Welcome to our annual winter reading poll! Tell us about a great book to curl up with on a frosty winter night, and what fragrance we should wear while reading it.
(If you want more recommendations, scrolling through the literature tag will bring up all the older reading polls.)
My recent reading:
Starting with fiction...I am still reading Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light, which I started in spring 2020. It's a specific sort of reader's block but I do read a few pages now and then, and I will finish it sometime this year. The obvious scent to match is the one I've also been wearing for years upon years, Diorissimo. I did finish The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, which I'd started last fall, and I read Next Life Might Be Kinder by Howard Norman, followed by Phillip Pullman's novella Serpentine, then Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. I read bits, but not all, of The Quarter by Naguib Mahfouz.
I read 8 mysteries: Val McDermid Still Life, then 4 by Michael Gilbert (Smallbone Deceased, Death in Captivity, Death has Deep Root and The Crack in the Teapot), 2 by Gil North (Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm and The Methods of Sergeant Cluff), and then Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner.
On the non-fiction front: I read More Was Lost by Eleanor Perenyi, which I think Erin recommended to me years ago, and which I would highly recommend to anyone else, and which calls for something nostalgic like Guerlain Après L’Ondée. Then Latest Readings by Clive James, Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, The British in India: A Social History of the Raj (someone recommended that but I forget who), Hilary Mantel's Mantel Pieces, and then after watching Pretend It's A City I re-read bits of The Fran Lebowitz Reader.
Because we took no vacations last year, I have never had a concentrated catch-up period for The New Yorker, so I am currently on the August 24th issue. It is especially weird to read about politics and pandemics so many months after the fact and I am including this here mostly as a nag to myself.
Note: top image is Picton library [cropped] by Karen at flickr; some rights reserved.
So glad it’s the weekend, I needed it. Yesterday when I came back home I had two packages waiting for me. One was a Christmas present from Undina (it was in transit for over a month) and the other was some samples from Perfumeria Quality.
Today I’m testing Memo Argentina which is a new addition to their Art Land collection. And oh wow! Stunning! Rich crimson rose, some pink pepper, velvety oud, magnolia and benzoin. I feel like I’ll easily fall in love with it. Plus that bottle is stunning too!
Last books I’ve read were two tomes of Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas. I got for Christmas and I swallowed them in 2-3 weeks. A nice read for young adults & a good mix of fantasy and crime/murder genre.
Starting from the upcoming night we’re expecting a week-long freezewave with temps of around -7*C during day and -12*C at night. Gotta stay warm.
Also, my uncle was diagnosed with covid today. Yesterday he fainted at home and had 39*C fever. He was taken to the hospital and tested. His results came in just an hour ago. I hope he’ll be well.
I hope he’ll be well too! Sending good wishes!!
Best health wishes to your uncle!
Oh dear, hoping he has a speedy & complete recovery!
Sending healing thoughts to your uncle.
I hope your uncle recovers quickly!
Speedy recovery to your uncle!
Oh no, I hope he recovers easily and quickly!
More good wishes to your uncle, Lucasai.
Oh no, sending you and him best wishes.
Best wishes for a swift recovery to your uncle, Lucas.
Sending healing thoughts and fervent prays for your uncle, Lucas!
Sending healing wishes for your uncle.
Fingers crossed for your uncle’s swift and complete recovery.
Thank you all, he’s at home already and needs to isolate.
I’m glad he’s home, and hope he will recover well.
Wishing your uncle a speedy recovery. Sending healing vibes!
So sorry to hear about your uncle catching COVID. I hope he has an overall mild case.
I’m reading classics Twitter at the moment, starting with Dr. Sarah Bond and Gareth Harney and then meandering off into people they retweet.
Although that’s mainly ancient Rome and Greece, one branch led me to the fabulous Elizabethan Cheapside Hoard, the largest ever discovered.
Among the finds were a jeweled scent bottle and a tiny watch encased in an emerald crystal.
When the Hoard was exhibited in 2013, the Museum of London commissioned Roja Dove to create a scent with ingredients used in Elizabethan and Early Stuart London.
Said Roja, “The idea that scent can re-connect moments in time with one drop and one breath utterly captivates me.”
Speaking of which, I’m wearing CdG Series 10: Clash Celluloid x Galbanum, which reminds me of approaching a department store perfume counter in the 1960s.
Thanks for these links, I’ll enjoy reading about it later tonight.
Thanks, Nozknoz – I love reading about treasure hoards, and missed this one.
Thank you Nozknoz, I am in the UK and wasn’t even aware of of this fabulous hoard. I will visit it someday.
The enamel chain shown in the article you linked is so beautiful!
Since the semester began, I’ve had very little time to read for enjoyment. The last book I got through was nonfiction — Dorothea Tanning: Transformations — about the life and work of a favorite artist of mine.
Before that, I was making a concerted effort to read physically printed material, but I cannot for the life of me remember what any of it was at this moment. The brain. It is mush.
I’m wearing L today (Lolita Lempicka). Good, but not quite hitting the spot. I will have to return to the perfume cabinet at some point today to refresh with something more uplifting.
