2019 Reading Stats:
The Deal Me In Challenge 2020 is here! I completely failed at this challenge last year but it doesn’t mean that I can’t try again. And how can I miss its 10th Anniversary? Jay at Bibliophilopolis is hosting this amazing 10th challenge, where you choose 52 short stories for the year, each linked to a playing card, and then draw the cards each week to see what you’ll read.
Well, I didn’t think this would be the first challenge I signed up for in 2020, but I was anticipating its announcement. Keely at A Common Reader is hosting a Russian Literature Challenge for 2020. Yay! I signed up for her Ancient Greek Challenge in 2016 and it was a great success. I can’t wait for the chance to read some more Russian Literature to add to that which I’ve already read.
The Blue Carbuncle
Two days after Christmas, Watson calls on Sherlock Holmes only to find him scrutinizing an old battered hat. Holmes reveals that Peterson, a commissionaire, saw a man with a goose over his shoulder being assaulted by some ruffians. The man raised his cane to defend himself and broke a window behind him; when he saw Peterson running towards him, he hastily fled, leaving his hat and the goose behind. Peterson sought Holmes for help finding the owner of these treasures, but the only physical clues they discover are a tag on the goose, reading, “For Mrs. Henry Baker” and the initials H.B. inscribed on the inside of the hat.
Does the title of this short Christmas story inspire visions of Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick, sugar plums, presents and little children? Or perhaps you imagine the comfort of a good night’s sleep and the joy of Christmas morning? Well, wipe those thoughts right out of your mind. Gogol’s The Night Before Christmas is as far from the favourite poem of my childhood as I could imagine. He tells of adultery, the devil, thievery and unrequited love in a way that’s rather odd but extremely amusing. It’s certainly a different perspective on a very important evening.
Before the read-along begins on January 1st, I thought it would be helpful to post a schedule. To make it through the poem in a short enough time to keep up momentum, and a long enough time to allow us to appreciate it, I’m scheduling approximately 2 books (chapters) each 5 days which will be as follows:
Well, I’ve been encouraged very nicely by some Goodread’s friends to host a the Iliad read-along in 2020. Because of my love of Greek literature and always wanting to share that love, I’ve agreed to do it. It’s probably crazy, piggybacking it on my The House of Mirth read-along, never mind The Art of Loving and The Four Loves read-alongs before that, but those who know me will agree that it’s not surprising. Ha, ha!
So here we go ….!!!!
As Lily takes up her duties with Mrs. Hatch, a divorcee (was this fact the cause of Selden’s peculiar wrath in the last chapter?), she is once again ensconced in luxury and ease to her immediate pleasure. She has been engaged to help Mrs. Hatch rise in society, however she finds her employer somewhat odd:
I’m trying to read some Christmas stories to get in the mood for the season and I’ve had this book, aptly titled Christmas Stories, waiting for me since I saw O’s postings last year, and I decided to order it immediately. It’s a lovely collection of stories, mostly from classic authors like Dickens, Gogol, Trollope, Tolstoy, Cather, etc. The Story of the Goblins Who Stole the Sexton is the first story in the collection and it goes like this …
Lily returns to New York only to find that her aunt Peniston has died. During the reading of the will, Lily is expected to inherit her aunt’s fortune but Mrs. Peniston has been displeased with Lily’s European travels and perhaps with her behaviour as a whole and has left the bulk of her money to Grace Stepney, giving Lily only ten thousand dollars. The shock is again born with a resignation by Lily.