Well, I did some fairly serious reading in November! And some very frivolous reading too.
156. Le Morte d'Arthur* by Sir Thomas Malory. This was hard work. I appreciated the historical essay, the glossary, and the notes, and I suppose it's good to get this Ur-text of western lit under my belt; but damn.
157. The Beggar's Opera by John Gay. I think this was a first-read. But not certain. An antidote to Malory.
158. Endangered Pleasures* by Barbara Holland. Entertaining essays and a very engaging writing style.
159. The Sheik* by E.M. Hull. I have ranted about this SPOS previously.
160. The Mabinogion* transl. & ed. by Jeffrey Gantz. Welsh mythology and mytho-history, considerably more readable than the Malory.
160.5. The Mountain of Marvels* a short rendering of the Pwyll/Rhiannon story from the Mabinogion, by Aaron Shepherd.
161. The Arrangement* by Mary Balogh. A Regency romance novel! Haven't mowed through one of those for a while. MB is writing a new series featuring a group of wounded warriors. I like the concept and her execution is always good.
162. Santa Barbara Museum of Art: Selected Works.* Not a whole lot of actual reading required here, but nice to learn the history of this fine museum.
162.5. Unknown Terrain: The Landscapes of Andrew Wyeth.* Whitney Museum. Great pictures.
162.75. The Spooner Collection of British Watercolors.* I can hardly be said to have read this because the three lengthy essays were fundamentally unreadable. I mean seriously: "Watercolour, or the use and deployment of water-based paints on paper, has always had a special significance in Britain." ... I am not kidding. That is the first line.
163. Leaves of Grass: The Deathbed Edition* by Walt Whitman. It took me a good six months of lunch hours to get through this; a little goes a long way. The valedictory closing essay may have been my favorite part, and I preferred the very short (distilled, perhaps) late-in-life poems to the longer early ones.
164. Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road* by Anne La Coste, et al. Exhibition catalog of a very early globe-trotting photographer (images dating from 1853). Very interesting with well-written text.
165. The Coffin Trail: A Lake District Mystery* by Martin Edwards. First in a new-to-me series featuring a female cold-case investigator and an Oxford historian. Solid, well-plotted, and with well-drawn characters.
166. A Stranger at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston. I read all the Green Knowe books a million years ago. This one I found at the used-book store and was impressed all over again by the beautiful writing. A book for young readers, but not immature ones.
167. Zoe's Tale* by John Scalzi. An entry in the Old Man's War universe, very very good.
168. The Last Colony* by John Scalzi. The same story from a different POV, also very good, though I preferred Zoe's voice in the later version.
169. The Wedding Bargain* by Victoria Alexander. Another Regency, light but entertaining.
170. The Oxus Treasure* by John Curtis. From the British Museum Objects in Focus series, a nice slim book with a brief history and analysis (and lots of terrific photos) of this circa-3rd c. B.C. Persian hoard.
I have now trompled all over my "score" for 2012 (total number of books read). Yay me.
Barbara Holland on the pleasures of working:
"Sometimes, at work, we do something extraordinarily successful, and get rewarded for it ... . This never happens at home. No matter how successful we are around the house, nobody ever gives us a raise."