I keep a list of what I read, otherwise I’d remember nothing too!
Hopefully you found a better perfume for the day
I went with Serge Noire. Now I have to wait for the difficult phase to pass, before I get to the massive cloud of gorgeous incense swirling around me. Not uplifting at the moment, but definitely more engaging than L was this morning.
You smell fabulous, I too get lush incense and spices with Serge Noire.
I’m in Rose Ikebana since it’s significantly warmer than it was yesterday. That touch of honey always makes me smile and luckily it lasts a long time on me.
Currently reading Wonderful Fool by Shusaku Endo, about a bumbling Frenchman staying with a middle-class Japanese family. It is hilarious and I’ve been reading voraciously.
I decided I am going to try and get together another order of the Vero Kern reissues. If you were interested in them but deterred by shipping, I’m hosting a shipping split. I already have another person interested, and every additional person would lower the shipping cost. If you are interested or want more details, just email me at (out of grasp at live dot com) no spaces obviously. I don’t want to take up too much space here.
Stay safe everyone!
Coumarin, where are you ordering the Vero Kern from?
Campomarzio 70, her former distributor. The shipping to the US is… Shocking….
I love me some Rubj, but I don’t know if I NEED some for that amount of money. Maybe I’ll put the funds toward simply booking a flight to Rome when this pandemic craziness has settled down.
True, they aren’t a bargain. But hopefully I’ll find 2/3 more people to split the shipping and make it more reasonable. I’m looking forward to traveling too though.
Hi friends, thanks for your sweet comments yesterday I decided that I did deserve a present for my accomplishments, but not perfume–I’m going to get myself a cashmere sweatshirt and sweatpant set! Working from home in snuggly style.
Today I’m in Rose Barbare thanks to an extremely generous NSter. I smell so good. Books–I’m currently enjoying No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal, and Bee Season by Myla Goldberg is next in my queue. The first book is pretty good–enjoyable, well written, and somewhat relatable to me, given that I am an Indian American, like the author. I recently enjoyed The Dutch House by Anne Patchett and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.
Looking forward to all your book recs! You all give me lots of good reading material with each quarterly reading list.
Ooh, a cashmere set sounds perfect! Snuggly indeed.
I get really good recs from these polls too.
I find that cashmere is actually more comfortable in a way worthy of its cost: I think it is the breathability along with the warmth. I was always either freezing in poly-cotton or roasting in poly-wool in our stuffy office. Then I sprung for some pure cashmere and voila – warmth and comfort.
Totally agree. Pre-pandemic, my winter uniform was a cashmere sweater and jeans
Can’t ever go wrong with cashmere! I have a big sort of wrap around sweater that goes great over my pajamas! Loved The Dutch House, it is set near where I grew up, so the neighborhoods and descriptions were very familiar.
Oh how nice! I always enjoy reading about places I know.
I have a pair of cashmere sweatpants and they are THE BOMB.
Nice! Would you mind sharing where they’re from?
They were a gift from my mother-in-law, so they must have been from Nordstrom. The brand is “Wyton”. (Nordstrom was the only store where she ever shopped. When she passed away, two SAs came to the funeral.).
That cashmere set sounds IDEAL!
Adding my congratulations on your promotion, Koyel and I think the cashmere set is a great idea ?
It was a big ol’ goose egg when I got up this morning. Zero degrees and we aren’t supposed to get out of the single digits for the next week! Ugh. At least no one has to leave the house today.
I’m in Dune.
Reading poll! I love these polls. Since the last one I’ve read the Rebecka Martinsson series by Asa Larsson…Sun Storm, The Blood Split, The Black Path, Until Thy Wrath Be Past and I’m currently about a third of the way through The Second Deadly Sin. So far Until Thy Wrath Be Past has been my favorite. Thank you to Calypso for recommending this series in the last reading poll!?
Also, I’ve read A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami. I don’t think I fully understood the ending to this one. I gave it to my son for Christmas, so I’m hoping he’ll explain it to me. Lol
And then Lenny Kravtitz’s autobiography Let Love Rule. This was pretty good and an easy read. He kind of left off leading me to believe there will be a follow up.
When We Believed in Mermaids is waiting for me on my nightstand when I’m done with The Second Deadly Sin.
*Kravitz*?but of course you knew what I meant
I have a hard time with Murakami myself…. Hopefully you can ride it that winter weather at home!
I read Norwegian Wood last fall and really liked it. Sad but beautiful. This one seemed a little more “out there,” it was hard for me to distinguish between what was actually happening vs what was imagined, but maybe that was the point…?
You smell wonderful!
Stay warm and cozy!
Thanks sistine! I’ve got my heaviest hand knit wool sweater on today.
Oh, so glad you read and liked them! There’s a TV version of some of them, in two seasons. Oddly, they changed the lead actress between seasons. But I like both of them. They are very violent/gory, be warned, but well done and the scenery adds a lot.
