Saturday, May 9, 2015

What I'm Reading

1–2. By Frances Partridge:  
A Bloomsbury Album,
 and Love in Bloomsbury: Memories (green book)

< Lytton Strachey, Rosamond Lehmann and her brother John looking at pictures

Frances married Ralph, who was desired by Lytton, who was beloved by Carrington, who was married to Ralph, until he met Frances.

As related in admirably straightforward fashion by Frances, none of this reads like a soap opera. She writes sensibly about the lives of a group of people who had a little (–to a lot) more than usual money, time, intelligence education, and, some of them, creativity.
How's that for faint praise? Can you sense I'm not a huge Bloomsbury fan? Still, I like reading the calm observations of F.P.'s published journals (which continue into her nineties).

2. Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash, by Susuan Strasser

By far the best of the books I've been reading on the topic--explores historical forces (poverty, war, urbanization) that shape our attitudes toward and handling of garbage.

3. A Man Called Ove, a novel by Fredrik Backman

Someone recommended this--was it you, Lady C?
I've just started it and so far it's good bedtime reading--episodic bits from the life of a
Swedish curmudgeon coping with being widowed, retired, and annoyed by other people.

4. Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth, by Camille Bacon-Smith

I'd given this to Marz for Christmas and just started browsing through it after a brush with writing fanfic myself. 
It's from 1992 so it's not only interesting on fan fic but inadvertently interesting on pre-Internet communication:
the author comments at the fast speed of fan communication: at one point, she got feedback from readers around the country within six weeks!

5. Chicago Manual of Style
I wouldn't read this just for fun, (though it might make good bathroom browsing), but now I'm doing some proofreading again, it is kind of fun to hunt down answers; it's like looking for the correct nuts and bolts to hold the writing together. 

6. The Ship of Brides, by Jojo Moyes (book already returned to the library)

Especially when I'm reading a lot of nonfiction for work, I want to read lightweight fiction before bed, and this fit the bill.  
Nothing profound, but not too fluffy, this novel follows the fate of four out of a few hundred Australian war brides being transported to England on a naval ship at the end of WWII. I would read more by this author.

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