20 January 2020

Easter eggs and other unexpected pleasures

I read. A lot. Maybe not as much as some, but I logged 81 books in GoodReads last year. If I were more organized, I'd be able to tell you the ratio between fiction and non-fiction. But 36 were library books. A bunch were little obsessions:

Some were books I feel like I should have read a long time ago: I loved Willa Cather's The Song of the Lark and I think of it often. I cracked through nine books in a two week beach vacation - starting, aptly, with Pamela Paul's My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues.

Other notable books read include these that I'd read again:

The last book I read in 2019 was The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. It's the first in a series wherein Mary Russell befriends Sherlock Holmes and becomes his collaborator. My friend Teresa had sent me the first three just before Christmas. Teresa's sent me books before - she sent me all 12 of the Robin Paige mysteries a few years ago.

And what I love about reading the books from Teresa is that she is a die-hard editor: every book that she has passed along to me has at least a few edits (in pencil - only in pencil). She fixes typos. She edits out unnecessary words.

She replaces infelicitous words.

And in A Monstrous Regiment of Women, the 2nd Mary Russell book, which I have just finished, she added page numbers.

It's like finding Easter eggs.

Recently, someone created a Facebook group of OG bloggers - people who'd attended one or more BlogHer conferences back in the day. Reading those posts is an exercise in a lovely sort of nostalgia, even though I was so tangentially attached - there, but not "in". Teresa never went to BlogHer, but I'd never have met Teresa but for the blogging community. There are so many people - mostly women - that are good friends to this day, who have made my life immeasurably richer, who I'd never have met otherwise. I am so grateful for that, even though the platform is not what it was and there's far less reading and writing of blogs going on. Nevertheless, I persist.


Julie Pippert said...

HA you can take the editor out of the editing job but you can never take the editing job out of the editor! I haven't marked up books other than in my head but I have been awfully tempted to send a few notes of suggestion to authors. Good to see what you've been reading.

Amie Adams said...

And I am so glad you do! The friendships I made through blogging are so treasured. xo. Also, you have read some of my favorites lately.

kathy a. said...

Yes, I'm really a fan of Laurie R. King and her Mary Russell series!

Also, you're a real friend, even if we have not yet met in person.


Suburban Turmoil said...

Ha! I love the editing! What is your Goodreads username? I try to read about 60 books a year and am on Goodreads quite a bit. I'd love to be friends there.

Jocelyn said...

You are one of my greatest blogging treasures.

Oxfordshire said...

Ditto! Have now bought the Dorothy Whipple!🐈

YourFireAnt said...

Back atcha, girlie.


p.s. Let me know when ya need the next three.

Bibliomama said...

I got the first Mary Russell book in galley form when I worked at the audio publisher and was smitten. Our reading year sounds quite similar - also, I think if you go to Stats in Goodreads you can get a breakdown in subject matter, but maybe that's only if you've categorized the books yourself already. I feel the same way about the BlogHer group - I think I'll probably leave soon, but it's been interesting.

MARY G said...

I both edit and send notes to particularly egregious writers. My bad. Always wanted to go to Blogher, but never made it. Sigh. I love the on line friends that I have made peripherally to it, even so. Um, edit.
I read an awful lot, but find myself putting off reading the ones I have to read for Book Club. When I was a teenager, I always was dilatory on the homework and I think this is another iteration of the same thing.

Am investigating your recces.Thanks a lot.

Jeanne said...

I'm also a big fan of the Mary Russell series! Years ago I wrote about some of the later ones, but I read the first few pre-blogging.

canape said...

"There but not 'in"

That's so precisely how I have always felt.

julochka said...

I read ALL of Mrs. Pollifax as well and have even listened to the two I couldn't get except on Audible, multiple times. She charms me and dare I say, I even kind of want to be her.

I'm curious about that 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, though I suspect my view of her is colored significantly by Helena Bonham Carter's brilliant portrayal. Your Goodreads review was so different from Beth's (also of the old bloggy days), that I suspect I have to read it.

I'm currently tackling Ulysses with a book club of people who will be reading it in Danish. That oughta be interesting...I will be reading the original, which is difficult enough.

Oh, and I love people who write in books too - my mom had the whole "The Cat Who..." series of mysteries featuring a smart pair of Siamese cats - and they are full of such editing. Me, I don't mind writing in pen, even in library books! Mostly because the marginalia and underlining were the best part of the books at the Regenstein Library at the U of C when I was there. I consider it to be a conversation with future readers.