Yes, I saw that my library had some DVD’s too. Maybe I’ll check them out when I’m done with the series. Probably not suitable for my 15 year old though. Do you know if they were filmed in Sweden?
Here’s me thinking about the next week of weather
Hahaaa! Seriously, I’m sorry your weather sux so bad right now, lillyjo!
LOL? no doubt! It’s gonna be bad.
Oops, my reply went to Nancyleandros. You stay safe too!
I would like to ready the Kravitz one…he is so..everything! le sigh!
Haha, yes, he is incredibly hot.? Let Love Rule (the album) came out when I was in college and I can remember when he and Lisa Bonet got married, I thought they made one of the most gorgeous couples ever. Did you see him in the Hunger Games movies?
I just finished Milk Fed by Melissa Broder and enjoyed it immensely. It’s about a woman named Rachel who’s obsessed with counting calories and allows herself a cup of frozen yogurt as a treat. The woman behind the counter at her favorite froyo shop is unapologetically fat, and they strike up a friendship that leads Rachel to believe food might not be the problem after all. Fair warning, it can get pretty explicit and the language is strong, but I loved it.
Fragrance choice: CSP Lait Sucre!
Milk Fed sounded interesting, so looked up the author. Link for anyone else interested
Thanks for the link. Now I’m curious to read her other book, The Pisces. Human-merman romance that isn’t genre fiction? Looks interesting.
Enjoying a nice, leisure Sat. morning/afternoon. I had hoped to visit the Met this afternoon, but I forgot to reserve a ticket (new normal for NYC museum visits). Plan B is going out for a bike ride and exploring an area of the city, who knows where I’ll end up!
SOTD: TBD although I did a bit of sampling earlier with samples I received in a recent Nordy purchase. Did not like any of them which included Black Opium, Miu Miu L’Ea Rosee and Prada’s Fleur D’ Oranger.
On books…currently reading Empire Falls which is a bit of a slog; Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist – amazing woman & life, very much enjoying this(!); and I also have queued up on my Kindle Eat a Peach, David Chang’s memoir which I hope to start this weekend.
I was looking at Eat a Peach; a friend of mine read it recently and found it enjoyable.
I remember liking Empire Falls, but I used to be a more patient reader than I am now
So true. I’m trying to be more patient this year.
Any tips you have for being more patience floragal?
My closets, drawers and shelves are low on patience.
SOTD is indochine. Bottle has about four-five sprays left, then I have to open the backup bottle and that means…another back up bottle?
Listened to The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. Since I drive nowhere these days that took a while.
Have The Pull of the Stars and the new Kristen Hannah on its way.
Just hard to focus.
For me, getting older is helping; perspective and just wanting to be kinder to those I love and myself. Also letting go of stuff, physical stuff, and living more simply.
Same for me. In my case, I think it’s the effect of the Internet and having a gazillion forms of entertainment always on demand.
(Says someone who remembers the grind-gurgle-grind of 1200 baud dial-up, and knows what all those words mean.)
I had much more reading patience as a teenager whose only options were analog books.
Always in my rut of 19th century and early 20th century novels. This week is The Rise of Silas Lapham. If you have ever had a loved one who ran her or his own business for many years, you might find that you are very moved by this book. I will venture to say that, though I am readily using my Covid “relief” check, I want to believe that I would be like the Laphams were, in those pre-safety-net days. No spoilers here, though. SotD is still pending, I’ve spritzed this and that for back of the hand tests, but no commitment yet. A sad and pensive scent would do for the end of Silas Lapham, which I can’t quite remember. Something with violets…
I have not read that in so long that I barely remember it.
I sort of thought I’d do more re-reading this year than I have…
I have found deep delight in many books that in high school I thought I was being beaten over the head with, and in college felt like a slog to the final exam. In after years of working life and meeting and talking with so many people, these books, which were commonly taught as “classics” in the 20th century, gave me a more patient and compassionate view of myself and others.
I am currently reading in our sunroom. Like madtowngirl, it is barely in the single digits but bright and sunny. I can be inside and mentally fool myself it’s not deadly cold. I’m drinking a matcha latte, wearing only some Desert Sage body lotion I bought at a spa last year and reading David Sedaris’ The Best of Me. He makes me laugh out loud.
I just finished a historical fiction novel called The Huntress by Kate Quinn. Had several strong interesting female characters; German woman hiding her war past in the US, Nazi hunters searching for war criminals, a Soviet female bomber pilot (Google Night Witches! I had no idea!) and a young woman who wants to be a photographer. The pilot was my fav character, flawed, broken, nothing but trouble.
We had a beautiful bright sunny winter day yesterday, but today is dreary so wish I was in your sunroom…
Recently heard about Gail Carriger’s steampunk novels (on nst?), and am currently enjoying the Custard Protocol series. Am also reading A is for Arsenic, as I have been listening to the All About Agatha (Christie) podcast.
I just learned of this author this week, from my college roommates (all of whom seem to have read her). Their consensus was to start with her YA series, Etiquette and Espionage. I’ve put it on my list.
