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Sunday Salon: the Rushed Post

December 7, 2008

I’ve read as many books this past week as I did during the entire month of November, which amuses me tremendously! So with eight books to talk about, and this post already quite belated, what’s a girl to do?

Fortunately, five of the books were Agatha Christie’s. I’ve mentioned before that Christie is a comfort author for me, so since I was bed-ridden most of the week, I managed to devour a short story collection (The Witness for the Prosecution), a Miss Marple (The Moving Finger), and three Poirots (Sad Cypress, The Patriotic Murders, and Taken at the Flood). The short story collection was abysmal; except for the title story, I wasn’t too impressed. Fortunately, the Miss Marple was spectacular (she’s my favourite of Christie’s sleuths, but I’ve read almost all of the books at this point, which is sad) and the Poirots were good as well (Taken at the Flood was my favourite).

That leaves me with the nonfiction! First, I did read a self-help book, which isn’t something I’ve done before. But I’m going through a tiny quarterlife crisis right now (I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it when I’m done with the semester), so I picked up 20 Something, 20 Everything to try to help make sense of it all. And I think it did a pretty good job of letting me know I’m not alone, which is nice. The exercises seem a bit silly, but I’m new to the genre. Still, glad I bought it!

Then there’s Booknotes: Stories From American History, which I’ve been rading for ages now, a little bit at a time, to study for the foreign service exam. It’s a collection of interviews from the CSPAN program Booknotes with various historians that present vignettes of American history. Each ‘essay’ (they’re in essay-format but from interviews) is around 3-5 pages, and I liked the randomness of it. That being said, since there were so many contributors, it was a bit uneven, and sometimes I think the editing could have been better to make the spoken word flow better on the page.

Finally, there’s The Art of the Personal Letter by Margaret Shephard, which I snagged from the library’s new books section, because I’ve decided to write a letter a week to my grandparents next year. It was interesting, but the only practical knowledge I gained was about pen and paper types…the actual advice on how to write various forms of letters was too obvious and general for me. That being said, it was a cotton candy kind of nonfiction read, and I don’t consider it a waste of time.

Whew-now I have to get back to studying. But first, a few words about the World Citizenship Challenge…
I’m so glad that there’s an interest in doing it! I plan to have it run all of next year, but to have ‘mini-challenges’ that will be for a shorter time period. There will definitely be lists of recommended books coming as soon as this pesky thing called school is over. ;) And you don’t have to pick all of your books now by any means: a pool is just fine, or just picking which categories you want to read in.

And finally, all of the Dewey memorial posts around the blogosphere have been incredibly beautiful and touching. I’m working on my own, but I’m the type of person who deals with bad things by denying them, so in my head I’ve convinced myself she’s not actually gone at all. Because otherwise there’s no way I could be blithely blogging right now. Just wanted to put that out there.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2008 9:51 pm

    I know! Me too. Every time I read about again it’s like finding out all over again. I did not even know that she was sick!

  2. December 7, 2008 10:05 pm

    I love, love, love The Moving Finger. It’s one of my favorite Miss Marple books.

    The blogosphere doesn’t seem the same without Dewey. :(

  3. December 7, 2008 10:20 pm

    Man, the 20s are a weird decade. The teens were all nutty, but you didn’t KNOW they were nutty. You just thought that that’s how live WAS! Now that I have some level of self-awareness, but not a lot of direction in life…what’s a girl to do?

  4. December 8, 2008 6:18 am

    Raych said it perfectly. I like the expression “quarterlife crisis”. It puts a name to my frequent what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life-surely-I-should-know-by-now panic.

    I’ve been meaning to try Agatha Christie for a while. I think I’ll start with the Miss Marple books when I do.

    And you’re not alone in being in denial still.

  5. December 8, 2008 9:02 am

    I totally get the denial. Even though I’ve posted about it and spent lots of time thinking about it, I still can’t really believe that Dewey’s actually gone. Part of me still expects to see her blog in bold on my reader, a new book review or witty post ready for me to read.

  6. December 8, 2008 9:52 am

    I understand the denial. I seem to alternating all those so-called steps of grieving. One minute I’m in denial, the next in totally breakdown, the next in paralysis. I think it’s going to take a while for us all to fully process this overwhelming loss.

    I think the only Agatha Christie I’ve read is And Then There Were None, and that was a billion years ago (yah, I’m waaaaay past that quarterlife crisis stage!). Anyway, I absolutely loved it! I can certainly see why they’re comfort reads for you. I really, really need to read more of her. Actually, I will be soon…Annie and I are going to read a few of her plays for school. Do you enjoy those?

  7. December 9, 2008 3:58 pm

    I still can’t stop myself visiting Dewey’s blog every day … as though it still might not be true :(

    Agatha Christie is my go-to when I have nothing else to read.

  8. J.S. Peyton permalink
    December 9, 2008 4:41 pm

    ‘quarterlife crisis” – I heart this so much. Finally a name to the panicky feeling in the pit of stomach I’ve been feeling lately!

    I’m with you. Denial is definitely the route I’ve been taking. I can’t even read the memorial posts anymore. They make me sad all over again. :(

  9. December 12, 2008 7:21 pm

    I love Agatha Christie! I haven’t read her in FOREVER though. I remember especially liking “And Then There Were None” and another one that was “Crooked House”, I think? Maybe that wasn’t Agatha after all, because I can’t even remember!

  10. December 12, 2008 9:36 pm

    Jessica, I’m with you. :(

    Ruth, I agree! Think it’s one of the best; have you read Sleeping Murder? I enjoyed that one a lot too.

    Raych, yep…I’m not a huge fan of the 20s right now, to be honest. Of course, I’m still just beginning the decade, so I hope it gets better.

    Nymeth, you should totally start with Miss Marple; she’s my favourite Christie.

    Heather, yep; that’s what I think too.

    Debi, I’ve never read any of her plays (I’m horrible about reading drama)-you’ll have to let me know if they’re good!

    Maree, I still visit it sometimes too, just in case.

    J.S., isn’t quarterlife crisis a great term for it?! I’m thinking we need to start a quarterlife crisis reading group, since so many of us seem to be going through it!

    Kim, you know-I’ve read a lot of Christie and I’ve never read And Then There Were None. I think because I already know the plot, so I just don’t feel a ton of temptation.

  11. December 14, 2008 4:35 pm

    I like that quarter-century crisis….the crisis in your 40’s is WAY worse because I know my life is half over and while I’m proud of how I’ve lived, I still HAVEN’T DONE what I set out to do! *sigh* I think of it as our soul saying “ahem, little one, excuse me, but while you’re living, what are you doing to make it all worthwhile?” or something like that…at least that’s what my crisis voice says. Currently in that 40’s one, so we can hold hands if you like :-)
    And Dewey? It’s like a circle, it comes in waves.

  12. December 16, 2008 10:34 am

    Susan, oh god-that makes me even more stressed!! We definitely need to hold hands.

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