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Sunday, February 24, 2013


This week I am not doing Mailbox Monday as no books came into my house this week as well. Reading has been going on apace though not as much as I would have liked.

I have one review of The Grave Digger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates still to be done. This was a very sad book and now I am beginning to realize that such books depress me. Episodes of sadness are part of the reality of a story (and of life in general) but continuous, heavy sadness can be quite heavy.

This week after a very, very long time I did not finish a book. Underground by Tobias Hill. I did read over seventy pages but found the story to be almost disjointed. Maybe it would have come together later on but it was too abrupt for me. It was almost like a translation where some of the actual meanings get lost. Maybe just me.

I also am re-reading Rosmunde Pilcher's Winter Solstice. Almost three quarters of the way through. Set in England and Scotland and very much about relationships. Written in an easy, very descriptive style its relaxed reading. 

The book I am a 100 pages in and enjoying the very old fashioned prose is A Thousand Miles Up the Nile by Amelia Edwards. I like very much the footnotes and explanations on various Egyptian terms and the small illustrations and pen drawings make the journey sound very vivid. It also makes me realize  how lovely it must be to spend three months in a country and not rush through a trip in ten to fourteen days. We expect to see, absorb and understand a new culture in a short time whereas how much more you could appreciate this when you do it slowly.

Also reading Alison Weir's Isabella. I thought this biography would be very startling but it is slow. It may be more interesting later on as I am still reading about Isabella's very early life as a queen.

Today is Poya day (a full moon day) which is a public holiday and one of religious significance to Buddhists. It is significant that it was on this day that two important disciples were appointed and also the formation of the first ever Buddhist council. So this week becomes a short week of just four days.

This is a photograph of the Navam Perahera celebrated at the Gangaramaya in Colombo. An annual event, the photography is courtesy of a site dedicated to this procession. The elephants are all dressed and walk with their mahouts along with drummers and dancers representative of all regions in Sri Lanka.


  1. I decided after my first Joyce Carol Oates book, she just wasn't for me. Interesting reading about your national holidays, thanks for sharing pic

  2. A fairly busy book reading week, Mystica. I do much worse! I have never read any books by Joyce Carol Oates, so thanks for reminding me. The "Navam Perahera" celebration reminds me of similar festivals in south India. The Buddhist Circle in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, must be active on Poya Day too.

  3. I try to stay away from books that are too depressing. Looks like you have a busy reading week. I can't get over how beautiful those decorated elephants are!

  4. I enjoy Rosamunde Pilcher's books...they are lovely. And JCO is depressing more often than not. I have to be in the right mood to tackle one...and I have The Gravedigger's Daughter just waiting...sigh.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Enjoy your week.

  5. I was thinking about reading Winter Solstice - now I think I will. Ugh, I get what you are saying about Oates. I went through a time where I was reading her books back to back, and they were putting me in a depressed mood. None of her books are very uplifting, at least not the ones I have read. I read one of hers now and then read happier things to balance it out.

  6. Good luck on the Weir book, I do enjoy her writing, but I find that I have to be fully able to concentrate and appreciate the minute details that she offers.
    And I agree, depressing books really do nothing for me, even if there is a message somewhere I still want to feel entertained.

  7. Looks like you've got a good week lined up! And an extra holiday is always nice, especially when it's as colorful as that picture! I'm a bit jealous :)

  8. I love Rosmund's books, and wish there was more time so that I could re-read them! The elephants are beautiful.

  9. Those elephants are gorgeous! And I hate it when I'm reading a book that seems disjointed. Life's too short to read books you're not enjoying.

  10. Hi Mystica,

    I am also a great fan of Rosamunde Pilcher and have been enjoying her books for many years now.

    If you enjoy her style of writing, then might I suggest that you read something by Robin Pilcher, who is Rosamunde's eldest son. His books are equally as engrossing and uplifting to read as his mothers.

    I try very hard not to give up on a book, even if I am finding it hard going to finish. I think that is just the stubborn streak in me and may not be the best strategy. Perhaps there are some books that it is best to give up on, after all, as you say, life is just too short.

    You didn't say if you were off to take part in any holiday activities, but that aside, I hope that you had an enjoyable day.

    Happy Reading,