Wearing Amouage Blossom Love. I think I slightly oversprayed. :-0 Hopefully it will die down a bit soon.
I’ve been reading a few non-fiction from the library at work, and I can’t bring the specifics to mind – I guess I can’t have learnt very much
I’m waiting eagerly for some samples from Luckyscent, tracking tells me the package has just left Tokyo, which is a bit out of the way, but I’m hugely grateful that I can get them at all. This batch includes Moonlight in Chiangmai and Green Spell.
We’re starting to give our cats supervised access outside, after keeping them inside for a month. They have settled in well, but are still investigating anything and everything and charging about crazily in the evenings.
And meant to add that my SOTM is a dab of Coromandel.
Ahhh, the classic “10 o’clock crazies”. The witching hour for cats! ?
Tokyo? That would be so lovely right now.
I have been re-reading Agatha Christie and Neil Gaiman books – my attention isn’t great right now, so new material just isn’t sinking in. I’d forgotten how much I liked “Neverwhere” until I re-read it.
My SOTD is Jasmin Rouge body lotion. The perfume isn’t super strong or lasting on me (although I only tested it a few times), but the lotion is a powerhouse! Does anyone have any jasmine shower gel recommendations? I’d love to waft jasmine in all ways.
Ever since I saw readers on BdJ’s site recommend Forest Essentials, I’ve been wanting to try their Jasmine & Mogra shower wash, and pretty much ALL of their body products. They ship directly from India, and the baseline for free shipping was high the last time I checked.
After the pandemic began, had a shipment from Japan go astray, so decided to hold off on international orders.
Sorry this really isn’t helpful!
I have read here that the Korres Jasmine shower gel is very good and might be easier to get.
I have their Jasmine body butter and it’s very fragrant and lasting. I haven’t tried the shower gel but suspect it’s as good… have used other scents in the line and the quality is excellent. Their fig body butter is really nice – fresh/green and not sweet… this is coming from someone who normally doesn’t like fig!
I have a bottle of Korres Jasmine waiting to be used, so I can’t yet comment on how it performs in the shower. Smells great in the bottle though!
I’ve got the same issue with television. I can’t seem to commit to watching much of anything new; it just seems like too much work.
Neverwhere is fantastic!
No scent yet, will be sampling at some point. I am having one of those days when the clock races inexplicably quickly.
Currently reading Peter Mayle’s latest book, which I am quite enjoying. Wishing I were in Provence. Also reading Colin Quinn’s Overstated which isn’t as funny as I’d hoped. Recently finished Genevieve Cogman’s The Dark Archive (enjoyable), the first Inspector Gamache novel from Louise Penny (might have to try the second one to see if this grows on me), The Gun Seller from Hugh Laurie (why hasn’t he written more novels?)
The worst book I’ve read lately was Kevin Kwan’s latest, Sex and Vanity. It occurred to me early in the book that the plot device this novel *really* needed was a massive bomb that would wipe out all of these dreadful characters, the end. Spoiler alert: didn’t happen.
Also recently read The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister, which OaklandFresca passed along to me. If anyone in the US would like it, I’ll be happy to send it to you. You can reach me at emc dawt 71 17 atttt gee-mail.
What a disappointment about the Kevin Kwan book. Love Inspector Gamache!
Pixel’s FREEBIE! Just one this week: Teresa Helbig Old Money. This is what remains of a split I ran about 2 years ago: 15-20 mls in a 100ml bottle. Notes include plum, cardamom, nutmeg, fig, violet, LOTV, vetiver, patchouli, labdanum. Office-safe, not that anyone cares about that these days.
NST regulars only, US only, ping me at emc dawt 71 17 in the land of g-mayle.
I just emailed you.
I have to get back in the habit of reading long books again! I’ve been a voracious reader my whole life, but I find I’ve preferred books that I can dip in and out of, instead of committing to a whole novel. I think I’ll find some historical fiction, that usually gets me back in the reading groove. I’ve enjoyed several of the Tudor Mystery series by C.J. Sansom, and Philippa Gregory’s books are my guilty vacation pleasure.
I should say that the preference for the dip-in, dip-out books has been new, really a 2020 phenomenon. Between lots of extra work since last March, and the election madness that just keeps going, I’ve been very distracted.
It’s been hard to keep focused with so much going on…I feel that too.
I’m in Caron Parfum Sacre, from a swap with a very kind NSTer. This is so gorgeous, I feel like I need to be in a fancy winter gown. My fuzzy sweater will do, though.
I read Minor Mage and A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, both by T. Kingfisher. Loved them both, and have Paladin’s Grace downloaded to my Kindle. Whoever recommended these, thank you!
Also read The Perfume Lover by Denyse Beaulieu. The back and forth between the author and Duchaufour was fascinating.
Where the Forest Meets the Sky, by Glendy Vanderah. It’s a quick read about a young girl who believes herself to be an alien and is taken in by a stranger. It’s very good, but sad in some places, and sometimes for reasons that I didn’t expect.
