Not resting on my laurels
My friend Roz and I are in a competition to see which of us can read a 100 books first. Earlier in the year she had expressed a desire to read at least a hundred books in 2013. Knowing what a competitive person she is, I thought a little rivalry was all she needed to achieve her goal. Last time we checked-in with each other she was at 36 books and I was at 41. I think both of these totals are pretty impressive with only four months of the year gone. But all Roz could see was that she wasn't in the lead. I think she is a little hard on herself. She will clearly meet her goal for the year and she is a much, much busier person than I am. If she isn't running half marathons she is running all over DC doing more things in a year than I have done in a decade.
So the other day when I was at the fantastic Politics and Prose not far from my house I spotted the enormous Vikram Seth novel A Suitable Boy. I have always been curious about this book. I even think Roz mentioned that she was thinking of reading. And it was just one of those moments when one knows the time is right. Plus I thought with 41 (now 42) books completed for the year already I certainly had the breathing room and it might give Roz the chance to keeping running half marathons and to take the lead in our reading competition.
Like I did with War and Peace, I have decided to keep a counter of my progress. Unlike War and Peace, A Suitable Boy is several degrees more enjoyable to read and I find the Indian names easier to follow than Russian ones.
Spring has sprung like crazy
After some weird, freakishly warm weather in early April, temperatures here in DC have settled into a very nice, coolish, largely, sunny spring. The early warmth seems to have really encouraged everything to grow and bloom at once. This is in crazy contrast to the snow that continues to dog the midwest.
And speaking of weather
The film adaptation of Julia Strachey's Cheerful Weather for the Wedding arrived from Netflix on Friday. I found it thoroughly enjoyable. I think the fact that I had read the book a few years ago helped put me in the right frame of mind for watching it. I wonder what I would have thought if I hadn't known what to expect. Although it had been a while since I read the book, I was pretty sure that liberties had been taken. Nothing jarring, just different. So when I finished the film I pulled the book off the shelf and read it in one sitting. Both book and film benefited from the reread.
|Flashback to sunnier times.|
|The wonderful Barbara Flynn played Aunt Bella. She also played Mrs. Jamieson in Cranford.|
|I am annoyed that this picture loaded fine as a thumbnail on Google, but the original image refuses to load. But Kitty was my favorite character in the film, so I decided to include it anyway.|
|That's Gareth from The Office on the left and the wonderful Fenella Woolgar on the right.|
Barbara Pym week is less than a month a way
Barbara Pym week begins on June 1st. Have you decided how you are going to celebrate Pym's centenary? Amanda and I will have a week's worth of Pym related posts and links. And lots of prizes. Books, bags, teabag holders...
Have you ever had to create an index?
The history of St. Elizabeths Hospital that I have spent a year writing for my job is so close to done I can taste it. I decided that it couldn't be worth its weight in digital 0s and 1s if it didn't have an index. Not only does it behoove a work of non-fiction to have one, but I like the thought of putting some obscure names that I plucked out of millions of pages of archival material out into the cybersphere. Who knows who might find that useful. Maybe someone searching for their ancestors will stumble upon the fact that they were once fired from St. Es, or led a staff rebellion there, or ran the prosthetic limb shop. You just don't know. At any rate, creating an index is kind of fun and plenty tedious. Still, it almost done and should be online around mid-month.
Lucy's version of TV
There is a hole in the fence between our yard and the neighbor's yard. Sometimes Lucy gets transfixed with whatever she sees on the other side and will sit for an hour just staring.