Sunday Bulletin – November 30

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I had a great Thanksgiving with my family on Thursday. I hadn’t seen a few of my siblings (I have 5) for a couple of months so it was good to catch up with them and to spend time with my nieces and nephews. My mom asked me to bring a dessert so I made a pumpkin pie crumble (pictured above) that I saw on Miranda’s Notebook. I am not a fan of traditional pumpkin pie so this seemed a perfect alternative. It was a big hit with my family and I look forward to making it again soon.

A few weeks ago I chose to go on a social media fast. I’ve given up Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Instagram until the new year when I’ll reevaluate if and how I want to continue with these sites. The reasons I’ve chosen to avoid them for a while are complex, but it is mostly because they are a huge time suck and I was unhappy with the level of narcissism and attention seeking (mostly on Facebook and none of you, of course) that people just can’t help but exhibit on such a public forum. I do still have to go on Facebook occasionally as I help out with my library’s FB page and I have also logged on to Twitter and Instagram out of habit. But for the most part I’ve avoided them and I am somewhat surprised at how little I miss social media. I thought it would be supremely hard to stay away, but it has honestly been nice to keep to myself except for LibraryThing and blogging, which I seem to enjoy more now that I am off of social media. Funny.  How do you feel about social networking?

Books finished this week:

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel – After my fourth try with this sequel to Wolf Hall, I almost thought that this book was just not meant to be for me. With a weary heart I considered giving my copy away to the library book sale, but reluctantly decided to give it another go before escorting it out of my house. And the fifth time was the charm. I finally got past the somewhat slow start and really fell into the story of Henry VIII’s desire to rid himself of La Ana and Thomas Cromwell’s efforts to make that happen. Once again, Mantel works her magic and makes this familiar story feel real and immediate, though we all know how it ends. I don’t think it was quite as cohesive as Wolf Hall – it stuttered several times and almost crumbled into implausibility at a few points, but the overall effect was stunning and left me wanting more of Thomas Cromwell. I shall look forward to the third and final installment in the series, which I’ve heard will be published in 2016.

I did break my Twitter fast yesterday to tweet about being on Simon’s ‘My Life in Books‘ series because it was so darn exciting. I enjoyed having to think about the books that have influenced my reading tastes over the years – after sending off the email I realized I have a slight fondness for over-the-top drama and stubborn female characters!

I was saddened to hear of the death of P.D. James. She was one of the first mystery authors that I loved and I’ve read many of her Adam Dalgliesh novels. My favorite of her novels, however, are her two Cordelia Gray mysteries, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull Beneath the Skin. I’ve read both of them a few times and they are just astonishingly good. I highly recommend them.

On my next trip to England I want to go here.

Have a great Sunday!