Monday, July 14, 2008

Finally catching up

I'm just now finishing up books I bought in London this past Christmas. The dog days of summer aren't upon us just yet, but it's hot enough that I've been hiding indoors with this pile of books.

I finally read the second half of Frances Hodgson Burnett'sThe Making of a Marchioness. The two halves were originally published as separate books anyway, so the 7-month gap didn't bother me too much. The tone of the second half is very different: if the first section is a kind of Cinderella story, the second is much more like The Turn of the Screw. I'm not entirely sure what to think of it all, though I did enjoy reading the book immensely.

Another beautiful Persephone book I'd bought in London and just now read is Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, by Winifred Watson. It's a perfect Cinderella story, a lovely fairy take about a woman who's never before had a chance to shine, and what happens to her when she does. Plus it's written in tremendously hip and funny language.

Last and now on my all-time favorites list is The Dud Avocado, Elaine Dundy's novel about an American girl in Paris. Sally Jay is my perfect heroine--kooky but not tragic like Holly Golightly, funny and sarcastic, worldly but naive. I imagine scores of girls read this book and think she's exactly like they are. I'll admit, I certainly did. And then, underneath all that, there is this perfectly structured piece story that never even tries to let on how brilliant it is; it just sits back there quietly being a genius of plot and pacing, and if you never even notice it, it's not at all bothered. If it were up to me, this novel would immediately become part of the canon and get taught in all modern literature classes.

Now that I've got those off my to-be-read shelf, the only London books left are a Christian Dior guide to style (less of a reading book and more of a reference book), some selected Henry James, and some poetry by Keats and by... someone else. Whom I've forgotten.

Happy Bastille Day!

I'm back!

There are a number of huge changes on my horizon, and combined with my weekend binge of old Belle de Jour entries, I decided it was time to get back to blogging.

I'm getting ready to move, in August, into a tiny little apartment with just my tiny little dog to keep me company.

And, on the same day in August, I start class--I'm taking some post-baccalaureate classes in art history at Georgia State. My eventual goal is to get my masters in art history, and then become Indiana Jones.

Or, you know, a curator. Or something like that.

So I'll be writing about how cool it is to live alone, and how fun going back to school while working full time is, and how much I love it when my dog eats the couch cushions. Should be fun!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunday, December 23, 2007


It's very cold here. I don't have a good pen to write with and it's pissing me off. I also don't have a map which means I can't make sense of all the places I've been. Complaints to be handled at some point, I guess. Right now I'm just trying to stay warm, stay awake because I'm supposed to go to some party thing. I really really don't want to. Don't want to leave the house again tonight, at least until I can nap.


Yesterday (Saturday):
- Broadway Market in Hackney
- dinner at home
- drinks at the pub
- chips in a pita on the walk home

Today (Sunday):
- Tate Britain -- Millais!
- Covent Garden for expensive lunch and browsing Forbidden Planet
- home in the freezing fog

Friday, December 21, 2007

LDN: End of first day

Planes, trains, and automobiles. I definitely lost a day, with all the travel I did. Exhausting. Cary picked me up from Gatwick with coffee at the ready, and we rode for hours to get to his flat. then on to Finsbury Park, where we ate lunch at an awesome little deli called Good For Food (parsnip soup with cumin and ginger, and bread). Then we walked around, killed time. Cary signed a lease and moved into his new house, 3 blocks from St. Andrew's Mansions, where he was.

House is very, very cute. Exactly what you'd picture. I'm in the closet-sized guest room at the end of the hall. Cold, but it is freezing here. It gets dark at 4pm, and then it gets foggy. Exactly what you'd picture, again. I'm thinking it's mostly like that here. I miss Jenny an insane amount. Wish she was here. Still. I love England and I'm daydreaming about America. Re-reading American Gods. Planning my great cross-country roadtrip. I'd plan what to do here in London, but damn am I lost and confused. So many streets. I need a good map. And a day to wander around in like, each area.

Things I love about London thus far:
- the bus
- the corner shop
- the old, solid buildings
- the brisk air when I'm bundled up and walking fast

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Signed, Mata Hari

Even if I wasn't completely fascinated by her story, I would want to read this book for its gorgeous cover art:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Synchronicity always happens

This morning I read on Bookslut that Elizabeth Hardwick had died.

Then I opened up Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints, to the middle of an essay I was reading, and Joan Acocella mentioned her in the very next paragraph.

Monday, November 26, 2007

For the holiday season

Essential listening: Money and Moral Balance, from Speaking of Faith.