Tuesday, December 30, 2008

a land of plenty

I’ve heard a number of sad statements regarding books at this seasonal time of year.  People saying they have never given or received a book as a present, and that books number among the most unwanted presents.

To redress that balance I bagged a bumper haul from under my tree this year.  Family and friends may tire of wrapping flat rectangles but they know what will make me happy.  

A little something for the many corners of my reading personality, plenty of pages to dip into through the year ahead.

  • Drawing Matters - Jane Stobart
  • The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - Betty Edwards
  • ABC 3d - Marion Bataille
  • 4000 Animal, Bird and Fish Motifs : A Sourcebook - Graham McCallum
  • Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
  • 52 Projects : Random Acts of Everyday Creativity - Jeffrey Yamaguchi
  • The Haiku Anthology - CVD Heuvel
  • Crow Country - Mark Cocker
  • A Prickly Affair : My Life with Hedgehogs - Hugh Warwick
  • Tossed : 200 Fast, Fresh and Fabulous Salads
  • Vegetable Heaven : Sensational Seasonal Vegetarian Cooking - Mason & Abramson
  • The Virago Book of Love Letters
  • Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales 
  • The Penguin Book of Classical Myths - Jenny March

This morning I also received a copy of The Art of Being Dead by Stephen Clayton.  I have no idea where it came from or who sent it.  I don’t recall asking for it, or ordering it, but I’m very pleased to give it a home as I’ve read a lot about it and want to read it.  What a pleasant surprise!  They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but this morning it almost felt like books did!


Stefanie said...

Look at all those nice books! Santa was very good to you this year!

Tamara said...

Wow, you certainly will be busy with that list. How will you decide which order to read them in? this is something I am always confused about. My friend has loaned me some of her books to read (to save me some money)but I'm not sure where to start. But boy am I glad there are books to give and received - cant imagine what I'd give some people if there weren't books!

jem said...

Good question Tamara! Most of these new books I count as reference books that I will probably keep even when I’ve read them. As such I will dip into them throughout the year.

But with novels it’s a bit different. I always have loads on my shelves (about 80 at the moment) and sometimes its hard to know what to grab next. Sometimes I go with something that’s in my mind, seasonal or weather perhaps. Sometimes I pick something based on something in the one I just read, a little feature perhaps. Eg if a character in my current book has a dog I picked a novel that also mentions a dog. Sometimes I go for opposites - if I’ve just read a UK based novel, next I’ll go overseas. Or if I’ve read something very challenging I’ll go for an easy read next. And then when I really can’t decide I’ve always got a few reading challenges to fall back on.

I’m just glad too that there is a never-ending supply of things I want to read.

Tamara said...

Jem, thanks for that advice. I think I'm too quick to look for the right equation ie. blog on saturdays, walk in the mornings, read in order of purchasing.. but I want to be a little more receptive to the mood, or as you say, the season, weather or changing topics. I have so much to learn from other women - thanks for sharing.

Tamara said...

Jem, I'm passing on to you the Premio Dardos Award for using your blog to express yourself individually, culturally and literary. Thanks for sharing yourself this way. See my blog for more details.