November, Wodehouse, & What I’m Looking for

Just what we need in November!

November.

Not enough light.

I went for a walk, sipping coffee.  I wore a light jacket; I shivered. I was cross and slightly sore from a very swift walk yesterday in sneakers with insufficient padding.

Piles of leaves, darkness, people in fleece jackets, and dogs. I stopped at the Little Free Library, which looks like a birdhouse on a stick, and is actually a bookshelf  with free books you can take or borrow.

I have contributed several of the few books left.

If you want to read D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow, a novel by Mary Wesley, or Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower (which has been checked out), I donated them.

I haven’t borrowed anything yet.

“One of these days you’ll find something you’ve been looking for for years,” my husband says.

What am I looking for in dark November?  I dislike the darkness.

More time in the real world?

Well, yes, but what will I do?  Sit under bright lights?

Less online time?

I have deleted the email feature from my Nook tablet and cut Twitter.

Cook a new Mollie Katzen recipe?

I
 don’t know what I’m hungry for/
I don’t know what I want anymore–“Bittersweet Me,” R.E.M.

Do I need a book?

Maybe a book by P. G. Wodehouse.  In the Washington Post, Jonathan Yardley wrote a charming essay about the publication of The Collectors’ Edition of P. G. Wodehouse by Overlook and Everyman Classics.

He writes:

…what especially pleases me is that as the series nears completion, it gives no evidence of scraping the bottom of the barrel, indeed provides proof that Wodehouse’s barrel had no bottom. A couple of titles published earlier this year, “Mike and Psmith” and “The White Feather,” came out originally in the early 1900s and can be classified as apprentice work, but certainly cannot be dismissed as such because they are the work of a master in the making.

Sebastian Faulks, author of Birdsong, has written his own Bertie Wooster novel, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells. You can read the review in The Telegraph.

At the TLS, you can read Nicola Shulman’s humorous article, “Are People Getting Ruder?”, a review of Henry Hitchings’  SORRY!  The English and Their Manners. 

Her article is great fun to read.  Shulman begins:

I n the late 1960s I subscribed to a girls’ comic called Diana. It wasn’t as good as Bunty, but I remember an item it ran in the advice column, telling me how to exit the passenger door of my boyfriend’s sports car, when I was wearing my mini-skirt. This made a great impression on me despite the fact that I, like most Diana readers, was eight years old and therefore unlikely to be called on to execute this manoeuvre; and I can still pass it on. You close the legs at the knees and ankles, you raise your (bent) legs from the hips and you swivel until the whole of you is facing the pavement and your feet have cleared the base of the doorframe. Lower the legs to the pavement, lean forward, stand up.

Does this month depress you, too?  Are you reading comedies?

And here is R.E.M.’s video of “Bittersweet Me.”

8 thoughts on “November, Wodehouse, & What I’m Looking for

  1. November isn’t as bad as January, I find – although the darkness and the cold is not such fun. Wodehouse is a good idea – anything that makes you laugh!

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  2. I think this year has been harder on most of us who live in northern parts. Just last week I went to the clinic and I overheard the patient next door say he had S.A.D. on the TV a Quebec sitcom has the father sitting in front of a luminotherapy lamp. My anxiety came back with its electrical current that gives me insomnia. I’m opting for page turners, spies and lawyers this November. I’ll be reading a couple of John LeCarre and an old Scott Turrow.

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  3. Yes, it’s very dark in the North. On sunny days I feel great; on cloudy not so great. We have one of those lamps, too. I really should go sit under it.

    I love LeCarre! What a good suggestion. I’ve been wanting to read or reread some of those. And wasn’t there a new version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy? A miniseries or something.

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    • A movie! Although I didn’t read very good reviews about it. My father in law has a good collection of LeCarre novels so I’m sinking into those.

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  4. Kat, Wodehouse is welcome any time of the year! I will look up the Bertie Wooster novel by Faulks. Do I dare? Will I be disappointed?
    You might also give those Donald Westlake ‘Dortmunder’ crime capers a try.
    I personally like winter – not snow and ice, but the cold doesn’t bother me. I have to remember to crank up the heat in the house if I am going to have company. What I find to be a balmy temperature, others think is frigid.

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    • I must read Donald Westlake!
      I love Sebastian Faulks, though I’m not sure about the new Bertie Wooster.
      Oh, I wish I weren’t so cold! I have on two sweatshirts and am already under three blankets.

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