Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This week at the library: artistic bears, Vikings, and l'affaire Dreyfuss (also snow, lots of snow)

Dear readers:

Troubling news. I awoke yesterday to find ice falling from the sky, and would think the atmosphere broken if I were not so well-read, and had not heard of this thing called 'snow', which the falling ice eventually turned in to. Roads are closed in my area, with schoolchildren trapped in their classrooms and others mired on the interstate, now littered with car wrecks. I only live three miles from work, though, so even if I had gone in before the roads were closed all would have been well. As it is, I'm enjoying a weekend in the middle of the week.  Fortunately I have a pile of books to keep me warm!

Before the snow, I treated myself to a new work by Robert Harris in An Officer and a Spy. Harris is a varied author of historical fiction, with works ranging from classical Rome to the Cold War in Russia.  An Officer is set in late 19th century France, and is a retelling of the Dreyfuss Affair.  I enjoyed that over the weekend, and on Saturday I spent several long hours in a bookshop. I found a lot that interested me, but nothing so enticing I couldn't resist buying it. Eventually I bought a book on the Vikings just to avoid leaving empty-handed. I figured it would be a while before I got around to reading that, but considering that I am in the middle of the first season of The Vikings, a History-channel dramatization, I may start it sooner. I'm been a little wild for the Vikings since starting Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories series. Speaking of which,  I am hungrily awaiting The Pagan Lord to be checked in at the library, as it should be the triumphant conclusion of that series.

Currently I'm increasingly into Poor but Proud, a history of the poor in Alabama, and nibbling on When Elephants Weep, which concerns the emotional lives of animals. Those two will be my focus for the next week, and then starts February and another Great War read.

Well, happy reading to all -- I'm off to stare at the snow in wonder again.


  1. I take it that it doesn't snow there often?

  2. Just about once a decade. We had a good blizzard in '93, a couple of hours of snowfall in '96, and some light flurries back in '11 that didn't stick. Even if snow falls, it's always part of some abnormal system, and so as soon as the temperature spikes back up (at the end of the day, usually), it melts. It's already started to melt, but we saw two days of the weekend we'll hit 30 celsius / 70 Fahrenheit and it'll be history.

    Yes, so...mentally and infrastructurally, we're never ready for snow. The only snow chains down here are the ones on-the-road truckers happen to be carrying with them!


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