Shelves in the closet. Happy thought indeed.

Day 12:  Inside your closet

I keep a lot of stuff in my closet that isn't clothing.  Among the items is one of my prized possessions:  my own Dr Grordbort's Righteous Bison Indivisible Particle Smasher.


I'm glad it makes you happy, but actually, I'm not

Day 11:  Makes you happy

Not the only thing, but way up there.


You messed up all my other portraits

Day 10:  Self Portrait

I chose this book as my self-portrait because it describes, as much as--if not more than--any other book I've read, my beliefs about love and learning, duty and integrity. 


You have let your doom in by the front door

Day 9:  Front Door

This is the front door of 25 Gay Street, one of the places Jane Austen lived while she was in Bath.  It's kind of amazing to think Jane Austen actually may have used that door dozens of times.  It's very old, though.  It's so old, they had to replace the handle.  And the door.


Cue the sun!

 Day 8:  Sun

See the sun?  Neither did we.  Not much, anyhow.  There were a few days when the clouds dissipated and the sun made an appearance, but it was still windy and cold:

I chose these pictures because England is at the very heart of my literary self, and I chose the view from Westminster Bridge because of this poem by William Wordsworth, written in 1802:

Composed upon Westminster Bridge

Earth has not anything to show more fair;
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This city doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theaters, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air,
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will;
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that might heart is lying still!


Push the button, Frank.

Day 7:  Button

'Nuff said.


I thought I told you to come down to dinner!

Day 6:  Dinner

Mary Stewart is one of my favorite authors, partly because she describes things so they create marvelous pictures in my mind:  Alpine scenery, Greek ruins, food.  As an instance, here's one of my favorite literary dinners.  This passage from Madam, Will You Talk? is one of several descriptions of a meal that have stayed in my mind since I first read them in her books decades ago.  (Offhand, I can think of other memorable descriptions of food in My Brother Michael and The Ivy Tree and Touch Not the Cat).  I don't even like anchovies, but I would eat them if I could have this dinner.  Minus the wine.  And the kirsch.  And the coffee.  Okay, and the anchovies.


The clock gives me my cue

Day 5:  10 a.m.

I love my pocket watch.  How does this relate to literature?  Here's a clue.


There's a stranger here

Day 4:  A Stranger

This is one of the stranger books in my library.


Hands aloft and bear away!

Day 3:  Hands

Thoughts on this photo:
1.  What is the message here? The pen is mightier than the sword, and the ewer is mightier than them all?
2.  I have some splendid action figures.  (Not pictured:  Legolas, the four hobbits from the Fellowship + Bonus Bilbo, Arwen and her horse! -- whose name is Asfaloth, and who really belongs to Glorfindel -- and Mulder & Scully + Bonus Corpse).
3.  I don't think Jane Austen was left-handed.  Not that it matters; I just couldn't get the pen out of her hand because apparently it's glued in there.  That vexes me.
4.  Éowyn doesn't look very excited.
5.  I love Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and The Lord of the Rings.  (And the X-Files.)
6.  The blinds want cleaning.


Any last words?

Day 2 theme:  words

When I get to these last ten words, I always cry.


A room with a view

Somebody, some blogger somewhere, was doing a "February Photo of the Day", and some people I know started doing it, and then I thought maybe I'd do it, too.  Sort of.  Since February is half over, I've decided to follow the list (there's a theme for each day's photo), but I'm doing it on my own schedule, independent of what month it is, and I'm adapting it to the scope of this blog, which is anything to do literature. 

So, the first day's theme is "your view today".

This is what I see pretty much five days a week, when I come through the door at the Bottom Shelf.  The Bottom Shelf is a bookstore operated by the Friends of the Fallbrook Library.  All proceeds go to the support of the library and its programs.  It's a splendid bookstore because a very generous community donates their used books, which are then bought at bargain prices by a very generous community.  And then it starts all over again:  donating, buying, donating, buying, donating, buying.  Sometimes you find treasures here, sometimes you find junk.  I love this place.


Remove her before she ruins your set of Dickens

Yesterday was Charles Dicken's 200th birthday, in case you didn't catch on to all the clues that were being tossed about by Google and other places on line, etc.

I'm not a big fan of Charles Dickens.  Whenever I've gone  to England (all two times), I've made a point of not visiting his house/museum.  When I play Authors with my grandson, I don't care if he wins the Dickens book.  I think Dickens had an ugly beard.  And I've only ever read one book of his all the way through.  I was supposed to read Great Expectations as part of the coursework for my English major in college, and, although I started it with some enthusiasm (graveyards, fog, murderers -- it sounded so promising!), I quickly got bogged down by the annoying Pip and Estella, and I never finished it.  Not until ten years ago, anyway, when Stanford University started putting up facsimiles of serialized Victorian novels as a Community Read project.  Their first one was Great Expectations.  (They did some Sherlock Holmes stories later on.)  I thought it would be cool to read it the way a Victorian did.  Reading it because I wanted to, in serial form, was considerably easier and somewhat more interesting than reading it because my professor told me to, in outrageously priced paperback form.

But I'm still not a big fan of Dickens.  I've seen several film adaptations of his books (one Great Expectations, one Nicholas Nickleby, two Tale of Two Cities, three Oliver Twists, and about 17 Christmas Carols), and most of them I enjoyed.  My favorite Christmas Carol is the one with Mr Magoo.

But I'm still not a big fan of Dickens.  I think it's because a) his plots always seem to be so dependent on unbelievable coincidences; b) he behaved wretchedly to his wife; and c) I've never been able to forgive the musical Oliver! for winning the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1968 over Romeo and Juliet.

How can this not deserve better than all that Oliverian singing and larking about?

  And now I've got the odious "Who will buy?" stuck in my head!  Dat-rat the dad-ratted...!

But I've decided I ought to give Charles Dickens another try.  I have three reasons for doing so.  First, it seems only logical that I, an English major of yore, ought to know more about one of the most popular authors in the English language that isn't Nora Roberts or James Patterson.  Second, it appeals to the part of me that is attracted to the Neo-Victorian/Steampunk aesthetic.  Third, the Guardian on-line had a really hard Dickens quiz yesterday.  I could only answer two questions out of 47.  But in the section on identifying the speaker, there was this quote (from, I learned, David Copperfield):  "There's a babby fur you, in the form of a great Sea Porkypine!"  What a great line!  I have got to work that into a conversation at some point in my life.  And anyone who came up with that line deserves closer scrutiny.