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Posts from the ‘William Blake’ Category

The January Reading Month….

Many moons ago, when I was still young (relatively speaking) I used to do these round up posts for the month. Then life and its complications intruded and everything including my regular blogging commitments fell apart. However, the thing about life is it passes and like I said previously, the only way to normalize things is to go back to the simpler tasks and do it again, as much as possible. So here I stand with a round up of January readings!

Personally January and I am knocking on the wood as I say and write this saw a whole lot of improvement from December. Yes, things continue to be tough, but I felt a growth and a letting go and learning of new lessons, which hereto I was not completely aware off. You would think at the advanced age of 37, I would know it all, but I did not and this month has opened up my mind to new ideas and thoughts and interesting revelations that I never thought existed and it’s all been very educational. With Dad’s health a tad improved and some brighter things on the horizon from the professional front, I can say, that January has been a good start to the year! (Knocking really hard on the wood!)

Reading in Winters

Summer morning by Robert Vonnoh, 1895

From a reading perspective, it seems like, while I have read quite a bit (GoodReads says I am 2 books ahead of my 2020 reading challenge !) it has mostly, actually, completely, been a re-read kind of a month. As I previously stated, I am picking thing’s up on a whim, reading what I feel is entertaining or enlightening and not worrying too much about what-should-be-read! Considering the kind of stress life has lately been under, the joy of reading old favorites has especially been comforting and in some cases even inspirational. I continued on my “selective” Harry Potter journey; while I have read and own the entire series, there are certain parts that I like more than the others and those I re-visit more than often. I managed to re-read The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Half Blood Prince in January. The Prisoner of Azkaban is my most favorite; and among various reasons, this is book that kicked of my Harry Potter love affair! Speaking of fantasy and inspirations, no one did it better than Sir Terence David John Pratchett aka Terry Pratchett. His Discworld series are one of those very few books that teaches all of us to be better, kinder and more generous to our fellow creatures, all the while making us laugh till we ache and also telling us a highly entertaining story in the process. (If you want more details, please read my dedicatory post to him, here!) He was a genius and his words gives many of strength and courage and in year where things were more dimmer than brighter; re-reading Maskerade and Men at Arms was a good reminder of courage, honesty and doing the right thing, even if it’s the hardest thing to do! Vi Va Sir Pratchett, gone too soon! If you have never read his work, please go ahead and buy some, not all books are great, and some are for sure better than the others, but they all teach us something! Finally with all the hype around the new Little Women film, I kind of ended up re-reading this wonderful classic again. And once again was left in awe of the quiet courage of Mrs. March and the sheer goodness of Beth who has always been the role model since I was 11 and read the abridged version. All my friends wanted to Jo, but I always aspired to be Beth, albeit wanting to lead a happy boisterous life! Beth’s death always moves me (Yes! I cry every time!) and I picked up a little know but very funny novel for variation – Kissing Toads by Jemma Harvey. While this book has very few readers and it is easy to categorize it as a chick-lit, 10 minutes into the book you realize that it is anything but one. Sure, there is romance, but it is primarily about friendships and sisterhood and friends who are family that this book really touches upon!

That was my January reading! For February, I already started on Carpe Jagulum by Terry Pratchett ( because once you start, you cannot stop!) Also, I have almost completed this wonderful selection of essays on literary woman and woman authors by Elizabet,h Chadwick called Seduction and Betrayal. Kaggsy introduced me to this brilliant collection and I am ever so grateful to have read this volume. I also have the new Jeffrey Archer novel, Nothing Ventured lined up and while my chunkster reading – The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton has hit a slump, I hope to get started again!

That is all I had for today! Happy February everyone!

P.S. Does anyone know the artist who painted the picture I have incorporated. I have done all kinds of searches but cannot find the author of this wonderful piece of art and I really really want to give the due credit and learn more about their work!

P.P.S. Kaggsy to rescue again; Painting identified and updated with due credits.

 

Its a New Day…

Well, December is gone and January is here and before we know another December will be here…I am trying to cheer myself that If January is here, can December be far?! I am I understand being absolutely and devotedly optimistic, but like Ms. Rossetti wrote,

Your sorrow’s are half in fun
Begun and done
And turned to joy while twenty seconds run

Hence, in the words of another immortal poet, (William Blake)

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

Only instead of bow of burning gold, and arrow of desire, I go with Books, Blogs and clouds that unfold to imagination, knowledge and fun!

Ok…without more theatrics or further ado, this is what my January readingscape looks like – as part of several Reading Challenges, I have the following reads mapped for Jan 2016

Women Classic Literature Reading EventTo The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Ali is also hosting an event for the same and I hope to finally crack the code for Ms. Woolf

Reading England –  Event hosted by O at Behold The Stars, this book is a fall over from last month and therefore last year, but I have already started on Lady Anne by Anthony Trollope and it seems like a good thing to finish it as the first book for this event in 2016!

