New Year Open Thread

What’s everyone starting off the New Year reading, writing, and thinking about?

I have six books on my desk that I am apparently reading. The most interesting one is Italian Folktales Selected and Retold by Italo Calvino (1956). It’s a whopper coming in at 700+ pages. The Introduction is excellent, IMHO. Recounts a lot of the history of folktales that I’ve seen elsewhere, but it’s a good recount and it obviously focuses on the Italians’ part in this story.

In addition to those on my desk, I’ve got another half dozen on the floor (Yo! MarciaWAC) that need to be cataloged. Two of these are Bibles because I’ve got a new project–collecting a few non-KJV versions just in case I ever need to compare. John found some new cookbooks, the most interesting of which is Eat Like a Man published by Esquire (2011). And for reasons that have to do with the fact that I need to put some books away, another dozen or so on the cart, including an old favorite, Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought by David Hackett Fischer (1970). This is out because I was/am going to do a Random Book post about it so I’ll say no more.

Writing a short story in my head. I think I’ve gotten it figured out. It’s for a literary journal that gives my stuff good reviews. Also continuing on with the second book, Miss Missy’s School Days. The title is a nod to the old children’s classic, Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes (1857). This is a great book. Hum. Add it To Blog About stack.

Thinking I need $460 to redesign the cover of my book so I can sell more books so I can publish the next one. You can see the cover choices and read about my little dilemma if you have a minute. Also thinking it’s January 7, Epiphany has passed. Time to put away all of the Christmas dishes.

Weather is gorgeous here though it’s probably going to rain later in the day.

How’s everyone? What are you up to?

6 thoughts on “New Year Open Thread”

  1. How delightful that we are all starting the new year off in Fairy-land! I just finished George MacDonald’s Phantastes and read a few tales from Andrew Lang’s fairy books that MacDonald referenced. They were absolutely enchanting.

    I am now plodding through some tough and heavy reads. I started The Gulag Archipelago and also Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism : a Study of “Brainwashing” in China. (It is fascinating reading these two at the same time). I am also following along with one diary entry per day of Samuel Pepy’s Diary. My strategy is to lighten the load with a “fun” book that I can dip and out of. I am currently rewarding myself with Death on the Nile. It is slow going, but as the saying goes…one bite at a time.

    1. Heavy load. Enjoy & good luck! I could not possibly read GA right now. What I’m writing requires that I stay pretty cheerful. Talking animals and Siberia are not a good mix.

  2. None of the same tales in my book. But, look at the next to the last entry in the TOC. The Fire Bird…and the Princess Vasilissa. So, I looked up said princess. Appeares she is a ” …recurring character in Russian tales…”

  3. I saw that Jane has acquired a copy of Italian Folktales too. Yesterday I picked up Old Peter’s Russian Tales as well as a newer printing of Grimm’s complete Fairy Tales. Ladies, I see a trend developing!
    Old Peters Russian Tales was originally published in 1916. How wonderful it would be to find a 1916 copy! At $1 each I actually acquired a stack of books (oh woe, finding enough floor space…) to include a 1939 On The Trail With Lewis And Clark, a Complete Sherlock Holmes, Something titled Heritage of Fire, The Story of Richard Wagner’s Grandaughter (1945) and a funny little book, also 1945, Texas Proud and Loud. A silly little book lauding the everything is bigger in Texas theme. Mostly hyperbolic quips that become mundane in short order. But there were a couple of interesting facts. Texas provided more WWII military volunteers per capita than other states, more commissioned officers from Texas A&M than any other institution, provided more war effort oil than any state,12 Admirals, to include Nimitz). There’s a great Nimitz museum in Fredericksburg, TX. You can spend hours in there. Texas also produced 100 General, including Ike.

    1. Russian Tales looks interesting. I have “Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Russia.” It’s a slim volume, one of four: Germany, Ireland, and Italy. Would be interesting to compare. Oh! Here’s a blog post. “Index to Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends.” A bibliography. I’ve got the second edition (1926) and two supplements.

      Looked for Russian Tales at Bookfinder and am seeing several hardback editions but not the 1916 one.

      This is the TOC for my little Russian book. Do any of them make it into yours?

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