Wednesday, 5 January 2011

On the eleventh day of Christmas (and twelfth)...I was reading

On the eleventh day of Christmas
I was back to work but I was determined not to let it affect my reading. I decided that one of my NY resolutions should be to make sure that I take my breaks and to spend at least one of them reading -that'll last, ooh about a week until things get really busy with term - and so I packed a book and took myself off to the staffroom at coffee break time. The book was Stoner by John Williams. When Thomas from My Porch came over to the UK last November, he brought books for the book bloggers that he was meeting up with. I wasn't able to go, but I still got a book and this was it. He chose it because of its university theme, since I work at a university and Thomas knew that I have often enjoyed campus novels. It was an excellent choice and I looked forward to the end of the day when I could finish reading it (because yes, life conspired against me to have a decent lunch break or a teabreak) - dinner was an hour late as I refused to put it down until I got to the end. It's a simple tale about the life of William Stoner, a man who becomes a university professor, and his failed marriage, but it is extremely elegantly told, and somehow even though the story itself isn't terribly surprising the book manages to be very gripping. Here's a link to Thomas' original review.

To take the taste of a day at work away, I made cookies to do something practical and cosy and domestic. And I was pleased to find that my Fortnum and Mason's Afternoon Tea book had arrived while I had been out at work, and after our belated dinner, I settled down to peruse it. A combination of a guide to the art of tea making and drinking and recipes of wonderful things to bake to accompany afternoon tea. This book would make an absolutely perfect gift for tea-drinking friends I think, and I have my eye on the sachertorte recipe (even though it needs six eggs!)

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My resolution to find reading time at work didn't go so well on the first day. It wasn't so much the pressure of work but more the inconvenience of things happening at the times when I would usually have breaks. When I mentioned this (in passing) to my manager, I was reminded of the importance of taking breaks, so I Really Have To Try To Amend My Ways. So I thought one idea might be to ensure that I have a Really Excellent Book with me. It was going to be hard to find a book to read on the back of Stoner but I had picked up my reservation for Girl in Translation at the library the other day, a book that I've been wanting to read for a while. This kept me gripped throughout coffee and lunch and it was just too bad that owing to another leak in the library I didn't get my teabreak....

Somewhat appropriately, I picked up Trisha Ashley's Twelve days of Christmas at the library yesterday and that is my in bed reading at the moment - it might be a little late to be embarking on a festive read, but I'm quite enjoying it.

I think I've done pretty well with my reading over the last twelve days of Christmas. I hope excellent reading material will continue to be had throughout 2011.


  1. I loved your 12 days of Christmas posts!

    I have read 12 Days of Christmas and really loved it (review on my blog) something very cosy about it which I loved. I am going to find some other Trisha Ashley if they are as all as good as that.

    Hope you manage to get a break at work - I rarely do and I know I must more! I always have a book with me so you never know.

  2. I've been looking for a decent Sachertorte recipe since I ate the real thing in the Hotel Sacher in Vienna over 30 years ago. Bake it, please and report back. If it's good, I may just have to get the book ......

  3. I agree with your supervisor about taking breaks, very important! I love my lunch break. I walk to a local coffee shop & read with my coffee if I don't have anyone with me to talk to. That 10 min walk each way plus the caffeine plus my book is the perfect break. I also loved the Trisha Ashley, romantic & English with lots of food.

  4. Definitely need to take your breaks! Sounds like you need to leave the building though.


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