tales.  (Book Depository)

I’ve been spending a LOT of time out walking (even more than my usual ridiculous amount) and while morning birdsong is lovely, mid-day crow sounds are not so I’ve been drowning them out with audiobooks.  Right now I’m listening to Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay, which you may recall I adored when I read it a few years ago.

What are you reading this week?

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Library Lust

photo credit: Paul Massey

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Library Lust

credit: Simon Brown

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Victory

Trafalgar Square on VE Day

All day long, little extra celebrations started up.  In the Mall, a model of a Gallic cock waltzed on a pole over the heads of the singing people. ‘It’s the Free French,’ said someone.  The Belgians in the crowd tagged along after a Belgian flag that marched by, its bearer invisible.  A procession of students raced through Green Park, among exploding squibs, clashing dustbin lids like cymbals and waving an immense Jeyes Disinfectant poster as a banner.  American sailors and laughing girls formed a conga line down the middle of Piccadilly, and cockneys linked arms in the Lambeth Walk.  It was a day and night of no fixed plan and no organized merriment.  Each group danced its own dance, sang its own song, and went its own way as the spirit moved it.  The most tolerant, self-effacing people in London on V-E Day were the police, who simply stood by, smiling benignly, while soldiers swung by one arm from lamp standards and laughing groups tore down hoardings to build the evening’s bonfires.[…] Just before the King’s speech, at nine Tuesday night, the big lamps outside the Palace came on and there were cheers and ohs from children who had never seen anything of that kind in their short, blacked-out lives.  As the evening wore on, most of the public buildings were flood-lighted.  The night was as warm as midsummer, and London, its shabbiness now hidden and its domes and remaining Wren spires warmed by lights and bonfires, was suddenly magnificent.  The handsomest building of all was the National Gallery, standing out honey-coloured near a ghostly, blue-shadowed St. Martin’s and the Charles I bit of Whitehall.  The floodlighted face of Big Ben loomed like a kind moon.

Mollie Panter-Downes – London War Notes

We file out by the St. Stephen’s entrance and the police have kept a lane through the crowd.  The crowd are friendly, recognising some of the Members.  I am with Nancy Astor who is, I feel, a trifle hurt that she does not get more cheering.  We then have a service – and very memorable it is.  The supreme moment is when the Chaplain reads out the names of those Members of Parliament who have lost their lives.  It is a sad thing to hear.  My eyes fill with tears.  I hope that Nancy does not notice.  ‘Men are so emotional,’ she says.

Harold Nicolson

Canadian naval staff on VE day (credit: George Metcalf Archival Collection)

It was without any doubt Churchill’s day.  Thousands of King George’s subjects wedged themselves in front of the Palace throughout the day, chanting ceaselessly, ‘We want the King’ and cheering themselves hoarse when he and the Queen and their daughters appeared, but when the crowd saw Churchill, there was a deep, full-throated, almost reverent roar.  He was at the head of a procession of Members of Parliament, walking back to the House of Commons from the traditional St. Margaret’s Thanksgiving Service.  Instantly, he was surrounded by people – people running, standing on tiptoe, holding up babies so that they could be told later they had seen him, and shouting affectionately the absurd little nurserymaid name, ‘Winnie, Winnie!’  One of two happily sozzled, very old, and incredibly dirty cockneys who had been engaged in a slow, shuffling dance, like a couple of Shakespeare’s clowns, bellowed, ‘That’s ‘im, that’s ‘his little old lovely bald ‘ead!’

Mollie Panter-Downes – London War Notes

Canadian soldiers celebrating in Piccadilly Circus (credit: Lieut. Arthur L. Cole)

Today the people of London and their children and thousands of visitors took to the streets and parks to celebrate victory in Europe.  Flags flew from all the buildings.  Shop windows were stuffed with red, white, and blue clothes, flowers and materials.  Planes flew overhead, and streamers, ticker tape and paper poured out of windows.  There was no traffic because people filled the streets and pavements.  I walked to the office and found only Air Marshal Slessor there. ‘It’s a National Holiday – you should have come,’ he said.  ‘Supposing I stay and help till lunchtime,’ I said and added, ‘besides it’s a brilliant time to throw some of your more boring papers out of our windows.’  Before I left I peeled the canvas off one window and emptied the contents of five wastepaper baskets on to Kingsway.  I longed to be more generous but did not dare.

Hermione Ranfurly – To War with Whitaker

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badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

My library e-holds are coming in shockingly fast these days.  I feel like I check my hold position, discovered I’m tenth in line and the anticipated wait is 17 weeks, and the next morning I get a notification that the book is available.  It’s been delightful in many cases but a bit of a challenge to manage.  I am adoring the new feature that allows me to postpone a book when it becomes available without losing my position in the queue.  It’s a genius innovation by Overdrive and is making my borrowing life far less stressful.

Here’s what’s arrived this week:

Missed Translations by Sopan Deb (Book Depository)

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (Book Depository)

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler (Book Depository)

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener (Book Depository)

The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward (Book Depository)

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore (Book Depository)

What are you reading this week?

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Library Lust

credit: Alison Kist Interiors

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