I received an Amazon gift card for Christmas from my cousin, I caught an infection that had me home from work and lying on the couch for about a week, and my computer's trackpad decided that it was going to be difficult and required the laptop to stay overnight at the shop. Plus, it's winter, it gets darker earlier, it's cold and I hibernate.
All of that means that I have acquired new books.
While I was sick, I read and finished The Hobbit. Funnily enough, I owned the book for years and never finished it. I think my infatuation with the Rings trilogy caused me to be jarred a little by the far jollier tone of The Hobbit. But, of course, since the movie is being filmed and Peter Jackson posts videos from the set and the teaser trailer came out, I figured it was time to actually read the book. Cheered me up a lot. I can't wait to see it on screen; it's going to be amazing.
I also bought Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks--I'm on page 143. Birdsong takes place in the Edwardian years just before World War One, then during the war in the Somme Offensive in France. It was voted the 13th best read in a BBC poll in the UK. It's an education, reading this novel. I don't know a lot about World War One, for one thing.
But the writing expresses deep, complex ideas in perfect, poetic, simple sentences that flow together so well. If only I could write like that...
I finished a romance novel, Countess of Scandal by Laurel McKee, last night. I decided to read this book purely on its setting: Ireland, 1798, during the 1798 rebellion. Along with the romance aspect of it, I enjoyed the questions the characters discussed: who is Irish? Are they, descendants of English settlers in Ireland, Irish or are they English? Where do their loyalties lie? It reminded me of the background story of one of my characters.
I just started (for a lighter counterpart while I read Birdsong) Frederica by Georgette Heyer, Regency romance writer extraordinaire. Her books are known for their accuracy, not only in the social conventions of the Regency period, but the dialogue and language as well.
I have one more book on its way, a non-fiction history on the Regency era. I can't have everything I know about this time period come from fiction.
At this rate, I should be well-covered in reading material until March.