Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire


Found this interesting exercise on A Work in Progress and just had to fill it out myself. Taken from A Passion for Books: The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire (If One Could Only Save Ten)

So this raised an interesting question for me – do I save the books it would be difficult to replace (i.e. those that are out of print or terribly expensive to replace in hardcover) or those I truly love.

I decided to do two lists and see how they compare.

The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire (If One Could Only Save Ten)- based on books I love:
1. Persuasion by Jane Austen
2. A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes
3. Make Way for Lucia by E.F. Benson
4. The Jeeves Omnibus: No.2 by P.G. Wodehouse
5. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
6. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
7. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
8. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
9. Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
10. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire (If One Could Only Save Ten)- based on the difficulty to replace the books in hardcover or at all:
1. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
2. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
3. Bloodsmoor Romance by Joyce Carol Oates
4. Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
5. Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
6. Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality by Paul Barber
7. The Comedians by Graham Greene
8. English Eccentrics by Edith Sitwell
9. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Great Grandma received this as 3rd prize in one of her classes in 1931.)
10. Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen

Not sure what to think after completing the two lists. Any thoughts?

Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugresic


Today’s reading item is Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugresic. It got bumped up the queue since the discussion groups started today at the Words without Borders Book Club.

For an interesting interview with Ugresic, visit the House of Mirth (thanks to the Literary Saloon for the link).

And check back, my review will be posted soon.

When worlds collide


Lately my reading appears connected. This week I was reading an advance copy of the new biography of Jane Jacobs (Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary) and learning a great deal about the bulldozing “urban renewal” schemes of the 60s in major US cities. Then today I picked up Firmin by Sam Savage and it is sent in 1960s Boston, in a part of town (Scollay Square) designated for demolition and “renewal”.

Makes me wonder what is going to connect next…

Reading the World 2006


Would someone please help me understand how I missed this? And not just this year but last year also! The mind boggles…

From their website -> Reading the World 2006 is an exciting collaboration between booksellers and publishers to help bring international voices from around the world.

So even though it’s already part way through this year’s event, I’m going to try and do my part. Interestingly enough, I’m already reading The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugresic (Translation by Michael Henry Heim), published by Ecco for review at Curled Up with a Good Book. I’ll have to see what other international authors I can read yet this month.

Thanks to Chekhov’s Mistress for promoting this important concept.

Sock Woes


I knew I should try the sock on before now…but in a classic case of avoidance I was ignoring the potential problem. It’s my first sock and I didn’t want to jinx it prior to the gusset reduction. The thing is, it looked too big for my foot, but I was chalking that up to not having a clue about what the sock should look like.

Last night, halfway down the foot of sock one, I slipped it on and – you guessed it – it’s too loose. So I face a dilemma, continue on, make sock two and just wear them around the house or rip back to the end of the slouch ribbing and start over on smaller needles.

I’m inclined to rip back so that I actually wear my first socks out of the house. Any recommendations?

They grow so fast


I love being an aunt, honourary or not. So when I get photos of the wee ones, I have to proudly share! Is the blog the equivalent of pulling photos out of one’s wallet?

This is Isobel Mae – 4 months old and absolutely gorgeous. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly their personalities begin to show.

The Amazing Lace KAL


I thoroughly enjoyed the 2006 Knitting Olympics so when I found out Chris had joined The Amazing Lace KAL I thought why not? The Knitting Olympics taught me just how much I enjoy lace knitting so here is a chance to expand my scope as a lace knitter.

I will have to ponder what lace project I’ll pick for my teammate on this adventure. Will it be Convertible from the new issue of, Ella from Knitty’s Fall 2005 issue, the Yarn Harlot’s Snowdrop Shawl or something else that will highlight the beautiful, deep red alpaca lace-weight yarn I picked up recently.

Further fuel for the Kaavya Viswanathan discussion?


Just in case you don’t read Bookslut every day, check out this article from The Morning News. We need more words like schadenfreude in our daily lexicon.

18th Annual Elora Festival Book Sale


What a morning! Despite the cold wind and periodic drizzle, the crowd queued to get into the sale was quite long. We arrived about an hour and a quarter before the doors opened and were still about 50th in line. By the time the doors opened, the line snaked around the parking lot and had about 150 people in it.

The Elora Festival Book Sale raises money for the Elora Music Festival and, I think, is the best book sale in this area. So it goes into my calendar as soon as I get a new one each year.

So what did I buy? Well I should start by saying that I was on a much tighter budget this year so I was only able to spend half of what I did last year.

The Haul
8 books from my wish list
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Merde Actually by Stephen Clarke
Publish and Perish by James Hynes
The Sex Life of my Aunt by Mavis Cheek
Lucifer’s Shadow by David Hewson
The American Boy by Andrew Taylor
River of the Brokenhearted by David Adams Richards
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

3 Hardcovers to replace my paperback copies
A Whistling Woman by A.S. Byatt
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard

11 other books

Total? 22 books for $54.75!

Next year my plan is to be there when it opens for the initial pickings, have lunch and then go back in the afternoon for a more leisurely perusal.

So reserve May 5 & 6, 2007 for next year’s sale!

A Cry for Help


The emergency call went out from Audrey – hundreds of books at the Caroline Street Recycling depot that need saving. There were a couple of workers trying to sort them out and make sure readable books were in appropriate bins, but they said there were too many and they would have to haul some away. In her words – “Get down there and rescue some of those books!”

As a member of the local BookCrossing group, it is my duty to rescue readable books and make sure they reach new, appreciative readers. So I did my part and went over, sorted through some of the bins and rescued about 50. I’ve been busy registering all of them to my shelf at BookCrossing and even found two wish list books, always a treat!

Overall, not a bad visit to the recycling depot. You never quite know what you’ll find.

The real book event this week? That would be the 18th Annual Elora Festival Book Sale on Saturday. I’ll be in line an hour before the doors open. This is my yearly book sale pilgrimage and I can’t wait to see what treasures I find this year.

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