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LRSmith

LRSmith

Joined May 2018

Medievalist, bibliophile, writer, and Oxford comma purist
review
LRSmith
Under the Pendulum Sun | Jeannette Ng
Pickpick

Quite an impressive construction of mythology and theology. It‘s sort of is if Matthew Lewis (The Monk) and Charlotte Brontë had a love child. Beautifully and evocatively written. I cannot say it was always a pleasant read, and when the final knife turned, it was not so much surprise as unhappy inevitability.

If your tastes run to very well written Gothic/Victorian, I would recommend this book. I hope Ng comes out with the sequel.

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LRSmith
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“Nothing shrinks the imagination like a waiting room, and the lift is nothing if not the smallest of waiting rooms.“ Tan‘s humanity and vision of this world (with all its inhabitants) always gives me something to ponder. The book starts out with crocodiles in skyscrapers and goes from there. I love the journeys he takes us on.

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LRSmith
The Hazel Wood | Melissa Albert
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I love fairytales but am often bitterly disappointed by new attempts at the genre. Not with Albert‘s foray. Even when I saw where things were headed there were thorny twists and some chilling turns just they way there should be. The relationship between the mother and daughter neatly turns the savior motif around. Quite satisfying.

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LRSmith
Ligonier Valley Library | Ligonier, PA (Library)
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Visiting old stomping grounds with my sisters.

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LRSmith
Altfriesisches Wrterbuch | F. Holthausen
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Tell me I am not the only one who geeks out over dictionaries. My dictionary of gothic roots for Old English just arrived and I am happy as a clam. Can‘t wait to dig in. Seriously. I challenge any mollusk to a contest in philological jubilance.

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LRSmith

While I love the original Middle English poem, I am so thankful for Armitage‘s masterful translation. Other translations make the poem accessible to students, but this one brings it alive.

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LRSmith
Poems of John Donne | John Donne
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“Look, Lord, and find both Adams met me;/As the first Adam‘s sweat surrounds my face,/may the last Adam‘s blood my soul embrace.”
My ninety-year-old father died in his sleep Thursday night. He had been— before a good life pummeling— one of the wittiest and delight men. He‘d let puns fly like a gun slinger in his deep bass voice. I‘m so thankful he‘s no longer imprisoned by his own body. I have a remembrance on my blog TrappedintheScriptorium.com

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LRSmith
The Story of Kullervo | J.R.R. Tolkien
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Missed one!

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My haul from the wonderful exhibit on Tolkien‘s art at the Morgan Pierpont Library in NYC. It‘s the only US stop for the exhibit before it goes home to the Bodliean. For lovers of Tolkien‘s mythology, it‘s worth the trip!

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LRSmith
Cicada | Shaun Tan
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Pickpick

For fans of picture books, this is a gem. On the penultimate page I burst out laughing and then directly to tears. Wow. If you don‘t know the author Shaun Tan, as I did not, look him up!!!

Bradleygirl I want to read this so bad! My library system needs to get on it 10mo
LRSmith I‘m now on a Shaun Tan kick and reading everything he wrote/illustrated. I think he‘s an illustrator for our age much as Rackham and Nielsen were for theirs. I hope your library gets it soon! 10mo
12 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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LRSmith
The Oxford English Dictionary | J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner
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This is NOT about the OED (glorious as it is). I wanted to share a link to an artist who uses books as her medium. I think she‘s sort of the perfect artist for this group. https://mymodernmet.com/book-art-elizabeth-sagan/

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LRSmith

“...in books I find the dead as if they were alive; in books I foresee things to come; in books warlike affairs are set forth; from books come forth the laws of peace. All things are corrupted and decay in time; Saturns ceases not to devour the children that he generates; all the glories of the world would be buried in oblivion, unless God had provided mortals with the remedy of books.”

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LRSmith
Villette | Charlotte Bront

Oh my stars! Is there anyone out there who has read Villette? I just finished it and I am gutted.
Gutted.
Where‘s my damn Kleenex?

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LRSmith
Villette - Charlotte Bronte | Charlotte Bront
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Reading this on the plane was serious error in judgment. I hate crying in public. It is such a good book. Her portrait of a plain woman who is not given sufficient credit for the possession of heart hungry for friendship has wrecked me several times over. A bit pious for some, I expect, but, such good prose!!