I’m about a third of the way through The Secret of Chanel No 5, by Tilar Mazzeo, and shamelessly skipping around in Fortune’s Children: The Fall of the Vanderbilts, by Arthur Vanderbilt II. Next after those: The Presidents, by Clint Hill, a secret service guy who served five US presidents.
You smell great!
I wish Denyse would update her blog, I enjoyed her writing.
Denyse just got married! When Seville a L’aube was released you could send her a picture of you with her book, The Perfume Lover, and she would send you a sample of the perfume! I did and a little sample came winging its way from Paris. I wish she had more time to devote to her blog too.
That is so nice! The best part of the book was toward the end, when she described the perfume notes in the final mods. I wore the fragrance while I read, and it really helped bring Seville a l’Aube to life.
Today I’m wearing two Les Indemodables: Musc des Sables on one arm and Chypre Azural on the other. Yesterday I wore MdS and Iris Perle.
I’m afraid I’ve not read much since the last poll but I’m reading two books currently. I’m almost done with The Right Sort of Man (recommended by Foxbins last week) and I will order the second book in the series soon. The second one is A Promised Land by Barack Obama. I’m not too far along but I enjoy his writing very much.
Barack Obama is a wonderful writer and had he not chosen a political career I wonder if he would have chosen to be a writer.
MR L read the Obama book, he found a lot of repetition from that and Mrs Obama’s “Becoming” book but enjoyed it nonetheless.
This line is just wonderful
I’m reading Gogol, because that’s what I’m teaching next week — just the Petersburg Tales (in the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation, if you’re curious, although my students have a different translation because I ordered the least expensive edition available for them). I have a pile of pleasure reading that I never get to because all I can manage, other than reading for work, is a few pages of a textile-arts magazine.
In almost the last gasp of my Sì sample today, because it was still out on my dresser from a couple of weeks ago and I’ve decided to try to thunk it.
I loved the War and Peace translation by Pevear/Volokhonsky though some disagree. I know that when I read this translation this book came alive for me in a way it never had previously. I had struggled with other translations and the chain of diminutives, I had a cheat sheet handy so I could figure out what character was being written about. My interest in Gogol was inspired by the film The Namesake, oddly enough.
I always use the P/V translation when teaching Crime & Punishment because IMO it’s the only one that captures the “yes, this is a detective story” (even though the murderer’s identity is no mystery) feel if the original. Yes, there is some important patterning that they miss — but if I am teaching C&P in English then most of the students in that course will never take another Russian lit course, and I want them to leave mine having some sense of how engaging the works are. Other translators often have a really tough time conveying that.
Hi all! I’m currently reading The Three Weissmanns of Westport. It’s loosely based on Sense and Sensibility. I’m enjoying it so far–it’s amusing, and since I know Sense and Sensibility I can guess what’s going to happen. A perfume that’s beachy would go well with it.
In the non-fiction realm, I’m reading Murder in Canaryville, which is about a 1976 murder of a teenager in Chicago that was never solved (til now…?). There are so many characters I’ve been keeping a list of who’s who, otherwise I forget. It’s taking a little too long to get into the heart of the matter for my taste, but it’s still interesting because there are links to organized crime, corrupt cops, and city politics. I don’t know what fragrance would go well with that!
Oh, I think I meant to read The Three Weissmanns of Westport years ago and then forgot all about it! Thank you for the reminder.
I have been into reading Young Adult fantasy, never would I imagine myself being into that sort go thing, period. Well, now that I am into it I am really into. I started with the Folk of Air trilogy last year and it seems this sort of fantasy world has been my cup of tea.
I have finished 2 of the Cursebreakers and now waiting for the last one A Vow So Bold and Deadly.
I have also read the first Grisha trilogy, Shadow and Bone. Waiting to read the next two. Fell for the Darkling in the first book, he seemed so yummy but a bit wicked, and I found all of that pretty hot. Whereas the the ‘normal’ relationship between the two protagonists was a bit dry for me. Maybe I have a problem
Its YA fantasy, any perfume would go.
In between all of this I am reading Homo Irrealis by Aciman, I am at the part where he talking writing about Rome and I have been wearing Ninfeo Mio during this chapter. I love Aciman, one of my favorite authors. However if you love CMBYN and Find Me, this book may not appeal to you.
Kids books..I am reading the first book of Harry Potter and Charlottes Web to my oldest.
When it comes to reading, especially during these times, I have been waiting for books to “call me” and go to what I am really drawn to instead of just picking up the next one on the stack. The Vanishing Half is the next on the stack, but I am waiting until I am saturated of the YA fantasy genre first.
I miss reading Charlotte’s Web to a child, that sounds so fun! And I still remember my aunt reading it to me & my sisters & my cousins, a chapter a night.
Just a shout out for another favorite-of-mine E. B. White book, One Man’s Meat. It is a book of essays that mostly were in the New Yorker. They start around 1939, when he and his family moved to the farm that seems to be the inspiration for Charlotte’s Webb. They are an amazing personal report on rural v. urban life, and living through the beginning of the Second World War. I happened to pick it up at our library’s book sale, but I think it might be fairly well known.
