A Mantel of White

“Over the ground lies a mantle of white,

a heaven of diamonds shine down through the night,

two hearts are thrillin’,

in spite of the chill in the weather…the wea-ther…”

I’m not sure my heart is thrillin’, but there’s a definite chill in our weather.

Winter wonderland indeed.

But today’s snowstorm is a wonderful excuse to stay indoors and read, an excuse i’m always pleased to take advantage of.  and i have a new bookstack from which to choose.  here’s what’s up:

Friend of My Youth,  Alice Munroe, my February slection in the Short Story Challenge.  This collection promises to offer some truly thought provoking characters and situations, as “men and women recall the events, the long-buried yearnings and dreams, the somtimes puzzling choices that made them what they now are.”  Munroe is one of my favorite Canadian novelists, yet I’ve shied away from her short stories because – well, until now I’ve shied away from short stories in general.  She is reputed to excel in this genre, hence my choice to add this collection to my challenge bookstack.

Interior, Lisa See,  the first in a contemporary mystery series by the author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  Detective Liu Hulan and her lover, attorney David Stark, usually operate out of contemporary Beijing, but a child’s murder forces them into the “interior” of rural China, a place which “forces Hulan to face a past she has long been running from.”  I came across this series purely by accident while browsing for something else.  I read Snow Flower some time ago, and just recently read Peony in Love,  See’s latest Chinese historical novel.  I found them both somewhat difficult, although the Chinese setting and historical background was interesting.  But I did enjoy See’s writing style, so I look forward to reading something set in the contemporary world.

The Enchanted April, Elizbeth von Arnim, which has been on my tbr list since seeing the movie several years ago. I was reminded of it by Litlove, whose mention of it in her excellent review of another of Arnim’s book sent me to my archives to search it out. Set in post WWI, the novel follows four very dissimilar women who vacation together in Tuscany, each one searching for ways to heal a fractured spirit.  

Meanwhile, i’m drawing to the close of Claire Tomalin’s Austen biography, which has been delightful to read, particularly as an accompaniment to the Masterpiece series on public televsion.  (Although i must admit to some disappointment in last week’s production of Mansfield Park, which seemed to fall flat after the sparkling Northanger Abbey.)

These should keep me busy today, don’t you think?


7 thoughts on “A Mantel of White

  1. What a lovely collection of books on the go! I wish we could have a snow day here, as there’s nothing like it for making cosy indoor reading even more attractive than it is generally! We are forecast snow, but it hasn’t fallen yet (and rarely does, this side of the UK).

  2. I’m wildly envious as I sit in my little office typing away and juggling projects! “Enchanted April” is a favorite movie — I think that one needs to go on my list, too!

    “Mansfield Park” — my review was sweet and pretty, but lacking the delight I found in “Northanger Abbey.” Though having said that, I have to admit that I stuck with it and have seen far worse! (Next up is “Miss Austen Regrets” — the biopic that came out recently with Olivia Williams as Jane. Then an encore of the “Pride and Prejudice” mini-series first seen on A&E that brought Colin Firth to greater attention!

  3. These do indeed sound good. I really liked Snow Flower, and I have Peony in Love but haven’t read it, yet. I didn’t know she had a new book out set in the contemporary world. Thanks for the tip.

  4. These do indeed sound good. I really liked Snow Flower, and I have Peony in Love but haven’t read it, yet. I didn’t know she had a new book out set in the contemporary world. Thanks for the tip.

  5. I’m having a lovely day inside too!! Though I’ve been blogging more than reading (but I have been reading blogs!).

    Check out my blog for the link to the Austen website..I think you’ll find that interesting!!

    I didn’t really get into Lisa See but I’ll try this one if it’s a mystery…maybe it’s better than the other 2 books I read.

    I love Alice Munro — all of her work. She is probably the only short story writer that I would read religiously.

    Must check out “Enchanted April”.

  6. I usually have several books going on at once too but I’m trying to keep it to three books. Otherwise I begin to feel as if I never finish anything! ha,ha.
    Hope you enjoy The Enchanted April. That is one of my all time favorites. And, the movie is good too. Stay warm!

  7. Here it is warmish (25 degrees) compared to the last few days (-30 winchill) so I may have to go outside for a while. But I’m sure that can’t last for long, so I will be back inside for some reading.

    It sounds like you have a great selection. I need to check out some more books from my library soon.

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