Tag Archives: Silent Wife

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Seven Quick Takes Friday

  1. No sooner was my sweetheart back from two weeks in Europe, he was off to Calgary for three days. In lieu of all the work I didn’t get done last week when I was sick (and alone), I managed to get my desk tidied, a huge accomplishment. I put everything on the floor and then sorted in five minute/small pile increments. It feels great to have a tidy place to work.
  2. I finished The Silent Wife by the late A.S.A. Harrison in a couple of days. Here’s the review I posted at Goodreads:
    The Silent WifeThe Silent Wifeby A.S.A. Harrison
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    This psychological thriller was hard to put down. The story of an unravelling relationship between a psychologist and a property developer, it has an almost serene texture to it, mirroring the somewhat repressed personality of the former (hence the “silent” of the title.) The tale progresses in alternating chapters titled “Him” and “Her”, but the main narrative is about the psychologist and how she deals with the infidelity of her common-law husband.  View all my reviews
  3. A little humour – The Married Kama Sutra (yes, it’s clean!)
  4. Frances Alda – Courtesy Project Gutenberg in Great Singers on the Art of Singing by James Francis Cooke.

    I dropped by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music on Wednesday for their semi(?)-annual book and CD sale. I usually look for tuba stuff, or choral or piano music, or old scores to use in craft projects. I picked up a couple of items, including a book called Men, Women, and Tenors. I laughed at the title, and then on further inspection it turned out to be the memoirs of Frances Alda, a soprano from the early years of the twentieth century. First published in 1937, my copy is a reprint from 1970 from Books for Libraries Press. I spent some time online trying to figure out how to remove mould/mildew from books and got some good ideas, including 15 seconds in the microwave and some careful application of alcohol to key spots.

    SURELY useful at some point in my future life.
    From The Trumpet and Trombone in Graphic Arts: 1500-1800

    The other item I grabbed was The Trumpet and Trombone in Graphic Arts: 1500-8000 which is chock full of terrific black and white engravings, surely useful for some writing/crafting project down the road. As I write this I hear the good angel in my head saying “THAT, my dear, is why you are drowning in books.”

  5. I spent a pile of laundry-folding time watching old episodes of Hoarders. Really. I kept asking myself “Why am I watching this?” and I couldn’t immediately come up with an answer. I guess part of it is seeing how mental and emotional issues are so entwined with the impulse to hoard. It’s kind of a self-soothing effort, like, say, playing the SIMS on one’s iPad, or whatever. At least with the latter, you don’t end up with 75 dead cats in your fridge/freezer.
  6. I spent Halloween with my niece and nephews. My brother was out of town and my sister-in-law needed to get to urgent care with one of them for the extraction of a foreign object from his nose. (When I mentioned to Alex that neither he nor Michael had ever experienced such a calamity, he commented that their noses were too big to retain anything!) So while child number two and mom were at the hospital, I supervised a small amount of candy consumption and got the other two in to bed. Here they are, with their nanny/personal chef (dressed as a Zombie Chef) on their way out for fun in the rain.

    Ninja, Zombie Chef, Skeleton, and Cinderella
  7. My sweetheart arrived back from his travels just before I did last night, and we’re looking forward to a relaxing weekend with my choir concert tonight and the TSO tomorrow evening. I see a cozy fire and some snuggling in my future.

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It’s Monday….What am I reading?

it's monday

Well, poppets. My alone-time is ripe for reading and I’ve got quite the pile on the go.

In paper:

  1. I started Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorderin audiobook on my road-trip to Montreal last week. It was so compelling, and I so badly wanted to see the diagrams, that I stopped at a Scarborough Chapters in the pouring rain and ran in and picked it up, along with his previous book, The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Fragility”  (and maybe one more dated journal that will REALLY help me get organized this time.) Taleb has been accused of being a blow-hard, full of himself, and insulting to the finance and statistical communities. That may be (and, um, is), but he’s one smart cookie, and we mustn’t be guilty of argumentum ad hominem when we consider his writing. I have a lot of thoughts running round my brain on this one, but they haven’t settled down yet, so perhaps when I’m finished I’ll devote a post to it.
  2. I’ve just started Bee Season by Myla Goldberg and it promises to be a good, quick read. I have always shied away from watching spelling bees (either in real life or in movies/tv because the drama seems too much (seriously) but that’s just my lot. I think I can handle it in a book.
  3. I’ve put down Wife Dressing: The Fine Art of Being a Well-Dressed Wife because it’s a big heavy hardcover, but I think I may dip in to it again this week while I’m relaxing.
  4. Next novel up will be The Silent Wife which I found at Value Village when I returned a non-functional appliance and had to take something in exchange immediately. I’m really trying not to buy anything I’ll only read once, but I’m human.

In digital format:

  1. I finished up a re-read of The Dinner by Herman Koch last week as it’s this month’s book club selection. I think that the discussion should be excellent as there is much to mine in this slim novel about family relationships, criminality, and story-telling.
  2. I’ve been dipping in to Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life, billed as a simpler version of the extremely popular but massively difficult-to-implement Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. In my retirement, I find myself with a million small things to do, and some larger projects with lots of steps and I’m not very good at actually accomplishing the things that I should be able to. It’s sort of a forest-and-trees type problem.
  3. I’ve been reading some Edgar Allan Poe short stories as part of a Goodreads discussion group and have been running hot and cold on them. Some are interesting and compelling, and some seem endlessly dull. But I’m glad I’ve been reading them as it was something of a gap in this fairly well-read gal’s literary life.
  4. Next up will be The Stranger’s Child by the wonderful Alan Hollinghurst. I’ve read his novels The Swimming Pool Library and The Line of Beauty, and both were extremely engaging.

In audiobook:

  1. I may continue listening to Antifragile in audio (above), or move on to….
  2. Herzog by Saul Bellow. I’m not sure why I requested this from the library but it was ready for downloading before I left on my trip, so I’ll give it a go. I really wish the library had a spot where you could note what exactly made you ask for a book. I must put these things into Goodreads and make my notes there.