I too like YA books. Enjoyed The Gateway Chronicles last year. I started reading a book called More, just published the other day, written by the college freshman daughter of some friends.
My most recently finished book was Beauty by Robin McKinley – it’s a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story, and I was hooked from page one. I’ve also been meandering my way through The Americans (subtitled Letters From America) by Alistair Cooke. He was an English journalist who was posted to the U.S. for a while and had a weekly radio program in which he offered a non-American’s view of current events in the U.S., and the book is a collection of loose transcripts of those broadcasts from 1969 to 1979. He is hilariously funny in places, and in others it appears we have many of the exact same societal problems now that we were grappling with then. And I have dipped my toe into Simone de Beauvoir’s The Ethics of Ambiguity – reading it requires deep attention and concentration, and I apparently don’t have those things immediately to hand most of the time. Come June, I will have a new Phryne Fisher adventure to steep myself in, and I can hardly wait.
SOTD was Tam Dao edt for a haircut appointment and, in a few minutes, a Thai feast being delivered to us by Mr. G’s son as a thank-you present for our helping him buy his first new car. It reportedly will include Thai cocktails, and I’m looking forward to learning what those are. ?
I never read any of the Phryne Fisher books, are they fun? I did like the series. Did NOT like the movie.
Enjoy the Thai dinner, that sounds like fun!
They are most definitely fun. The books don’t have the flirtation between Phryne and Jack Robinson that was in the tv series, but they do become good friends. There’s no need to read the books in order, really, especially if you watched the series – each episode was based on the plot(s) of at least one of the novels. So far I’ve only stumbled upon one of the novels that was never used in the series, and it’s one of my favorites: Death By Water. Phryne goes on a trip by ocean liner, from Melbourne to New Zealand, during which she is hired to solve some jewel thefts (and has other adventures as well). It has a lovely description of sailing into Milford Sound.
Thank you so much! I will check and see if the library has any of them.
Beauty is one of my favorite Robin McKinley novels. I also like The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown quite a lot.
I usually read more than one book at a time. By my bedside, because I love an illustrated book to fall asleep with, The Lost Words and The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Norris. One is oversized and the other is pocket sized both are lavishly illustrated and gorgeously written ruminations/poems about beech trees and foxes and crows. Currently reading The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson, historical fiction set in the last days of Muslim Granada. Read the entire Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and also the Alpha and Omega series. I received The Big Book of Perfume for an Olfactory Culture by NEZ for Christmas. Also dipping into Notes by Tracy Wan for further olfactive literature. I read Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn, a book also found on Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020. My love for the podcast You Must Remember This compelled me to buy Karina Longworth’s Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood. This excellent book is really about all the actresses in Hughes’s orbit. If you are interested in the Golden age of Hollywood, it is not to be missed. I cannot recommend enough the books of Kristin Cashore. I read Bitterblue again before diving into Winterkeep. I am giving Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue a try before I buy the whole series for my husband, who reads more than I do! Also I am shaking my fist at George R. R. Martin and Saladin Ahmed and Patrick Rothfuss because they are never going to finish their bespoke series of books.
I will join you in shaking fists at George RR Martin and especially Patrick Rothfuss. Get writing, dudes!
This is a fascinating list. Thanks.
There is a typo in this list and I must correct it. The wonderful illustrator of Robert Macfarlane’s book is Jackie Morris.
You might enjoy the short book by Mick LaSalle, movie critic, about pre-code Hollywood actresses. He’s quite obviously enthralled with Norma Shearer and Barbara Stanwyck.
Thank you for the recommendation!
Oh, I just finished Winterkeep.
I love that series! It’s lyrical and compelling.
Random question for my NST perfumistas: has anyone smelled Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad Extreme and if so, what did you think of it compared to the original? Having smelled the new Kilian Love Don’t Be Shy Extreme, I am curious about this one too, as well as Straight to Heaven Extreme (which I know is popular with the guys on Basenotes).
I have not smelled these Extremes, but that did not stop me from buying a humongo sample of the Love Don’t be shy Extreme ?
Angel’s Share , By Killian,
Tobacco Vanille, by Tom Ford,
Mon Guerlain Eau Florale
Madeleine by Masque Milano,
Iris, by Galleon.
Russian Leather by Memo
Cary Grant’s new Biography,
Many political books on the CCP
Now is not the time to be a lemming, even the perfume variety.
That’s alot of perfume to wear at one time!
Sotd is Bottega Veneta and yesterday I wore TF White Patchouli. I’ve decided for the next week or so, I will only wear perfumes that I absolutely love, to help get me through the cold and snow.
I can’t recommend any book’s, as usual. I do have a game though, I’ve been playing for about 2 weeks. It’s called Price is right, Fragrance net version, lol! It works like this..
Find a perfume you want at a good price. Then search and search for another perfume you want to get you free shipping, without going over. The second perfume can’t be one you only sort of like. This must be done before the first perfume sells out, or before you realize the game is rigged!?
