Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Salon- Not Much Reading Today, and An Intriguing Bookish Rumor

Today is the last weekend day before Christmas and the day I start my cookie baking. Today I'm making chocolate chip cookies; every day for the rest of the week, up to and including Friday, I'll be baking something. I have a list; I have a schedule; I have ingredients. I'm ready.

Reading? Well, this week I read the very short and very haunting From the Land of the Moon, Milena Agus's novel about the life and loves of an Italian woman in the early 20th century. I loved this book and I need to read it again. I'll have a review shortly. I don't want to wait to tell you more. I'm still working my way through David Grossman's To the End of the Land (I know, similar titles) and I'm really enjoying it but it's a slow read and a long book, which is why I have to take breaks with shorter (if not necessary lighter) books. This is the second such short book I've read in the last week or so; earlier I read Bad Marie, a very different book but one that I enjoyed as well.

Today most of the reading I'll be doing is on the back of the Ghirardelli chocolate chip package, where I get my cookie recipe.

From the Rountree Alice
It's kind of a non-sequitur but I heard a very intriguing book-related rumor recently. About a year ago  I came across an incredibly striking illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland with pictures I'd never seen before, by an illustrator named Harry Rountree. A little research told me that his version is relatively rare, particularly this one, the 1908 edition with 92 color plates. This book was over $300 and I couldn't afford it but I never forgot about it and my husband has been checking around different places in hopes of finding a more affordable copy. Recently, a bookseller told him that he had just sold an intact copy to someone who purchased it with the express purpose of republishing it, spectacular illustrations and all, which this person believes are out of copyright.

If a new edition of the Rountree Alice ever sees the light of day, run don't walk to buy it- I know I will. The pictures are stunning and nothing like the traditional Tenniel pictures. If anything, they look like something out of Hayao Miazaki. Some of the pictures could have come straight out of Spirited Away or one of his other films. I really hope something comes of this.

Anyway that's it for this Sunday Salon. Have a great Sunday, whatever you're up to!
More Sunday Salon here.