books and statues

Gladstone Statue detail 1I wasn't going to go to the library yesterday, I was going to abstain until the weekend but I just had to get new books. I had to power walk cause I got carried away talking about books and other things with my friend over tarts and tea and suddenly realized the library closed in 50 min! I got there with a half an hour to spare and I walked quickly up and down aisles with my list trying to locate books and getting pretty frustrated. I'm sure I mentioned before that the collection at this particular branch is a bit sparse. I really wanted to pick up a couple Jeanette Winterson books and Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally which said it was in but no luck on either account.

I did get away with the following :
: Crash . J.G. Ballard - on the 1001 List, finished reading this today and good God what a bizarre and quite disturbing book and no it is not the book that inspired the Academy Award winning film, Crash of 2004 - but it was made into a movie of the same title in 1996 starring James Spader. Just a warning the book is quite pornographic and a bit grotesque in its descriptions of car crashes and sex. Full review coming soon!

: The Ladies of Grace Adieu . Susanna Clarke - after reading a bit from Crash I needed some nice reading before going to bed so I cracked Clarke's newest book open and read the first short story also titled The Ladies of Grace Adieu. Jonathan Strange of Clarke's first novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is featured, this short story is actually referred to in footnote 46 of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I bought that book last summer when the hardback was on sale for $5 at Borders and I started to read it but then I got so wrapped up in preparing to move to Liverpool and trying to read my ever growing library stacks that I never finished it. I've listed it as a book to read for the 888 Challenge so I will get to it before the end of the year.

: Saturday . Ian McEwan - on the 1001 List and part of the 888 Challenge, the novel takes place in London just before the US announced that it was going to war with Iraq. The main character, Perowne is growing uneasy with the state of the world and when a car accident (jeez what's with all the car accidents!?) brings him into contact with Baxter, a fidgety agressive man Perowne and his family may be in danger.

: The Female Quixote . Charlotte Lennox - on the 1001 List and part of the 888 Challenge, I have to say the title of this one has been catching my eye for some time, having read Don Quixote last year and absolutely loving it. The description sounds charming: Arabella reads French novels and paints a picture of her life as adventurous and deeply romantic. After her father's death she learns that she must marry her cousin, Glanville in order to keep part of the estate. But Arabella has a private code of conduct which does not allow her to take any role but center stage in the drama of her own life; her literary heroines are always in control. Sounds delicious! A quick flip through it has just revealed that there are no quotations used during scenes of dialogue so will have to pay attention.

: The First Century After Beatrice . Amin Maalouf - the author's name caught my eye when I was browsing the shelves on a previous visit to the library and I memorized the location so that I could check it out on my next visit. And as always the book had moved but luckily I found it again! May your name live forever and a son be born to you (an ancient Egyptian prayer) A French entomologist attends a symposium in Cairo where he finds a curious bean being sold in the market. It is claimed that the bean, derived from the scarab beetle has magic powers; specifically the power to guarantee the birth of a male infant. The entomologist conducts research and soon discovers that the rate of female births is becoming increasingly rare, he believes that the world has entered into a critical phase of history. He begins to question the validity of gender bias and attempts to redress the growing inbalance before it reaches irreversible proportions. But the poverty and famine of the South, where male children can mean the difference between survival and starvation, the popularity of the scarab beans is already taking devestating effect. It is a short novel, 192 pgs and was winner of the 1993 Prix Goncourt.

: The Plot Against America . Philip Roth - on the 1001 List and part of the 888 Challenge, I've heard Roth can be difficult to read but I'm willing to give it a try. This novel takes place during the fictitious Lindbergh presidency in 1940 which caused fear to invade Jewish households in America. Lindbergh publicly blamed the Jews for pushing America towards a pointless war with Nazi Germany and upon taking office he negotiated a cordial 'understanding' with Adolf Hitler. Roth recounts what it was like for his Newark family and for a million such families during the menacing years of the Lindbergh presidency when American Jews had every reason to expect the worst.

The days are getting longer and we actually had some sun yesterday. As I was leaving the library the sun was lighting up some of the buildings and statues across the way from the library so it was time to whip out the camera and take some pictures.

(you can view them all by clicking on 'photos' on the top navigation bar, once you're on the flickr page just click on the album titled Liverpool 2007/2008)

In the Round Sitting Up High Residence Hall The Fountain The Fountain 2

No Longer Speaking Empire Theatre Wellington Memorial Columed Hall Fishy Light Poles

Balfour Statue King's Regiment Gladstone Statue Gladstone Statue detail 1 Gladstone Statue detail 2

Even though the forecast shows that the next 5 days will be overcast with rain I hope to get a bit of sun this weekend so I can go pyramid hunting. There's a small cemetery located nearby squeezed between two buildings and inside the cemetery is a pyramid. I took a picture of it (of course) when I lived here in 2004 but I have since learned the story behind the pyramid. The picture is on a disc back home so I need a new one and then I will post it here and tell you all the story behind Liverpool's Pyramid.