Lillyjo! ? Have you hacked my computer and been spying on me?? If not, I will tell you I have found that game all too appealing the last (x) number of weekends!!! ? Scent of the day is Jil Sander No. 4, Travel Spray, to get to that free shipping on Aura edp Sensuelle. I agree this current Arctic Blast is a good time to get our cherished remnants and radiate the warmth of good scents.
Have you tried the Sensuelle? I wanted to get it, but was afraid it might be too close to the original, which I already have. I love #4, you smell great!
I previously tried a sample (somewhere?) of Sensuelle, and did a quick spritz of the new arrival. I agree with one or more Fragrantica reviewers who said it was like Aura edp, less the minter, sharper green aspects. (I have a mini and a sample of the original edp.) Full story, I got the Sensuelle FB because I thought it was like the original, but I like the bottle better; *however* it is not true opalescent glass, just sort of spray-on frosted. Very nice, but not as pretty as I hoped. So scent-wise, it is a very close stand-in for the edp. If you have and love/like the original, I think you are good to go, Aura-wise. Not to go on, but if you are adverse to mintyness, but like Aura overall, get or test the Sensuelle; I think I recall I, being minty-adverse, like the edt a bit better than the edp, too. But, I like Aura anyway.
Thanks! I do like aura, but not enough to get another bottle that is so close to it. I think the edt is different enough to have both though.
Keep warm Lillyjo, lol at the game.
Spent all day yesterday in Lyric. Now I am about to get into the shower, I think Memoir will suit.
I just sprayed on Bengale Rouge as my scent of the day. Last night I wore the beautiful floral animalic DSH Chinchilla, and my day time SOTD was Caron Farnesiana vintage extrait. I was inspired to wear Farnesiana by watching the movie The Uninvited (1944) early in the day. It’s a supernatural ghost story where two ghosts occupy a big, beautiful house in Cornwall, England. One of the giveaways for the ghostly presence being near is the scent of mimosa. We learn that the mother of one of the characters wore a mimosa perfume before she died, so we know her ghost is one of the ones haunting the place. They mention the mimosa scent many times throughout the movie, so of course I had to go put on a beautiful mimosa perfume created in the 1940s, Farnesiana. Interestingly, Farnesiana was created in 1947 so can’t be the perfume referenced in the 1944 movie. I wonder what the inspiration perfume was.
I don’t really have a lot of books to recommend since last time. This week I started reading The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, which won last year’s Pulitzer. Last year, I read his The Underground Railroad, which was superb. I just find out that is being turned into a limited tv series on Amazon so am excited for it.
Other good things I’ve recently read are a fun mystery, The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, a change-of-pace slow burn mystery (that’s really more of a tale of small town life in western Ireland and how a recently retired American cop integrates himself in it) by Tana French called The Searcher, and a short graphic novel, Vision by Julia Gfrörer, described as exploring “lust, grief, and the human need for connection in this story of a nineteenth century spinster and the haunted mirror that offers an escape from her frustrated life.”
You are my fun mystery reading twin
Gabrielle Essence this morning, which is an easy church scent. It was lightly snowing as I headed out and beautifully snowing as I walked home. No stop in Bloomies this week and no pistachio croissants. Instead, a stop at CVS for toilet paper and paper towels. ???. It’s coming down even harder now. Makes me want to go for another walk.
Dinner out with friends last night…I wore Box of Eels from the sample I got last week. I smelled great, but my toes got pretty uncomfortable despite the wool socks.
Checked the weather this am in Door County, WI where we vacationed late last summer. Yowza! I guess that’s what fireplaces are for.
Nothing to share on reading. I’m listening to one of the Harry Dresden books, which I don’t really like that much. But I do enjoy James Marsters’ (aka Spike) voice.
Incredibly thankful for friends who were recently in Hawaii and sent me body wash and body lotion in Plumeria scent. As well as scented hand sanitizer. A little bit of tropics while I watch the snow fall.
It finally stopped 430pm-ish and I went out to clear off my steps and my car. It was definitely fluffier snow but my next door neighbor disagreed and I realized she was using her BROOM, which I usually do as well, but there was a thick layer on my steps and my car I decided to use my plastic shovel. I still think it’s lighter this time around.
I’m in the middle of Susanna Clarke’s PIRANESI. Magical! I’d pair it with something that has notes of ocean and stone…maybe Profumi di Forte’s Tirrenico.
A local bookstore that just reopened has this; with the *Jessica* stamp of approval, I blind bought in support and curiosity. Thanks for mentioning it!
Dr. Norrell and Mr. Strange is a masterpiece and Susanna Clarke did a volume of short stories set in the same time and place, The Ladies of Grace Adieu, that is marvelous and I really enjoyed Piranesi.
*Two* NST stamps of approval – looking forward to my delivery..
You won’t be disappointed!