BookishMarginalia Beautiful edition! 12mo
LRSmith I splurged on a Bronte Boxset. Now, I just need more Kleenex. And not to be sitting in an airport.... (edited) 12mo
8 likes2 comments
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LRSmith
Pickpick

Prepping for teaching Middle English lit next term and just finished Strohm‘s book. For anyone looking for a good intro to the cultural background and history of Chaucer‘s career, this does a good “sweep” of the moment. A lot of threads are artfully brought together.

6 likes1 stack add
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LRSmith
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Pickpick

I‘ve fallen in love with the editor for his footnotes. I declare my undying love at Trappedinthescriptorium.com. Since the book was published in 1868, it‘s all pretty pointless, but how can you not love a man who writes: “If anyone thinks is a bore to read these prefaces , I can assure him it was a much greater bore to have to hunt up the material for them, and set aside other pressing business for it.” And yes, what you see is the complete title.

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Even the steps to the parking lot are books. Pretty sweet!

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LRSmith
Republic | Plato Plato
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More of the “books” that cover the exterior.

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LRSmith
Silent Spring | Rachel Carson
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The spectacular Kansas City, MO Public Library‘s parking lot. You read that correctly, boys and girls. The exterior of the parking lot.

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LRSmith

17 years ago today I was teaching Beowulf when someone came into my class to announce that the building was being evacuated. I‘ve posted a meditation of sorts about Beowulf and 9/11 on my blog page Trapped in the Scriptorium. https://trappedinthescriptorium.com/2018/09/11/strange-eulogies/

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LRSmith
This Rough Magic | Mary Stewart
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Needed to replace a tatty old copy of Touch Not The Cat and sort of lost containment replacing all my old Mary Stewart‘s. Still waiting for The Gabriel Hounds and Touch Not the Cat to arrive, but I think I‘m good for now.

RealLifeReading Lovely covers! 1y
LRSmith Thanks! I‘m a sucker for that retro look. 1y
8 likes2 comments
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LRSmith
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Pickpick

I picked this up because of the review in the Guardian of a new London production of this play. Apparently it flopped when it first came out in the 60s. It was up against highly masculine stuff. Now, it seems to be coming into its own. I laughed aloud reading it, perhaps because I‘m an academic and recognized myself and my friends (with some chagrin). I love the fact that the most clear-sighted person in the play is the cleaning lady. Very witty.

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LRSmith
In the Last Analysis | Amanda Cross

“Perhaps we ought to try the truth. Not that I claim any inherent value for it, God forbid; but it has, among our various techniques, the appeal of novelty.“

Damn! This woman could write a quotable quote.

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LRSmith
In the Last Analysis | Amanda Cross

“What I need is a solution. Keep quiet a minute, and let me think. While it‘s not a process of which I expect spectacular results, it‘s the only form of activity that occurs to me at the moment.”

Why, oh why am I only discovering Amanda Cross now?! Any of you out there who are academics or lovers of Peter Wimsey and are looking for a new read—if you haven't read Amanda Cross, I highly recommend her.

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LRSmith
Flight of a Witch | Ellis Peters
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“Loneliness is the human condition; we grasp at alleviations where we can find them, but most of the time we have to get by with tenuous illusions of communion. Only families, the lucky ones, and friends, the rare and gifted ones,Sometimes grow together and inhabit shared worlds too securely for dispossession .”

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LRSmith
Panpan

Well, I‘m only 14pp into this book and I am disinclined to trust anything in it given the whopper of inaccuracy in the first entry. Rhodes identifies Saint Dunstan as a “first-century blacksmith monk”. Ummm, no. He was one of the three great movers and shakers of the tenth-century Benedictine reforms in Anglo-Saxon England. Nine centuries off. That‘s just sloppy research.

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LRSmith
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Just finished an intense two-week Higher Ed leadership institute and came home to some treats. I‘m starting at the top and working my way down. (And yes, my desk really is that cluttered.)

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LRSmith
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Pickpick

Wow. I cannot believe it had taken me so many years to pick up Muriel Spark. I read the famous Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (never having seen the movie) and the devoured The Girls of Slender Means. The best way I can think of to describe her writing is acute. While that acuity can sometimes be cuttingly sharp, there is always a strain of compassion. Sympathetic without being in any way sentimental.

