I’ve shown his work in previous Friday Fun posts (see last week’s libraries for example), but let us take a moment to fully appreciate Luis Bustamente, Spanish interior designer of international renown. He started out as a sculptor and painter, and this shows in his quite grandiose interior schemes with large pieces of art. However, the reason I love him is that in nearly every one of his projects, he includes a library or at the very least some bookshelves. Let’s hope the owners of the properties appreciate this as much as he does. So, if I ever become fabulously wealthy, he’ll be the one designing my house, complete with at least one or two or three home libraries. All of the pictures below are taken from his website.
Maybe not just yet, not when the libraries look so tempting…
As in past years, I may cheat a little bit to find the most relevant sentences from this year’s blog posts which best describe 2018. A year of finally achieving stability and contentment of sorts after 4 years of tumult, but with all the usual feelings of guilt and never having enough time to do everything I want.
So, each year I leap.
Soothe through boxing gloves…
Too ferocious to be constrained by borders in light and shade/ we shimmer in the mirror
I emerged like a warrior after endless wars in Troy: with a strained ligament, a pulled deltoid, throbbing headache, shortness of breath and a cold.
It is tempting to wonder what Orwell would have written if he had been living today.
With all of the book-buying binges I’ve been indulging in for the past year, I’ve had to rethink how I arrange my books on the shelves.
She sat down to do her mission report and invoices.
Close Encounters of the Welsh Kind
I finally took a couple of days off work and visited Cambridge with my sons.
Motherly guilt played a part.
The stones on the ground all glitter enchantingly, since these hills used to contain gold.
I’ve let my #EU27Project languish for far too long…
It has been fun keeping so busy, attending so many events, getting involved in multiple literary projects. But I think my word for 2019 will be ‘Restraint’. Not sexy, but necessary. It’s time to choose just a few important things to focus on. Help my son through his exams and to make the best decisions about his future. Make the poetry chapbook as good as I can and bring the novel to a presentable state. Save money by not buying books, booking holidays and going to shows at the drop of a hat. Read wisely and deeply rather than too widely and superficially. Take better care of my health: not eat so excessively, not be quite so extravagantly lazy.
But not always tasteful… Perhaps it’s overindulging on all those Christmas treats… Have a great end to 2018 and may 2019 be gentle with us!
Most suggestions for Christmas decorations feel a little tacky, but I cannot resist showing you some seasonal delights. And not a red Christmas tree in sight!
After attending my beekeeping classes, I’ve realised just how important even the tiniest of urban gardens are (as well as big trees in parks) for keeping the bee population alive and thriving in our cities. In many cases, the bees are better off in the urban environment, because there are fewer pesticides than in the countryside.
I still have some books that are winging their way towards me, and I may still be swayed by one or two reviews or recommendations before I close up book-buying-shop next year. Of course, I will still have the Asymptote Book Club subscription to stave off my hunger pangs. And a couple of hundred of unread books on my shelves…
So, with that caveat, what are my most recent acquisitions?
First of all, #EU27Project noblesse oblige, I had to find a book for Bulgaria and Slovakia. Well, strictly speaking, I’d already found a book for Slovakia but then I met a translator from Slovakian, Julia Sherwood, at the Asymptote Book Club meeting, and so I had to buy one of the books she translated. This is Pavel Vilikovsky’s Fleeting Snow, a gentle set of reminiscences about a long marriage as the wife of the narrator gradually starts to lose her memory. A very different novel about the fall of Communism in Bulgaria, Party Headquarters by Georgi Tenev seems to not have found many fans abroad, but that rather incited me to read it and make up my own mind.
From publishers, I received two crime novels to review. Bitter Lemon Press sent Petra Hammersfahr’s novel The Sinner formed the basis for the recent TV series, although the setting has been changed from Germany to the US. Many of the links are more obvious in the book than in the TV series, so it’s interesting to compare the two. Meanwhile, Simon and Schuster sent RJ Bailey’s Winner Kills All, featuring female Personal Protection Officer Sam Wylde. In the wake of the huge success of the TV series The Bodyguard, this book series may do very well indeed!
Most of the other new arrivals were the result of reading other people’s blogs. So hereby I am naming and shaming them! Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings is responsible for Portraits without Frames: Poems by Lev Ozerov, essentially a group portrait of Russian writers of the 1920s and 30s in free verse form. Jacquiwine’s Journal needs to take a bow for Brian Moore’s The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, although it may take a while until I summon up the courage to read this very sad tale. Melissa Beck, who blogs at Bookbinder’s Daughter, is the one who first drew my attention to Odessa Stories by Isaac Babel, translated by Boris Dralyuk (who also is one of the main translators of Ozerov). Last but not least, Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best, with her #6Degrees link for December made me stumble across Black Run by Antonio Manzini, and I remembered I’d come across it before, mentioned by another Italian writer, and my ordering finger was once again hyper-active.
Who needs divorce lawyers sucking you dry, when your online friends also make sure they finish off your budget through their recommendations?