I’m wearing Etra, by Etro, in preparation for several hours of grading at my computer. It’s spicy but not warm, aromatic and yet transparent. I find it nicely uplifting today; I should wear this more. I have had good luck with Etro scents (one of my all-time favorites is Messe di Minuit), and often wonder why they don’t get more love.
Thanks for the reviews; I am curious about this brand, but have not sniffed any yet. I noticed Surrender to Chance has FB’s of Messe di Minuit, as well as samples…..
I purchased one of those bottles and this second incarnation of Messe de Minuit is really good. I know the most desirable formulary is the first one, that comes in a green paisley box. I have smelled the first and second edition and cannot really tell the difference. They are both spicy incense.
stinker_kit, I have both, and they are very similar. Or, my nose just isn’t that sophisticated. The old version is perhaps a bit more dank and multi-layered; the new version might be pitched a little higher. Both are good, and I love the warm clouds of incense that swirl around me when I wear them.
Very good to know…
Very good to know…
MossyBerry, for comparison, I find MdM to be similar to Memo Tiger’s Nest, if that helps.
Thanks, LisaD! Will look into that.
Chiming in very late but wanted to say hi. It’s been crazy busy at work since we got back home but at least it’s keeping my mind of the bitter cold.
Just finished the last in the Cormoran Strike series. (Perfume spoiler: Robin receives Narciso as a gift.) But I can’t recommend the book — I think it’s the worst in the series. Too long and too many “lessons” in it.
Making Samin Nosrat’s turkey tikka masala for dinner. A good way to get thru our Thanksgiving freezer leftovers
Oh, tikka masala sounds delish!
It was SO GOOD! Alot of steps, but worth the effort.
Yasmina, I feel bad you had to come back to this weather. Next year stay in Texas until March!
That was the plan, but the problem was we didn’t have any child-care in Texas and it just became impossible to keep up with work : ( Thanks for the commiseration
Very little time to read but when I have a moment, I’m devouring A Memory Called Empire, a grand scale, ambitious and meticulously constructed sci-fi epic. It won several awards recently and it deserves all the hype. If you like ins and outs of diplomacy playing out on a cosmic scale, this is a book for you. As it happens, there is a mention of blue lotus gardens of the Imperial Palace (“ Outside the window a Palace-North courtyard was a riot of blue lotuses floating in ponds and star-shape paths”) and thanks to fellow NST community member Hajusuuri, I have a sample of April Aromatics Lotus Rising which fits the story in many other ways: it’s a sophisticated, elegant, impeccably constructed and very discreet scent. It’s wafting gently from the blotter and making the reading experience even better.
Woo hoo, glad you like it!
Since I broke and then lost my reading glasses a few weeks ago, I’ve had a really hard time trying to read print books. I’ve read some books on the Kindle, and read a few gardening catalogs (uh-oh!). Then I’ve gone back and referred to my gardening books to find more details about the flower bulbs and perennials I got in my late-night shopping.
I made an appointment to go to the optometrist tomorrow, but that’s if I can get the car out of the driveway. We got another 8 inches of snow today (Sunday). Dad tried to shovel some, but he could only do so much, and he had a fall into a snowbank. He’s fallen a fair amount of times lately, and our family is concerned. Fortunately, he said he came to no harm with that fall, but we’d like to get someone who can do the driveway so he doesn’t have to.
A gardening book I refer back to all the time when I’m looking at more “old-fashioned” sorts of flowers is Passalong Plants by Steve Bender and Felder Rushing. I have Elizabeth Lawrence’s books on gardening. Much of the content of several of her books was put together later by a combination of other gardening writers and the editors at UNC Press, using articles she wrote and her Market Bulletin writings.
I referred back to E.A. Bowles’s book My Garden in Spring when I ordered Iris reticulata bulbs. He picked out the variety now known as ‘Cantab’ from among many Iris reticulata seedlings. Apparently the bulbs are supposed to be planted in the fall. I ordered them from a bulb company in late January and received them yesterday. Oops. I stuck the bulbs in random pots of soil, some of which I dragged in from the front porch and from outside the back door. It was a more muddy operation than I’d hoped it would be.
I’ve been reading various sorts of romances, some in the “historical with paranormal added” category. Add in that some of those are m/m romances, and it’s a very specific niche. A couple that I’ve read lately are by K.J. Charles. The “Will Darling Adventures” is a historical series of hers without magic, but the characters are quite interesting. The first book I read of hers was The Magpie Lord. I believe that one of the protagonists, Lucien Vaudrey, Lord Crane, is what British people would call a “bloody-minded” sort of character.
A modern-day short story I read quite recently that included paranormal and magical aspects was G.L. Carriger’s “Vixen Ecology,” connected to her “San Andreas Shifters” series. The San Andreas Shifters series seems to have a loose “magical creatures” sort of connection, with a number of twists and turns in the interim timeline, to her historical paranormal series “The Parasol Protectorate,” written as Gail Carriger. Marvin the merman is one of my favorite characters in the San Andreas Shifters series. Because of course he is. LOL. And I guess a fragrance associated with him would have a marine note.
I’ll try to think of more books that I’ve read recently…