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April 1, 2010

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I was going to do an April Fool’s post about quitting blogging. But then I realised I have too many things to talk about! Plus, I’m not much good at keeping a straight face for longer than five minutes. ;)  Unless, of course, I’m playing poker.* Anyway, it’s good to be home, surrounded by books and comfy couches and my whole wardrobe!* Even if my house is not in fact a delicious cottage painted the most perfect shade of pink. Can’t you just tell it has built-in bookshelves inside?

I was gone a bit longer than expected. This is due to several reasons: staying in Texas a touch longer than planned, my mom needing to use my laptop to do her homework for her online college class since her laptop decided it really wasn’t interested in returning to Colorado and thus stealthily avoided being re-packed, and a mild fibro flare-up, brought on no doubt by my complete inability to refuse my four-year-old niece any time she wants to be picked up and carried and compounded by driving over 30 hours round-trip in one week in a car without bucket seats.

My vacation was just what I needed to get over my blues, and I’m feeling much perkier again. It helps that we’re now officially in my favourite month of the year (my birthday’s just a week and a half away!). And even though my fibro flare-up was frustrating, I had two great BBC DVDs out from the library to get me through it: The Private Life of a Masterpiece and Larkrise to Candleford. As you might imagine, between my family-filled trip and fibro-brain, I haven’t been doing much reading, so I shouldn’t have too much trouble catching things up in next Sunday’s salon.

Also, I have two challenges and one read-a-long that I’m joining, because I’m not insane enough as it is! Dolce Belezza is hosting a read-a-long of The Brothers Karamazov. I loved Crime and Punishment when I read it years ago*, and I have no idea why I haven’t gotten around to picking up my copy of the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation of The Brothers Karamazov in the three years that I’ve owned it. It’s a diverse group that’s along for the ride! The novel’s in four parts, so we’ll be reading one a week in case you care to join us. And yes, I am still doing the LOTR read-a-long (although with the dips in March, I’ve fallen behind our schedule!) and The Pillow Book read-a-long. What can I say? I love this new blogging trend.

As for the challenges, I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned Jill’s awesome World Party Reading Challenge before! It’s right up my alley; each month, Jilly has tied a holiday in with a certain country, and participants read a book from that country. I know I meant to, especially since she totally threw down the gauntlet to me to create reading lists! Obviously, I’m a bit behind schedule, and I hope to have those lists done soon. ;) In the meantime, April has been devoted France. Now, thanks to the Classics Circuit, I’ll be reading Zola and Dumas this month. But is there every such a thing as too many French writers? Certainly not! So I’ll be delving further into Colette’s canon in honour of this challenge! I haven’t quite settled upon which title yet. And I’m sorely tempted to try out more of Sebastien Japrisot as well. Hmmm….

And I’m sure y’all can guess which other challenge I’m joining! Carl’s back for another year of the Once Upon a Time Challenge. I’ve participated every year that it’s existed, and between Carl’s incredible hosting, and the beautiful art, and all of the wonderful books, it’s become my favourite way to welcome spring! I shall be doing Quest the Second, which requires me to read four books, each representing one category: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology. It’s a sign of how off-balance I was in March that I don’t have a booklist for this one. I know I’ll be reading Fragile Eternity, the third of Melissa Marr’s wonderful YA urban fantasy series, since I was already supposed to have read it for a read-a-long with Kelly! (Um, I forgot to put it in my bag o’ books that I took with me to Texas. I was frazzled.) Looking over my list from last year, I’ve actually read most of those titles now, but there are enough remaining that I still have some good selection. And I’ll be trying out some of Guy Gavriel Kay’s historical fantasy stuff, giving him a second chance. For now, I’m leaving it up in the air. But I’m sure no one will be taken aback if at some point soon, I publish a big juicy list of fantasy books.

Whew! I’m exhausted just from writing this post. :) My shoulders & neck are what really bothered me in this flare-up, so I’m still trying to take it easy and limit my computer time. This means that I *still* haven’t gotten around to replying on everyone’s thoughtful comments on my audiobooks post. Or your caring comments on my last post. Or your comments on my Spotlight Tours reviews. Perhaps pointing out my flaws in a post isn’t the strongest blogging strategy? And I haven’t opened my Google Reader yet! But give me a few days to get back into the swing of things, diust off my Book Blogger hat, and I’ll be back. Because I can’t wait to see what all of you wonderful, smart, caring people have been up to while I’ve been away!


Footnote One: Actually, my preferred card games are ones like euchre and pinochle. I love that interplay between me and my partner and bidding and tricks and tracking the cards and all that stuff. In poker, the only thing I have to amuse myself with is trying to bluff. Which gets boring after the first few hands.

