Friday, 26 October 2007

Spurts of growth and action

I got through a whole shelf of SF and fantasy last night, and we're up to No. 423 (2,922 books).

TinyBookworm seems to be having a "growth spurt": grumpy much of the time, refusing to nap (no change there), very unsettled last night, and today feeding like a sumo wrestler in training. Next week at the in-laws is not going to be a time of unalloyed joy and relaxation!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Many Dimensions

Finished Charles Williams's Many Dimensions last night. A most curious book, in which echoes of Chesterton struck me strongly, as well as what seems to me the clear influence of Williams's conversations with Owen Barfield on his character of Lord Arglay (who is interested in the parallels of law and poetic diction!). But Arglay is also, in his bizarre intimate yet non-sexual relationship with his much younger secretary, also very much Williams himself: aloof, hieratic, paternal to the point of patronizing like Ransom in That Hideous Strength. Lewis is surely also in debt to Williams's Sir Giles Tumulty for many aspects of the suavely villainous Devine.

Rating on the Zeitgeist peaked at No. 443 (2,880 books), but will now slip until I get a chance to finish the bookcases in the back room. Last weekend was given over mostly to gardening: took out the less successful forsythia (too shaded) and moved the unhappy mahonia (not shaded enough) into its place, adding a stinking hellebore for good measure. Also stuck in some crocus and allium bulbs: fingers crossed for the spring.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

...and counting!

No. 476 (2,717)

Bought two books this lunchtime at the Oxfam shop, and added them immediately!

Autumn II

Grey mist below a grey sky, between green trees turning gold, and a Schubert song on the car radio. On leaving the car and cycling through the village, I catch the scent of smoke (a coal fire or woodsmoke, I am not sure which). That scent always fills me with an indefinable nostalgia. My grandparents' house in Hertfordshire smelled faintly of coal and smoke; it was always cold, the windows misty with condensation, and in the early morning I would lie and listen to the pigeons cooing in the trees along the road.

Last week I glanced out of the kitchen window just in time to see a small biplane loop the loop over the nearby airfield. So that made two happy people: the pilot in doing it, and me in watching.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Breaking the barrier

At some point in the last couple of weeks, my steady trickle of additions to LibraryThing has pushed us into the Top 500 libraries! This is less of a milestone than it would have been a couple of months ago, as the Zeitgeist page now lists the Top 1000 libraries; but it's gratifying, nevertheless, to know that we are as outstandingly book-mad as we thought we were! Our top ranking so far has been No. 483, though we may slip as others extend their catalogues. There are still five and a half bookcases to go, so our slow rise will continue whenever the relentless round of work, meals, and nappy changes lets me back to the computer for more than a couple of minutes.