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 👍📚 1y
9 likes1 comment
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LRSmith
The Good People | Hannah Kent
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Pickpick

Kent‘s story is very well written, employing a few techniques that capture both the culture of 19th-century rural Ireland and its beliefs. She gives the beliefs of her characters weight and seriousness such that I wondered at moments if the book was going to go fantasy. All I will says it it does not, and little as I like fantasy, part of me was hoping for it.

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LRSmith
Cave Geology | Arthur N. Palmer
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I spent all last week going through the fantastic caves of Mammoth Cave National Park and now I‘m reading this to get my brain around cave formations as I research for a book in process. If you‘re crazy enough to love caves like I do, Palmer‘s study on speleology is very thorough and not so technical as to be beyond the fascinated novice. (I‘m definitely going to need some Georgette Heyer for comic relief when I‘m done!)

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LRSmith
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Just started holiday with my sisters and they (who know me well!) presented me this. Example: maulifuff— a woman without energy;one who makes much fuss and does little or nothing; generally applied to a young woman.” Delightful and informative for those who love lost words!
Every word is given with its source and the bibliography is extensive which only means that now I know of more odd dictionaries to collect!

RealLifeReading Fun book! 1y
DrexEdit Yes! Oxford comma! 😊 Welcome to Litsy! 1y
LRSmith @DrexEdit thank you! 1y
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Bronte_Chintz Welcome to Litsy! Hope you love it here! 1y
Wife Welcome to Litsy!🌹 1y
CarolynM Welcome to Litsy🌼 1y
Tashreads Welcome 👋 1y
asiriusreader Welcome to Litsy!! 1y
Eggs Welcome 😊👋🏻❣️ 1y
21 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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LRSmith
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Hail, fellow bibliophiles, if you‘re interested in material culture, you can find a longer blurb about T. Husband‘s study of late medieval-early modern playing cards on my blog. The exhibition catalogue from. Cloisters exhibition traces the style and production of these “fugitive” and “ubiquitous” items. Trappedinthescriptorium.com

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LRSmith
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Up way, way too late reading this back and forth with my flat mate. I was wired after the first public reading of my first play, “Beneath the Heavens,” set in Mongolia where I lived years ago. Love this collection of Mongolian folktales—such a fascinating window into cultural values & anxieties. Our fav. was the “The Fox, the Hedgehog, and the Wolf. Gotta love a cunning hedgie.

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LRSmith
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“Once upon a time a wolf, a fox and with a hedgehog lived together. Then one day they found a plum and they discussed who should eat it. The wolf said, “The one who gets drunk most easily eats the plum.” They agreed on this idea. So the wolf continued, ‘As soon as I taste drink I am drunk.‘ Then the fox said, ‘As soon as I smell a drink I am drunk.‘ Then the hedgehog said, ‘As soon as I hear about a drink I am drunk,‘ and he swayed.”

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LRSmith
Mathilda | Mary Shelley
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So, there‘s a new movie coming out about Mary Shelley. Do yourself a favor: skip the movie and read Matilda. Editor Michelle Faubert‘s intro brilliantly situates not only the book in the time period, it demonstrates the questions that drove Shelley and which make her an important Romantic voice.

Chelleo Welcome to Litsy! Hope these #Litsytips by @RaimeyGallant http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU are helpful. There‘s so many fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more! Check out @LitsyHappenings for details. #LitsyWelcomeWagon
2y
LRSmith Thank you! I‘ll be sure to read those tips. 2y
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 👋🏻😊 2y
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Welcome to Litsy!!! 1y
11 likes5 comments
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LRSmith
The Calligrapher's Garden | Hassan Massoudy
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Pickpick

Lugging four books with me to Ireland has not stopped me from buying more. I‘ve just finished Massoudy‘s exquisite pairing of his calligraphy and a sprawling range of poetic excerpts. A feast for the eyes and soul.

RealLifeReading Beautiful! 2y
8 likes1 comment
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LRSmith
The Known World | Edward P. Jones
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Without a doubt, the most unwieldy part of packing is the book selection. A novel is de rigueur, but what if you‘re not in the mood for that one? Better pack two. Then, I always want a history and some poetry. I always want to take Milton, but I‘m teaching Chaucer next year. So, that choice is made. Where am I? Jones‘ The Known World, Kent‘s The Good People, Canterbury Tales, and Usama Ibn Munqidh‘s The Book of Contemplation. Probably enough.

RealLifeReading Welcome to Litsy! 2y
LRSmith @RealLifeReading Thank you!! 2y
7 likes2 comments