Readerly Rambles: 15 September 2014

readerly rambles

What I read: Earlier in the month I finished up The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This was a re-read for me, but frankly I don’t remember finding the book so creepy and fascinating during the first read. I’ll hold off on my analysis until the Estella Society has their Hill House read-along discussion on October 1st. For a teaser let me just say, HOLY COW THE BELL JAR!!!

What I’m reading: I’m about halfway through Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper. The story centers around Laurel, an aging actress who is haunted by remembering a violent act concerning her mother. Almost s her mother is elderly and nearing death, Laurel feels pressure to discover the truth of what happened that day and to uncover her mother’s secretive past. The novel reminds me a bit of Sarah Water’s The Night Watch simply because it occurs during wartime and the timeline seems to move backwards and then forwards. I hope that makes sense. I’m really enjoying it for the plot and characters and but the crux of the novel focuses on the secret life of mothers and that is the most fascinating element. You know, the fact that we are completely human with passions, interests, faults, etc…. outside of being a mother even though society tends to sum up women based on their role as a mother (or lack of a role as a mother). Good Stuff.

I’m also dipping in to M R James’s Collected Ghost Stories on my Kindle. It is my lunch-break, waiting-in-line read. I adore M R James and he is a masterful storyteller. Thus far the most frightening story in the collect is “The Ash Tree” as it features my least favorite creature: SPIDERS.

What’s up Next: Once I’m done with The Secret Keeper I plan on cracking open Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope. I am completely determined to finish The Chronicles of Barsetshire series this year.

Reading Challenge Update: RIP IX is coming along marvelously. I’ll post more extensively on RIP at a later date, but suffice it to say that I am all over this challenge. I’ve read one book out of four (Hill House) and the James counts as my story collection. I also watched The Haunting, which is the film version of The Haunting of Hill House for the Peril of the Screen challenge. This is certainly my favorite challenge.

I’ll write extensively on my reading challenges as I wrap up the year in December / early January, but I did want to note how I’m doing on my goals:

Back to the Classics — 7 out of 10
Victorian Reading Challenge — 8 out of 2 (winning!!!!)
Chunksters — 5 out of 5 (yay!)

Bookshelf Issues: To wrap up this week’s Readerly Rambles I’d like to share my readerly conundrum — my books are still boxed up. We moved two weeks ago and I’ve yet to unpack my books because I don’t have shelves for them. I had two cheap-y Target bookshelves that pretty much fell apart during the move. With two little kids around and knowing these shelves will be full with books I didn’t want to risk cobbling particleboard back together. On one had I want to just buy more cheap shelves as we plan on buying a home in the next three years. I’d like to put built-in shelving when we buy OR make sure that our shelves go with the style of the house. On the other hand, it seems silly to waste money on items that will be used temporarily. And if I did buy some solid shelves they could probably go somewhere in our future home. So what’s it to be?

1). Cheap shelves for now

2). Pull a little savings and get sturdier shelves

I don’t know what to do; I just know I won’t be settled until the books are unpacked!



  1. I’ve been too busy in the last week to read and it’s about to drive me crazy! I’m so glad to hear that you are finding time to read. I’ve got The Haunting of Hill House waiting on me, and I hope to slow down soon to get to it. As for your bookshelf question – that is a tuffy. If you could find some semi-decent ones on Craigslist for free/cheap, that would be my first recommendation. (The more on the decent side, the better, since once you move, you’d have something that you could use until you were ready to invest in better ones or get your built-ins built.) I don’t know how much luck you’d have garage-sale-ing for bookshelves? The first thing that popped into my mind for temporary shelving was cinder blocks with wood slats, but a) wood seems to be more expensive than it ought to be for something like that, and b) I’d be a little concerned about safety, esp. if either of your two littles like to climb. So, that probably wasn’t very helpful, but now my brain is simmering on options. If I think of anything else, I’ll check back in. 🙂

    1. yeah… both of my kids are climbers. I think we are probably going to wait until January and then buy some semi-decent shelves. I figure even when we do move we may use them as bookcases for awhile or we can put them in the bedrooms for the kids to have their own bookcases. Wow. In three years Hope will be 17, Atticus will be almost 7, and Persy will be approaching 4. They could probably use shelves in their bedrooms at that point for books and special toys.

  2. I have yet to start The Haunting of Hill House. I’ve never read The Bell Jar. (I KNOW.) So I’m taking what little knowledge I have of both and trying to figure out how they go together. Color me intrigued!

  3. So I have these:
    Two tall and two short, and I have never regretted buying them. They look great all lined up together or apart. When I moved a few months ago these are the four shelves I took (I left three others behind). They looked great in my old house, they still look great in my tiny apartment. They’re sturdy, they survived the move, and they hold a crap ton of books. Worth every penny.
    Okay, sales pitch over. 😀

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