Thursday, March 16, 2006

California, Lolita, & Fiona

My 36th birthday is next week. It will also be my 20th anniversary as a vegetarian. I have the day off. No doubt, I'll need to find time to eat a great meal with my husband and read some good books!

I finished Joan Anderson's A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman. It was time well spent. Anderson's memoir adds more to my desire to write something comparing women's memoirs. I can clearly see the commonalities here and with Alix Kates Shulman's Drinking the Rain. Both women experienced profound changes in mid-life and found refuge within small, humble, solitary structures near the water.

Last week I picked up a copy of the reference book A Companion to California at my library's used book sale. What a find this was! Compiled by former Bancroft Library director and UC Berkeley professor, James D. Hart, this book has entries on nearly everything one would want to look up. My copy is the first edition. A later, revised edition would, I'm sure, be equally wonderful. This creation captures and demonstrates a true love for California.

I also recently picked up a copy of Reading Lolita in Tehran for 25 cents at the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library in San Diego County. I started reading it earlier this week.

Besides all this, I made a CD purchase of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine over the weekend. I have liked her from the time of her first CD, but somehow I missed this new release. It is simply amazing music - such passion and creativity. It comes with a 2-sided disc. The DVD side includes footage of live performances. I was just blown away and had to watch several of the performances over & over the first time I put it in. I could not get enough. Yeah, Fiona!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Guilty Pleasure of Amanda Cross

I've been so busy lately with work and my book project that over a month has passed since my last post here. I finished Miss American Pie and loved it. The ending was completely satisfying, since Sartor concluded her girlhood memoir with current updates on what all became of her "characters."

In between my busy work schedule, I've had little time to read, but I did get a chance to fit in an Amanda Cross mystery: Death in a Tenured Position. Oh! The writing is so clever. Cross, which is a pseudonym for the late English professor and feminist theorist Carolyn Heilbrun, crafts highly entertaining mysteries that appeal even to those of us who don't generally enjoy the genre. Her mysteries are for literary types and academics.

I have now started Joan Anderson's A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman along with a book I'm reviewing for Serials Review titled Selecting and Managing Electronic Resources. More will come later on these two.