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.

5 comments:

debnance said...

I checked 2666 out of the library. Foolishly. I had not even had an opportunity to open it up before the two weeks were up. Couldn't renew it; it was on hold for someone else. I'm still intrigued enough with it to want to check it out again.

NoBS said...

Hi! I'm just stopping by to present you with The Premios Dardo Award! Details here. Thanks for blogging!

Yvonne said...

We had ice and snow overnight - not much in snow accumulation but alot of ice. It's cold out there. I prefer staying inside and reading :)

Have a great week!

Sandra said...

I did vote and you know I'm an Ozick fan so you know how I voted. lol I've got the Hedgehog book from the library sitting here right now-after poor debnance's experience I better check the return date and get to it. The Art of the Matroyshka sounds like something that needed to be written. I'd heard about how they are made. I did buy one for a friend when I visited Leningrad years ago, and wondered if I was helping keep a job for someone who couldn't get a different type of work or hindering by perpetuating the conditions. I look forward to your thoughts on the book-and a picture of course. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Shana said...

I'm getting ready to relax with some tea (and a book!) myself. You always feature the best looking books Marie. Have a great week!