Footnote Two: Although, our hotel room DID have a striped armchair! Where I did my (limited) reading! Just now realised that I should have gotten a picture of me reading in the striped armchair. But this is yet another instance of #evafail. Seriously guys, I’m so glad March is over. I feel like I was at 50% most of the month. On my good days.

Footnote Three: AND I went on a walking tour of Dostoevky’s St. Petersburg while I was studying in Russia. It was pretty awesome.

82 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2010 4:43 am

    Welcome back! Isn’t Lark Rise to Candleford wonderful. I saw the series in rotation with with Cranford (that had Judi Dench in it).

    • April 5, 2010 2:02 am

      I really enjoyed Cranford too! BBC is the best. :)

  2. April 1, 2010 4:44 am

    Welcome back! Sorry to hear about the fibro but I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your vacation. I have certainly missed your great posts. The World Party Challenge sounds interesting, I may have to join ;)

  3. April 1, 2010 4:46 am

    What a beautiful cottage, now I know what my dream home looks like! :) It sounds like you had a good holiday in Texas. I hope you’re feeling better now though after your flare up. The Once Upon a Time Challenge sounds wonderful, I might join up. I hope you enjoy Fragile Eternity, I liked Wicked Lovely and am looking forward to reading book two in the series.

    • April 5, 2010 2:03 am

      It was my dream home first! j/k I loved WL and Ink Exchange, so I expect I’ll love Fragile Eternity too. :D

  4. April 1, 2010 5:15 am

    Great to see you back! Loved Crime and Punishment when I read it eons ago :) I was supposed to be doing a Dostoevsky, rather Russian writers book reading challenge initiated by a local writer here and I actually started with The Possessed. Thing is, when the blues got me early this year I never went back to the pages. I should pick that up again, or The Brothers Karamazov for that matter. I heard from a teacher once that one should read it at least three times in a lifetime, or something to that effect.

    • April 5, 2010 2:03 am

      Interesting! I think Dostoevksy is definitely an author that benefits from rereading. :)

  5. April 1, 2010 5:18 am

    I’m so glad that you’re home, feeling better, and joining in so many spectacular read-alongs (aren’t they a fun addition to blogging?!) and challenges! I can just hear how you feel a bit more energized and excited after your wee “vacance”. (French for vacation. ;) Anyway, I started The Brothers Karamazov last night, after owning it for three years just like you, and I’m already entrenched! In a good way, of course. It’s awesome! Looking forward to your thoughts as always, B.

  6. April 1, 2010 5:26 am

    That is the most perfect cottage I ever saw. Did I ever mention that I dream of living in a cottage one day? Of course, there isn’t much chance of that happening since there isn’t enough room for that in Holland ;-).

    I’m glad you are back, I’ve mist your post. I hope this month will be a better month for you than April and I’m sorry to hear about the fibro, but your post gives the feeling of you having enjoyed your vacation.

    The World Party Reading Challenge sounds great. There are so many great challenges out there! The read along of The Brothers Karamazov sounds nice too, but I don’t think I could keep up.

    Anyway, I’m glad to see you’re posting again!

    • April 5, 2010 2:04 am

      I know, isn’t it wonderful?! Thanks so much for the welcome back Iris. :)

  7. April 1, 2010 5:47 am

    My birthday is in April as well! An early happy birthday to you! March sucked for me as well, but April looks promising!

    • April 5, 2010 2:04 am

      Yay for April babies! Mine’s the 11th. :)

  8. April 1, 2010 6:13 am

    I LOVE Larkrise to Candleford and am eagerly awaiting the season 2, disc 1 (Netflix says “short wait” rather than “long wait”, which it said a while ago). patience is a virtue!

    I am so glad that your vacation rejuvenated you! Welcome back.

    • April 5, 2010 2:05 am

      I’ve put the second season on hold at my library, but I”m 17th, so it’ll be a bit of a wait! Oh well.

  9. April 1, 2010 6:20 am

    It’s wonderful to have you back, Eva! I meeeeeced you <3 I took a semi-break myself and still haven't caught up on comment replies and reviews. I've also just launched my Angela Carter April so that's going to consume a lot of my time.

    Here's to a month of reading French when I'm not reading Carter. I love, love, love Colette and can't wait to find out which of her books that you go for.

    • April 5, 2010 2:06 am

      Aww-thanks Claire! Isn’t it exhausting to try to catch up?! I love Colette too!

  10. April 1, 2010 6:30 am

    So glad you had a fun vacation, Eva! And I love that picture of the little pink cottage – it seems like a cozy, book lover’s paradise!

    I’m hoping to brush up on my Russian authors this year and in the future. We have a copy of The Brothers Karamazov, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to tackle it yet… you know how the chunksters scare me! ;)

    • April 5, 2010 2:06 am

      Oh Russian authors. :) There’s going to be a Classics Circuit tour centered around them in June, so maybe that’ll help motivate you!

