nce more into the BEA, my friends! Even those of us who must celebrate from a distance can enjoy the week of new authors, titles and swag. ¶
Call me Meaghan. It’s pronounced like Megan or Meghan — not Meegan.
I’ve been blogging about books for longer than I care to remember. Maybe 8 or 9 years, I think. And this will be my sixth Armchair BEA. I can hardly believe it. This year I am so pleased to be helping with the event. I will be hosting one of the Twitter chats later in the week.
For those of you new to my site, here goes my wild introduction.
I am a sucker for the Victorian and the gothic. Favorites include The Woman In White and Armadale by Wilkie Collins, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, all of the Poe and Sherlock stories, The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox and the Erast Fandorin books by Boris Akunin. I also love a good detective story like the Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout, classics like Agatha Christie, and new voices like Alan Bradley and the lovely Flavia de Luce series. I’ve been finding more classic mysteries that were previously unavailable in English through Pushkin Press. It’s a wonderful treasure trove.
I also love to fall into an historical epic, the best being The Count of Monte Cristo as far as I am concerned. It has a bit of everything — pirates, theft, murder, revenge, love, mystery, political intrigue — and I still would have read 1100 more pages. It’s hard to make such a long novel a coherent story but Dumas manages it brilliantly.
A playlist that reflects my shelves (ahem, piles) would definitely include Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony – dark, brooding, stormy – and Scherezade by Rimsky-Korsakov – layered storytelling, mystical undertones, faraway times and places. Then I think some classic swing and jazz like Benny Goodman, Django Reinhart, and George Gershwin help bridge the Victorian and the 1920s and 1930s with complicated rhythms and something completely new.
My shelves are a constant work in progress. There isn’t much of a system to speak of. I do try to keep series or authors grouped together so I can easily find them. And I have all of my Coralie Bickford-Smith clothbound classics from Penguin together.
I recently did a purge (difficult for me!) of books that I had read but knew I wouldn’t read again and didn’t need to keep. I sold about 150 titles to my local indie used (mostly) books store, so I know they are going to a good home, are helping keep The Book Lady in business, and they will find another reader. But I still I need to have another set of shelves built in my library!
Yes, I have a library. When we bought a home, the kitchen had a very large area for a full table and six chairs, plus a built-in bench for seating. What I assume was at one time a “formal” dining room has become a library. I painted it a bright green that I fell in love with at the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home. Luckily I am friends with the gentleman who did the historic restoration. He did a paint analysis in order to choose colors and came up with a paint formula. It is now listed at a local paint store as Jim’s Green, and it’s in my library.
I want to have lunch with Alice, the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. Although I know it would be terribly frustrating, I do so love tea and scones! And maybe I could finally find out why a raven is like a writing desk.