Sunday Reading: January 27, 2013

It’s been a blustery few days here in Chapel Hill! Work at the library has been cancelled for the past few days due to icy conditions so I’ve had plenty of time to catch up on my reading. Here are the most interesting things I read this week:

Blog Post:

British Problems: Light-hearted and fun, this article was the perfect pick-me-up at the end of a long day.

BookishBabies

Bookish Babies: Just in case your moody-blues weren’t gone after reading the last post, these adorable photos are sure to put a smile on your face. Is there anything cuter than a baby with books?

Book:

84, Charing Cross Road
84, Charing Cross Road: If you didn’t already yearn for the lost art of letter writing, this book will certainly make you want to go buy stamps! The book, a novella really, contains Helen Hanff’s correspondence with an antiquarian bookstore in London. The letters were written between 1949 and 1969, offering a lovely peek into wartime Britain. Hanff is delightfully witty and the Britishisms are so much fun. It’s the perfect escape from mundane life and Hanff’s suggestions are sure to add to your must read pile! Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“I do love secondhand books that open to the page some previous owner read oftenest. The day Hazlitt came he opened to ‘I hate to read new books,’ and I hollered ‘Comrade!’ to whoever owned it before me.”

Elizabeth will have to ascend the throne without me, teeth are all I’m going to see crowned for the next couple of years.”

“First, enclosed find $3, [Pride and Prejudice] arrived looking exactly as Jane ought to look, soft leather, slim and impeccable.”

“ A newspaper man I know, who was stationed in London during the war, says tourists go to England with preconceived notions, so they always find exactly what they go looking for. I told him I’d go looking for the England of English literature, and he said: ‘Then it’s there.’”

News Articles:

Making Herself the Lesson: When one woman was diagnosed with terminal cancer she decided to donate her body to science in a non-traditional way – she allowed nursing students to follow her journey.

Candace Bushnell

Real Life Carrie Bradshaw: Who would’ve thought that art imitates life so closely?! In this profile by the founder of The Hairpin we get a closer look at Candace Bushnell.

By the Book : J.K. Rowling: I am obviously late the the party on this one as the article ran in October but I’ve recently discovered NYT By the Book and have been reading the archives voraciously. Reading this led me down the rabbit hole and straight to other “By the Book” columns.

Magazine Article:

Let’s Talk (The New Yorker): The idea of the filibuster has fascinated me ever since I watched The West Wing. Though today’s filibusters are less of “a senator hoarsely rattling off recipes” and more of repeatedly taking attendance, the article was an enjoyable look behind the scenes of the Senate.

Week in Review: What I Read

Full of excitement, this week has seen the gradual wind-down of senior year begin. I’m running ragged trying to get transcripts sent, Academic Infractions Board Cases heard, and grad classes registered–but I love it!  Here’s what I read this week in between errands

  1. What Books Did People Read On the Titanic? (Bookriot): Saying I’m obsessed with the Titanic is a slight understatement. My roommate and I had the conversation that everyone has “their” tragedy and the sinking of the Titanic is definitely mine. For me it signifies the real end to everything I love about the Victorian era: new technology, W.T. Stead, billionaires, and dreams. Given all of this it’s no surprise that I jumped with joy at all of the press coverage for the centennial. This article was of utmost interest, because c’mon: books + Titanic = love.
  2. Is a Credit Union Your Savior From Student Loan Debt? (Forbes): Another timely article as I just had my loan exit interview here at Kenyon. With student debt rising there’s been an increased interest in how to keep the “next generation” from stumbling to financial ruin. This article is a new take on an old problem.
  3. Podcasts by Oxford University English Faculty (via Blackwell’s Bookshop): Okay, so this one isn’t strictly an article, but it’s a great listen all the same! One of my favorite things about being an English major is that I get to listen to great minds talk about great literature and now I can take it with me! (Bonus: these professors have British accents.)
  4. Tutoring Surges with Fight for Middle School Spots (NYT): Though I read this in the print edition–Kenyon graciously holds subscriptions to the NYT that are delivered to the dining hall Monday through Friday–it’s available online. It boggles my mind that competition is so tough just for middle school tests — I didn’t take a prep course for the SAT! The article reminds me a lot of the documentary Nursery University (check it out if you haven’t already).