As this new week rolls around, I am particularly rejuvenated, because… look who visited this weekend! My dear, lovely and much-missed friend Zandria was in town from Buffalo – what a joy it was to see that face! Zan and her husband Paul used to live in DC and moved to Buffalo about a month before we did, and are still living there now, and Zan was my closest friend in the area for the three years that I lived there. (We actually met because I found her blog while I was researching our possible move to Buffalo.) Paul works for a law firm that has an office in the city, and his job frequently brings him to town, with Zan tagging along occasionally – including last week! So of course the highlight of our weekend was seeing our wonderful friends. We hugged so tightly, and talked so hard and long, that you’d have thought it had been two years since we last saw each other, and not two months. I have commenced an aggressive campaign to convince Zan and Paul to move back to DC. So that was our Saturday – a visit we’d been looking forward to since July when we hugged our friends goodbye in Buffalo and said “See you in Virginia in September!” Sunday was more family fun, after a couple of false starts. We’d planned to go to One Sock On, which is the affinity group for families with babies and toddlers at our church, but had a miscommunication about when it started and ended up missing it – boo. So we decided to go to IKEA instead (an annoying errand, but one that will be worth it when we have bookshelves and a dresser) but turned back after two blocks when we decided that the packages we were planning to get wouldn’t fit in the car. With a free morning to fill, then, we decided to go to Mount Vernon for the first time since moving back; before we left the area, we lived in Mount Vernon, just about two miles from the estate, and were there at least once a month. We bought memberships and had a nice morning wandering the grounds and checking out the Colonial Marketplace, then headed home for lunch, naps, and to get ready for a fall family social at Peanut’s school. She wasn’t feeling it, so we only lasted about half an hour. It happens.
So, again, I find myself typing: with all that weekend activity, I didn’t do much reading. Some in the evenings, and a blissful hour on the front porch while the kids napped yesterday, but it didn’t feel like much time at all. I keep seeing social media posts full of cozy plans for long afternoons with a book and a cup of tea and a falling autumn rain, and… that’s not happening around here. There are no long afternoons with a book, I barely have time to make a cup of tea in the morning, and it’s still 90 degrees and humid here. (Not that I’m complaining. Believe me, I’m not. I’m finally starting to thaw out from last winter. It can stay sweltering for the next year and I’d be just fine with that. But a little more reading time wouldn’t be unwelcome.)
And again, I find myself typing: notwithstanding the non-bookish weekend, I did get some reading done over the course of the past week. Finished The Witches: Salem 1692 – finally, after having laid it down months ago – and it was really thorough and excellently done. Then I was feeling a comic, so I grabbed the next volume in the Fables series, which I had out from the library. I think volume 6, Homelands, was my favorite yet. And then I finally picked up Alias Grace, which has been on my “to be read” list for years – literally – and it is as wonderful as I expected. I’ve been reading it slowly and savoring every word. It’s quite dark, but there are little jokes sprinkled throughout and I’m really enjoying spotting those. Can’t wait to see how the story ends – I’m just coming to the critical part, I think.
After I finish Alias Grace, I have no earthly clue what I will read next. I don’t have any other books checked out from the library at the moment, and I’ve whittled my “currently reading” list down to just the one, which is just how I like it. I have a bunch of my own books in piles all over the house (waiting for shelves… IKEA happens next weekend) so it should be easy enough to find my next read. I might go back to Barsetshire and read Barchester Towers. I might start the Mapp and Lucia novels. I might finally pick up Ms. Marvel. I might read something completely unexpected. I like having lots of options, but I’m also weirdly nervous about it. Well, whatever I pick, you know I’ll tell you all about it.
Coming up on the blog this week: a recap of the summer on Wednesday, and another vacation post on Friday. I’m already looking ahead to next week – I’ve got a perfect September pick for Diverse KidLit. But you’ll have to wait for that one. Check back!
What are you reading this week, my friends?