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I went back home to Ipswich for a long weekend and am now back in London, only to be almost about to vanish off to north Wales for a week. We leave on Saturday morning so I need to do various chores tomorrow, such as like.. getting my laundry dried so I have clothes to wear in Wales. I am an adult.

In Ipswich, I was visiting a family member in hospital a lot (now out and doing well) and in the evenings I started watching the 1980s Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane BBC series.

I mean... really. Harriet Walter as Harriet Vane is peak, "I want to be her and I am also in love with her" for me. I can't stop thinking about her hair, her high voice, her mannerisms... and I've only seen like three episodes. Need to do better, need to watch more.

Harriet Vane seated in a jail visiting room, smoking

I keep starting books and then abandoning them. Except maybe it's not been long enough for abandonment yet, or not for all of t.. Recently I have started:
  • Witchmark, by C.L. Polk. This is KL Charles-ish second world fantasy romance with a mystery. Not necessarily my favourite kind of thing (the writing is fine but usually I like prose that's a bit more stylised than this) but it's quite a soothing read. It only came out on Tuesday so this one is not even close to being abandoned yet.
  • Little, Big, by John Crowley. This has been one I have trying to start for such a long time - for ages it seemed impenetrable to me. I've finally found my entry point, I think, but I am taking it very slowly. I am obsessed with the magical architecture of it... the house which becomes so many different houses, also the strange route that has to be walked, also the book which becomes bigger and bigger with more and more philosophical material, its original purpose and structure still there, but engulfed...
  • A Scholar of Magics, by Caroline Stevermer. I am taking this one slowly, too. Mostly out of fear that it will soon be over and then I will have no more of these glorious books by her to read! She has a handful of other novels but they're not in the same setting. It's funny - when I saw that the main character was a cowboy in an analogue for Oxford in early 20th century England I was expecting the character to be much more broadly-drawn, more of a stereotype. But he's not - I don't know why I'm surprised, Stevermer is such a clever writer always. I love him and how he both loves the university he's visiting and he understands many of the problems with it and its exclusivity...
  • Am also trying to find my way into The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard. Horrible suspicion that I'm not really clever enough for it.
  • Read the first few pages of The Dragon Waiting on the tube today after getting it from the library. I think this might be a good thing to read after the recent Daughter of Time debacle.
  • I read a good chunk of I'll Stand By You, the book of letters between Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland, but I haven't picked it up in a few weeks. It's very wonderful and full of love and cleverness and strange stories.
  • I started Orlando by Virginia Woolf and it's full of a lot of beautiful stuff (the ice-skating!!! I perish) but also lots of astonishing racism. Why. I mean, I know the answer. Just, it has me dragging my heels on continuing with it.
  • I ordered a copy of Greer Gilman's Moonwise from the USA. I ordered the old paperback because I am shallow and I love the cover of it, whereas I am not such a fan of the more recent hardback. But it hasn't turned up yet and it feels like it's been a million years. Where is my book!!!
paperback edition of Moonwise by Greer Gilman


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December 2018

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