  11. April 1, 2010 6:53 am

    I’m glad you made it back, though sorry about your feeling unhappy when you left, and having Fibro when you returned. :( How was Texas this year? The weather has been unseasonably warm, I know (assuming you were in this part of Texas), which is a curse or a blessing depending on one’s personal taste, I guess :D. Glad you’re back though! I know I’m a terrible commenter, but it HAS been strange not seeing you in my reader or on Twitter…

    • April 5, 2010 2:07 am

      THanks Jason! I adore warm weather, so it made me super happy. :D

  12. April 1, 2010 7:03 am

    Great to have you back!

    You know, that house looks a lot like some of the little houses (minus unbearably cute thatched roof) that are on Ward Island and Centre Island, just a short ferry ride from Toronto in Lake Ontario. I’ve been a couple of times and people just like to roam the car-free roads between all these interesting houses. Not sure the locals care for it much though!

    p.s. I’ve nearly finished setting up my new book blog; I’ll let you know when it’s done. LiveJournal just doesn’t suit my needs anymore!

    • April 5, 2010 2:07 am

      Oh neat re: those islands! And that’s so exciting you’re switching to WP. :D

  13. April 1, 2010 7:28 am

    I’m glad you’re back safe and sound!

    I think I am going to have to join the read-a-long!

    • April 5, 2010 2:07 am

      Thanks Allie! And I do hope you join the read-a-long. :)

  14. April 1, 2010 7:40 am

    Welcome back! I’m embarking on a huge British television kick, so I’ll have to see if my library has these DVDs of which you speak, once I get done with the oeuvre of my new imaginary boyfriend Paul Abbott. :P

    • April 5, 2010 2:08 am

      Thanks Jenny! And a British television kick is the best kind. :D lol

  15. April 1, 2010 8:02 am

    Welcome home, Eva! I look forward to all your reading lists :-) And I’m excited to know you are trying GGK again- what did you read last time? I recommend Lions of Al-Rassan myself.

    • April 5, 2010 2:08 am

      I read Ysabel. I’m totally planning on Lions of Al-Rassan thanks to you!

  16. April 1, 2010 8:19 am

    That little cottage is so cute! It looks like the Little House in Virginia Lee Burton’s picture book!

    • April 5, 2010 2:08 am

      Really? I’ve never seen that picture book. But I love the cottage!

  17. April 1, 2010 8:47 am

    Glad to have you back–sorry about the fibro flare-up. Can’t wait to read your thoughts re Brothers K & Once Upon a Time…

  18. April 1, 2010 9:34 am

    Welcome back to blogging and to your new home! I am so happy for your return.

  19. April 1, 2010 9:35 am

    Cottage looks cozy, but that roof gives it a cool warped feeling as well. Glad you’re back..sorry about your fibro flaring up again.

  20. April 1, 2010 10:08 am

    Yea! You’re back. I love April, too: spring, my birthday, spring, flowers, good weather. I live in Texas, so the window of opportunity for something between freezing and mind-blowingly hot is extremely small. Like all of April.

    Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well. My mom has lupus, so I know pretty well what all that pain does to a person. I’ve had a migraine myself the last two days. It’s gone now, but my forehead feels really bruised on one side. Thus, I haven’t read as much Brothers Karamazov as I should have by now. I hope to make that up later today.

    Get settled in and have a great day!

    • April 5, 2010 2:10 am

      LOL I must have lived further south than you, since my part of Texas never gets freezing. ;) Spring is definitely my fave month in Texas though! I’m sorry about your migraine. :(

  21. April 1, 2010 10:30 am

    I’m glad to see you back, hunni. That cottage would be my ideal place to get away for the weekend and do nothing but read. I could imagine every room filled with shelves of books. :) Good luck on your challenges! I know you can do them! :D Just a recommendation for French authors – Simone de Beauvoir’s always a good choice. :)

  22. April 1, 2010 11:28 am

    Glad you’re back and over the blues and the fibro! Have fun with your new challenges!

  23. April 1, 2010 11:44 am

    Welcome back, Eva! I’m sorry to hear about your fibro flaring up but I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better and back to blogging. I missed you!

    And I also cannot resist my niece. If she asked me to carry her for three days straight, I wouldn’t hesitate. ;)

  24. April 1, 2010 11:57 am

    You know what? I actually typed up my post about quitting blogging, and almost published, then thought it is too late to post it, so I didn’t try it. I’ll do it next year, and err, try not to remember that I said it! LOL!

    Welcome back! Missed you in the blogosphere!

  25. April 1, 2010 12:06 pm

    Welcome back! Missed you and glad you feel a bit revived in some ways despite the fibro flare.

    I want that cottage and of course it has built in bookshelves.