Lecito List – This page really needs an upgrade and this year I will get to it; however for now as part of the read, I will read The Secret History by Donna Tartt

I have also decided to kill myself and add another reading challenge to my kitty and this time its, The 12 Month Classics Challenge, hosted by Lois over at You, me and a Cup of Tea. I will add a page about this Challenge soon, but in the meanwhile, for January, when the theme is A classic you’ve always wanted to read, I go with George Orwell’s 1984. I was actually holding out for To The Light House, but that kind of trickles into other events, hence the honor goes to 1984!

Besides the Challenges, I also have the Classic Club Spin#11 read, which is thin and easy and I really just need to get down and finish it book – The Time Machine by HG Wells!

Finally I have agreed to a ReadAlong with Cleo, O and Jean on Ovid’s Metamorphoses which goes on for like 10 weeks, each book, each week! Finally Jane from Beyond Eden Rock is doing  a Margery Sharpe event which I am participating in but have not decided on the book, since no printed editions are available in this geography and NOTHING on Kindle….but I will find something and that will be another addition as well!

Considering all these serious literary reads, I NEED some fun but rich reads, hence already bought and started variety includes, Mr. Penumbra’s 24Hours Bookstore by Robin Sloan, The Lake House by Kate Morton and because Jane did such a terrific job convincing me on the genius of Michelle Lovric, I also got The Book of Human Skin!

That is ALL!

I think I will now quietly go to the hole I have dug for myself and start reading so that I can dig myself out of it by end of the month!

Ahh…The Glorious Autumn is Here….

I think by now one and all are aware for my love and obsession about Autumn – Winter. Like the true winter child that I am, I thrive in these 6 months, while I wither and die in Spring/Summers. (Yes! I know it’s unnatural to be depressed about spring, but in my mind, it heralds summer, which I CANNOT tolerate!) Therefore I take a break from my bookish musings to scribble some of my all-time favorite poem/film/music/book about autumn. I will do the same exercise in the month of December to celebrate winter. Without further ado, here goeth the list –

  • Poem – I have already mentioned this in one of my posts, but I love the lyricism of William Blake’s To Autumn

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

“The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

  • Film – ‘Autumn in New York’ is to clichéd, besides, I did not like Winona Ryder in the film, not to mention, I had a lot of difficulty in digesting Richard Gere having a fling with the mother and then many years down line, falling for the daughter!   So my choice is choice and I LOVE this film is Autumn Tale  – a sometime funny and sometime heartwarming tale of widowed 30 something Magali, a lonely winemaker, whose friends secretly set out to find a husband for her. The film has the most breathtaking shots of France in Autumn, especially the acres and acres of vineyards!
  • Music – Simple, classic and elegant…Viva Vivaldi

  • Books – I realized when I was surfing the net, before last week’s post that “Rebecca” is a much looked upon as a perfect autumn novel, why, I sit and question. Anyway, my favorite autumn book is a toss-up between (I know two is cheating, but this is MY game) “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott and “Ann of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery. Classic coming of age books, set at the start of autumn, which till dates teaches us much about courage, kindness and faith!
  • Thing – While this is true for all seasons, the big mug tea and the blanket, aah…that just adds perfection to the book and the bed!

Bs

So what are your Autumn favorites?

P.S. We got some press today for our project – http://www.mid-day.com/articles/reclaiming-a-forgotten-food-culture/15712156. Our website is also up – http://cogitofilmsindia.wix.com/idenityonapalate

I would again urge all to please help us in supporting this project, that will ensure preservation and continuation of a now practically extinct culture – there are many ways to support this cause –

  1. We need financial patronage – We need your monetary help to complete this project. Every contribution is of great value and you have our heartfelt appreciation for any amount that you put forth. You can pay via a credit/debit card, directly at Indiegogo’s Website (The project is called Identity on a Palate)
  2. Help us Spread the Word – Please share this campaign on your social network so that more people can become aware of this project. The more people see this, more the chances of us reaching our goal. Please so send me the link or a mail for the same, as we would love to see this live!

Please do help and Thank You again!

Come September……

Yay! Finally fall is on its way! Goodbye to all the heat and dust….no more summers for at least the next 7 months!!!

Oh! How I hate and I mean HATE summers! I love Fall/Winter seasons – cannot get enough of them! You can dress whatever you want, go out in the sun and not melt, eat what you want and of course like I keep saying, it’s the seasons of celebrations – the entire world celebrates their most important festivals during these months! These are just hands down the best part of the year! Give me 12 months of September to January! (Don’t like February too much, it begins to remind me the on coming summer!)

However for now, the summer of 2013 is over and done with! I am so glad that it’s OVER!!!!! I love these days….I see so much beauty, the early morning mist that comes over the valley where I stay, the feel of the warming sun the smell of wood smoke from the small hamlets around the valley; the smaller days and cooler nights – a season of festivals and beckoning of more joy to come!

I am not being poetic; I will leave that to a gentleman named William Blake who himself eulogized this season in a marvelous poem in 1783 and whose words capture the very essence of the season and leave me spell bound!

To Autumn by William Blake

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

“The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

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