Catch-Up Time…


I’m still recovering from my December brain surgery, but progress is good and I’m gaining more energy and more concentration/memory every day. I occasionally have trouble finding the exact word that I’m looking for every now and then, but am learning to just pause until I can grasp the correct term. I wonder if this is my “new normal”, as they say? We will see as it is still early days (only six weeks post-surgery).

I’m also back at work (mostly) full-time and work is picking up very fast which is mostly fun and exciting.

Reading is coming back slowly but surely, but my January #s will be low as I still get distracted and/or fall asleep rather quickly. (See above paragraph re: energy levels.)


I did finish up a lovely read of the recently published “Village Christmas and Other Notes on the English Year” by Laurie Lee. (See my review of As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning here. My reading of “Cider with Rosie” was pre-blog but loved it. ) This volume was more of a collection of reminiscences of his rural childhood (you can tell he misses those early days) along with some pretty grumpy essays about “modern progress”. (These were mostly written in the 1950’s and Lee was clearly turning on his inner Grumpy Old Man for a number of these chapters. Not so fun to read as the others.) Overall good.

I also finished up “Oliver Twist” (Dickens) which was a lovely rambling saga. I may not have blogged about it, but that was more a question of time than of reading quality. I encourage you to read some Dickens if you can. He is a master scribe. 🙂


Speaking of essays (linking back to Lee earlier in the post), I also finished up “The Points of my Compass,” a collection of essays by E. B. White (above illustration), a book that I had found with glee at last autumn’s FoL book sale. Similar to the Lee book above, it was a mixed batch of joyful old memories combined with essays about world politics. These were written during the heyday of the Cold War, and not being so familiar with much of that, a lot of what he wrote went way over my head as I don’t know the names etc. I skimmed most of those, but there were some good essays in between.


My lovely mum sent me the recent Ladybird books in the “How it Works” series: “The Wife” and “The Husband”. Sort of snarky tongue in cheek guidebooks for people in relationships, these two small books are worth tracking down as they match the old classic Ladybird illustrations with questionable advice on the habits and lifestyle of human wives and husbands (or whatever combination you’re working with). J

And outside, the weather here in Texas is starting to become rather spring-like, despite it being early February. Temperatures vacillate rather wildly from temps below freezing when we wake up to mid-70’s when we leave the office at 5p, and then falling very fast again once the sun goes down. This reminds me of being in the mountains for the sudden and rapid drop in temperatures post sunset.) So – lots of dressing in layers right now.

And then I’m preparing for a reading project to start next week in the beginning of February, which I’m rather looking forward to. (Whoops. Ending a sentence in a proposition there. Sorry.) It’s rather fun to have a themed reading series every now and then, but I’ll give you the scoop in a day or two. (Mean, aren’t I?)

Hmm. This turned into rather a longish post from the last couple of months. If you’re still reading, I applaud you and thank you. Here’s some Gatorade to help you recover.) 🙂

4 thoughts on “Catch-Up Time…

  1. Glad to hear you’re getting back to normal – well done! I’ve been curious about the Laurie Lee, but I need to re-read his other books first! 🙂

    • If you’re looking for a happy, charming and gentle read, try “Cider with Rosie”. Your socks will be charmed right off. However, he’s not Russian. Would he make it onto your list? /jk/ 🙂

      • Well, I studied it at school just before I read George Orwell…… 🙂

  2. I hope to reread Oliver Twist in 2016–I agree, Dickens is top of the game when it comes to novels. I have some E.B. White essays but I’ve never actually read any–I just love White from Thurber’s The Years With Ross, and always mean to read him (other than Charlotte’s Web, that is).

    The Ladybird books look like fun, and the covers are perfect.

    Best wishes with your recovery.

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