Today is the first snow of the season here in Washington, DC - the view out my apartment windows looks just about as different from the view above as possible. But on the other hand, who would ever get any reading done in a place that sunny? So I am holed up inside today with a sleepy cat, lots of tea, homemade mint fudge and the snow rushing past outside.
I haven't read any history or historical fiction in the past week or so. Instead, I've managed to read two very enjoyable works of non-fiction and a thriller.
I was thrilled to find this on the library book sale cart a couple weeks back for 50 cents. I've been interested in reading it for a couple years but it's a bit expensive on Amazon and isn't carried by my library.
It's a very simple premise - basically, an English novelist and critic goes looking for a book in her book-stuffed house and - when she can't find it - comes to the realization that we've all had at one time or another. She has too many books. So she resolves to spend the next year reading just the books she already owns and this resolution forms a jumping-off point for a series of short essays reconsidering everything from favorite childhoods stories to classic authors to types of books that Hill has never been able to enjoy. If all of this sounds stuffy - it's not. Hill is full of life and curiousity and writes as though she's sitting across from you at a kitchen table and wants to share her passion for reading.
One of the great things about owning a Kindle is the access it allows to e-libraries. "Making Masterpiece" is the kind of book that I definitely wouldn't buy and probably wouldn't even check a physical copy out of the library. It just happened to be on the front page of the DC Library's eBook page and with a few swipes and clicks, it was mine. I found myself truly enjoying this memoir from the woman who has been the Executive Producer of Masterpiece Theatre on PBS for the last 27 years.
There were all sorts of bits and pieces to enjoy: what was it like to be a TV producer in the 1970s and 1980s? What is it like to work as a producer for public television and on mini-series? Obviously, this was particularly interesting for me due to my TV production background and may not enthrall everyone equally. But there are plenty of interesting tidbits on how classic novels are adapted into mini-series, behind-the-scenes info on the making of Downton Abbey and glimpses on set as historical dramas are filmed. All-in-all, a very enjoyable read!
That's my week in reading. If you're in the Eastern United States, stay warm and out of this storm!