Now that I'm fairly certain that I'll be returning home this summer there's so much to see and do here and plenty of photographs to take! I can't believe next week we're already in April, and then it'll be May and I'll be on my way to the island!

Strawberry & Rhubarb Tart (close up)This is one of the delicious strawberry and rhubarb tarts I made for Easter dessert. It was actually pretty good, it was my first time using rhubarb in a recipe. I made darn sure there were no leafy bits anywhere on the rhubarb before chopping it up, I got scared after reading that the leaves are toxic! Didn't want to give any one a bellyache. These are very nice with fresh cream drizzled over them while they're hot. The recipe is here if you want to give them a shot, they're pretty easy and well worth it.

. listening . intuition . feist . the reminder .

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posted by Ashleigh @ 17:47,


At 28 March 2008 at 13:27, Blogger Danielle said...

I stopped by my library yesterday, too (and found a short story collection by Wodehouse, though the selection was pretty slim). The Female Quixote looks good. I read Don Quixote last year, too! By the way, if you have the time to create a Les Mis blog (I love the name you came up with by the way), that would be wonderful. I thought about it initially, but just wasn't energetic enough to go to the trouble. It would be nice to have one central place, though, to post and discuss the book. Thanks for offering!

At 28 March 2008 at 21:58, Blogger Ashleigh said...

No problem, it'll be my first time doing a group blog so it should be fun! I'll start working on it tomorrow and should have it up and running by the end of the weekend so we can all start posting! I reached pg. 300 last night which is the end of Fantine's story. Next up Cosette!

At 28 March 2008 at 23:17, Blogger Danielle said...

Wow--You're zipping right along! I wish I was a faster reader, but if I'm somewhere where there's a lot of noise I get easily distracted (and I read a lot at the gym or on the bus--noisy places). I'd like to get up to at least page 200 over the weekend.


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random field notes

    ashleigh (ash'lė) n.
    1: egyptologist; currently living in the uk attempting to obtain a phd in egyptology, hoping in the end there will be a job.
    2: literary; reading to escape reality, to improve conversation, for inspiration.
    3: crafter; crocheting and needlework, creating heirlooms, keeping the world warm.
    4: dreamer; head in the clouds, full of fantasies, wishing to be someone else, somewhere else.
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from random field notes. Make your own badge here.

:: reading ::
: Ivanhoe . Walter Scott
: Schindler's Ark . Thomas Keneally
: The Amber Spyglass . Philip Pullman
: The Red Queen . Margaret Drabble
: Un Lun Dun . China Miéville
: A Handful of Dust . Evelyn Waugh
: Adjunct: An Undigest . Peter Manson
: A Kestral for a Knave . Barry Hines

:: recently finished ::
: Falling Man . Don DeLillo
: Written on the Body . Jeanette Winterson
: The Bell Jar . Sylvia Plath
: No One Writes to the Colonel . Gabriel García Márquez
: The Subtle Knife . Philip Pullman

:: book rating ::
5 : True Love
4 : Like
3 : Good
2 : Ok
1 : Why did I read this?

:: challenges ::
: 1% Well Read
: 888 Challenge
: Chunkster Challenge
: Decades Challenge 2008
: Novella Challenge
: Once Upon A Time II
: The Parisian Underworld
: The Pub

:: creating ::
: sadly nothing at the moment

:: recent posts ::
: more jeeves
: thank you, jeeves
: slaughterhouse-five
: the novella challenge
: once upon a time... again
: slipping into the weekend
: the diving bell and the butterfly
: sexing the cherry
: spring break
: missing arizona

:: labels ::
: book
: book review
: challenge
: craft
: egypt
: life
: liverpool
: movie
: photos
: quiz/meme
: random
: school
: travel
: weekly geeks

:: archives ::
: 2008
01 :: 02 :: 03 :: 04 :: 05 :: 06

:: blogroll ::

:: bookish
: 1 more chapter
: a high and hidden place
: a striped armchair
: a work in progress
: bookie
: books please
: eloise by the book pile
: estella's revenge
: eve's alexandria
: the hidden side of a leaf
: people reading
: red room library
: stainless steel droppings

:: crafty
: cosmicpluto knits
: crazy aunt purl
: how about orange
: inside a black apple
: ma petite théière
: midnight knitter
: not martha
: posie gets cosy
: ranger sarah
: wild yarn
: yarnstorm

:: special
: idyll thoughts