Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Salon

So, with 7 hours to go, Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog is tied with Roberto Bolano's 2666 in my "What Book Should I Read Next?" poll. Have you voted yet? Voting closes at midnight tonight!

In the mean time I've got a few things going- Ludmilla Ulitskaya's The Funeral Party, a short novel that's not turning out to be a quick read, and The Art of the Matroyshka, a coffee-table book on Russian nesting dolls that I've been finding fascinating. The writing is not stellar but the information is solid; I just finished the chapter on how the dolls are made, including the lacquering process and the painting process. So much of it is done by hand and the really shocking thing to me is how deplorable the working conditions are- women lacquer the dolls by hand and clean their skin with diesel fuel (!), and the people who carve the dolls with lathes spend all day breathing in wood chips and sawdust. Unbelievable. I do love those dolls though, but it seems like maybe the manufacturing process should be regulated a little more and more thought given to the health and safety of the workers.

Well, it's another snowy day here in Massachusetts and while I'll be going out in a bit to a birthday party, we had a late night out last night at my husband's office party so I'm going to relax a little longer with my tea and think about getting ready in a little while. Hope you all have a great Sunday and enjoy whatever lies before you today.