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So one of the reasons I’ve been so quiet over the past few days (apart from still being very busy at work) can now be revealed – the bookshelves I commissioned in May have finally been installed and I’ve been beavering away moving piles of books from the floor, the top of radiator covers, and lots of other places to their new home.
Apart from the fact that they look great (apologies for the poor quality photograph which really doesn’t do them justice) the whole experience has been really liberating. I can move around the house now without tripping over things, I can find my DVDs more easily (over on the far right in case you wonder) and I’ve come across some great books that I forgot I had.
I’m now inspired to try to catch up with my tbr pile now that so much more of it is easily to hand.
The Dark Knight , directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhall, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman
There Will Be Blood , directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano.
Susan tagged me for this a while ago but I have only just got around to thinking about what I would say. It’s an interesting meme for me as I don’t really talk about myself on my blog, but here goes:
What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was moving into this house in south-west London with the Book God, the first property we had bought together after living in rented flats for 3 or 4 years. I was very excited about owning my own home again and immediately came down with summer flu to celebrate. Also, around this time, I was looking for a new job and am pretty sure I had an interview just after we moved. However, it took me another 3 years to get to the job I’m in now and which I’m still (more or less) enjoying!
Five snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world:
Otherwise known as the weekend
Chocolate, milk or white for preference, don’t like dark chocolate
Fortnum & Mason’s hand-made fudge, the closest I can get to Scottish tablet down here
Balsamic vinegar & onion crisps
Not really a snack but I would like to add cocktails here, preferably Cosmopolitans, though the opportunity to drink these is not as frequent as I would like…..
Five snacks I enjoy in the real world:
Otherwise known as Monday to Friday
Cereal bars with raspberry or ginger
Chocolate, and I’m not going to apologise for it, sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me through…
Five things I would do if I were a billionnaire:
Give up work
Buy a house in Scotland (or possibly a castle, or even an island)
Endow a library
Make time for good works (a bit vague, I know)
Five jobs that I’ve had (in no particular order):
Shoe stores salesperson
Post Office counter assistant
Data inputter (if that’s a word?)
Three of my habits:
Talking to myself (actually talking in general, very rarely lost for words – just sometimes the words don’t make any sense)
Channel surfing when bored
Never throwing anything away
Five places I have lived:
Five people I’d like to get to know better:
Ooh, most of the bloggers I would put here have already been tagged. In my dreams there’s always David Tennant, I suppose…….
Five fluffy things
I have a fascination with Canada, have had since I was quite young but no idea where it came from – I collect the stamps, I love the authors (which is why I’ve signed up to the Canadian reading challenge), I love the bands, but I’ve never been there.
I collect Tarot cards, and books about Tarot
I do needlework (intermittently) but can’t remember the last time I finished a project
I panic if I have nothing to read on my daily commute; if I finish a book unexpectedly on the way into work I have been known to buy something simpy to get me home – there have been some bad choices made in that situation – this is becoming less of a problem since I started downloading podcasts to the iPod
I sometimes can’t remember what I did yesterday, but can clearly recall the names and important information about almost any actor of note that I’ve ever seen in anything. Helpful for pub quizzes, annoying for family and friends.
Consider yourself tagged!
Wanted , directed by Timur Bekmambetov, starring James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Thomas Kretschmann & Terence Stamp
Ratatouille  directed by Brad Bird, with the voices of Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Peter O’Toole, Lou Romano & Janeane Garofalo.
I’m going to be selective here because I read a lot of magazines; this is probably why I don’t read as many books each year as I should but I like the different reading experience you can get from a magazine.
Dewey gave us a very helpful meme which I’ll use some of, so here goes (in no particular order):
Empire: monthly film magazine which I have been buying since it was first launched in August 1989, and I have kept every copy, so there is a very high stack in the corner of my study! I love movies, I love knowing what’s coming up so I can plan what I want to see, I love the behind-the-scenes stuff and this magazine says it all.
Of particular interest this month = The Big Preview which covers the 45 most exciting movies on the horizon…..
What this says about me = film geek
Fortean Times: I’ve been subscribing to this for at least 10 years, probably more. I adore this magazine, it covers all the weird and wonderful things that happen in the world, legends, mysteries, conspiracies, the lot. I’m fascinated by what people believe and why.
Of particular interest this month = an article about the Golem.
What this says about me = I’m a bit strange?
The Word: Monthly music magazine, I’ve been subscribing for 3 or 4 years. Gives me lots of info on new music, but covers lots of older stuff and I suppose is of particular interest to the older (more mature?) music fan. Always articulate, never dull.
Of particular interest this month = Dead Rock Stars, 15 sorely missed musicians.
What this says about me = grumpy old woman.
Vanity Fair: One of my indulgences (I get Vogue as well), this is often stuck with women’s magazines here in the UK but I’ve always thought it was more than that, covering politics and business as well as Hollywood and glamour.
Of particular interest this month = article on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
What this says about me = I like a bit of glossy
Slightly Foxed: A quarterly magazine about books, with a focus on older and out of print works; I’ve been subscribing for 3 years. I often find little gems in here that I’ve never come across before. Wonderfully well written.
Of particular interest this edition = Sue Gee writing about reading Mrs Dalloway
What this says about me = I can be independent-minded (it says so on the back cover)
Illustration: This quarterly is probably the most beautiful magazine I buy. It’s all about illustration (as you can guess from the title) but doesn’t just focus on books. It’s a real feast for the eyes and I’m always tempted into buying something after each edition.
Of particular interest this edition = an article on the leading illustrators of World War One
What this says about me = I love beautiful books.
There are many more magazines I could talk about; I suppose these are the ones that I would be most reluctant to give up.
This book does exactly what it says on the cover; offers a high level and balanced overview of secret societies throughout history. Barrett’s thesis is clearly set out at the beginning – the history of these societies = the history of esoteric religion = the history of magic, and he proceeds to take us through the the roots of secret societies before looking at several in detail.
It’s almost inevitable, because of the level of interest and the number of books written about them, that he concentrates on Freemasonry and the Knights Templar. He doesn’t shy away from the rumours and controversies, but tries to identify what is factual from what is supposition and leaves the reader to make up their own mind. Once of my favourite quotes: cynics would say that [Freemasons] are a handful of late-middle aged, upper-middle class men who like dressing up in gloriously patterned costumes” rather than grand conspirators.
He comes to the conclusion that we may never know the truth about organisations like the Knights Templar, and that there is more likely to be a spiritual rather than direct line between the old and modern societies. I found this very persuasive; I’ve never been a great believer in conspiracy theories, especially ones that are supposed to have lasted undiscovered for centuries, but I can see how some of their ideas would be picked up and developed by later followers.
By the way, he has a very informative discussion on Tarot, which is a particular interest of mine, and I was fascinated by just how many of these societies use Tarot packs as teaching aids.
If you are at all interested in this subject I think you will find this book a good starting point for further exploration.
This is my second read for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge.
Pressure of work I’m afraid, which might continue for another week or so; this is how I feel, but hopefully not how I look…..
But never fear I have a few posts in draft and will hopefully get them up over the next few days.
I get most of my books online or in branches of one of the big chains, largely because they are both convenient and because I don’t really have a local independent bookseller where I live. So if either of my usual suppliers went out of business I guess I would just look elsewhere. What I should actually be thinking in this situation is whether it’s a sign that I should stop buying and start trying to reduce my tbr pile……..