    • April 5, 2010 2:11 am

      Thanks Suzi! It sounds like we ALL want the cottage. hehe

  26. April 1, 2010 12:19 pm

    So glad you’re back! I missed you!

  27. April 1, 2010 12:45 pm

    I love Larkrise to Candleford. I bought the book after watching the series. I can’t wait to read it.

    Glad to see you back and loving the cottage. Wouldn’t you love to live there?

    • April 5, 2010 2:12 am

      I really want to read the book of Lark Rise now too. Especially since I used to live in Buckinghamshire! :)

  28. April 1, 2010 1:18 pm

    Welcome back! I *love* that cottage. It makes me wonder about organizing a book-blogger retreat weekend somewhere. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  29. April 1, 2010 2:52 pm

    Great to see you back Eva and glad to hear your time away was just what you needed to get your spark back. And, what a cute cottage. I imagine one day having a studio like that :)

    • April 5, 2010 2:12 am

      Thanks Iliana! It’d be a perfect studio. :)

  30. April 1, 2010 2:57 pm

    What an adorable cottage!
    I am looking forward to your book list for Once Upon A Time because I joined this year and could use some recommendations. :)

    And yay for April birthdays!!! (Mine’s at the end of the month.)

    • April 5, 2010 2:12 am

      Have you checked out the participants’ lists? That’s usually where I get most of my recs!

  31. April 1, 2010 3:00 pm

    Welcome back! Yay for April birthdays – mine’s also coming up in a week and a half :)

    I’ve seen the Once Upon a Time challenge popping up around the blogosphere, and have been tempted to join it just because that button is so pretty. It looks like it could be a book cover.

    • April 5, 2010 2:12 am

      Ohh-do we have the same birthday? Mine’s the 11th.

      • April 5, 2010 8:08 am

        LOL We do have the same birthday! Mine’s on the 11th, too :D

  32. April 1, 2010 3:33 pm

    Welcome back. Glad to hear you are feeling better and your time away left you feeling rejuvenated!

  33. April 1, 2010 5:59 pm

    Welcome back! Glad to hear you had a good trip (other than the flare-up, of course!) and you’re feeling a little perkier. That’s too bad you missed the photo of you reading in the striped armchair, that would have been perfect. Here’s hoping you come upon another striped armchair in the future for photo taking purposes. ;-)

    • April 5, 2010 2:13 am

      I know-I’m so dumb! lol I should drag my mom to a furniture store and have her take a pic of me. heehee

  34. April 1, 2010 7:58 pm

    Happy almost-birthday, Eva! A lift out of the blues is always a great way to celebrate. Sounds like you’re gearing up for a great April of reading. :-)

  35. April 2, 2010 4:50 pm

    I want that little pink cottage for my writing and reading retreat in my back yard. Hmm.

    Glad to see you are reading The Brothers Karamazov with Bellezza and company. That is one impressive list of participants! Happy reading through April with those ambitious challenge plans!

    • April 5, 2010 2:13 am

      I know-I can’t wait to see everyone’s posts. :D

  36. April 2, 2010 5:05 pm

    I’m also fantasizing about a cute little cottage with lots of bookshelves. And I have Lark Rise to Candleford on my to-read shelf! I’ll have to move it up on the list.

    • April 5, 2010 2:14 am

      Have you seen the series? It’s so lovely. :D

  37. April 2, 2010 7:26 pm

    I am so glad to see you’re back and feeling better!

  38. April 2, 2010 9:49 pm

    Welcome back, Eva! Sorry to hear of your flare-up and glad you are feeling better now. I have gone through some soreness but no big flare-ups to speak of, thank goodness. I haven’t been sleeping well, but that comes and goes, doesn’t it?

    I love that you went on a walking tour of Dostoevsky’s St. Petersburg! Very cool.

    The World Party Reading Challenge sounds right up my alley. Do you think I can possibly squeeze in another challenge???

    • April 5, 2010 2:14 am

      Thanks Rebecca! I’m so glad you haven’t had any big flare-ups. The sleeping thing is so frustrating. I totally depend on audiobooks, but even then sometimes it’s hard. And I totally think you can squeeze in another challenge! ;)

  39. April 3, 2010 2:22 am

    I’m glad you’re back and feeling better! That cottage is certainly very cute. I wouldn’t mind living in it myself!

    • April 5, 2010 2:15 am

      Thanks Meghan! That cottage is going to get awfully crowded with all of us book bloggers in it. LOL

  40. April 6, 2010 11:49 am

    I was off for the weekend, but I certainly join with the others in welcoming you back! And I’m glad you are not going to be quitting blogging. Keep talking, we’re here.

  41. April 7, 2010 5:21 pm

    I’m behind schedule on my own challenge, too…so we can be behind together!

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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