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Member: Winter_Maiden

CollectionsYour library (4,764), Books (18), Music (20), CD-ROM (1), Read but unowned (1), All collections (4,764)

Reviews26 reviews

TagsBOOKS (1,225), Non-Fiction (506), Fiction (486), Folklore (396), Social Sciences (396), Non-fiction (288), Humanities (271), British literature (214), fantasy (150), novel (145) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meFolklorist and college instructor. Working at a bookstore helps pay the rent and deplete the bank account.

About my libraryThe product of organized study, random enthusiasms, impulse, and the hoarder's instinct. I have about a thousand books with me, and the rest in storage nearby. Everything except a mess of academic journals is now cataloged--and I'm hoping not to add too much more until I have a place to put them all!

Regions of interest: Britain and Ireland, the American South, Greece and Rome, West Africa and African Diaspora, Central Asia, what used to be called the Near East, and Japan.

Areas of interest: folklore (especially narrative and belief), anthropology, history (especially Greek and Roman, Byzantine and other Eastern Mediterranean, British and Irish, and American Southern, all with an emphasis on cultural history), genre fiction, and children's literature. These days I am in general allergic to graphic novels, romance novels, self-help books, and anything inspirational--but life thrives on exceptions.

Fiction: anything from the bogs of time to the present, but particularly Shakespeare, the British novel, Southern lit, and the genres of mystery, horror, ghost stories, a small amount of fantasy, and the comedy of manners as practiced by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. I read much more genre than serious literature, although I do read serious literature. (And, yes, I do draw a distinction, although some of my post-modern friends refuse to.)

Quirks: utopia-building, the Silk Road, medical mysteries/oddities, the culture of death, the Harlem Renaissance, British and American life from the Edwardian era to Punk (and especially the Long Weekend between the world wars), classic movies and film criticism, Bollywood, the Black Death, popular music and its culture, poets whose work I grew up identifying with (but I don't otherwise read much poetry), Southern Gothic, armchair travel, pseudoscience (because of my late father), schizophrenia (because of my late mother), Japanese culture, erotica, genealogy, belief and skepticism, language (especially historical linguistics, slang and onomastics), "New Yorker" cartoons, Yoshitaka Amano, children's illustration (especially of the Golden Era, such as Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, and Arthur Rackham), fashion, and curmudgeonly culture critics such as H. L. Mencken, the Algonquin set, Pauline Kael, and Florence King. Oh, and editions of Alice (illustrators, translations, paraphernalia) and anything about Memphis, Tennessee, or my dream city: Istanbul.

Religion: Since I have a lot of books on religion (especially Christianity, Vodou, and Neo-Paganism), I should perhaps add that I am not myself a Christian, a Vodouist, or a Neo-Pagan. I am, however, deeply interested in many aspects of religious belief and practice, including popular representations of traditional religions. You might sum me up as a skeptic with an imagination, who believes (with Claude Lévi-Strauss) that the mythopoeic impulse is as much a part of us as language is.

GroupsAlmack's, Bookshelf of the Damned, Deep South, Old Mystery & Detective Club, Reading Gàidhlig, San Diego Bibliophiles

Favorite authorsCharles Addams, Yoshitaka Amano, A.J. Arberry, Jane Austen, Philip Barry, Ambrose Bierce, Roy Blount, Jr., Giovanni Boccaccio, Jan Bondeson, Jorge Luis Borges, Charlotte Brontë, Jan Harold Brunvand, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Truman Capote, John le Carré, Lewis Carroll, Raymond Chandler, Geoffrey Chaucer, G. K. Chesterton, Donald Cosentino, Amanda Cross, Emily Dickinson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Will Durant, Umberto Eco, John Egerton, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Ian Fleming, Shelby Foote, E. M. Forster, Neil Gaiman, Martin Gardner, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Robert Gordon, Stephen Jay Gould, Graham Greene, Peter Guralnick, Dashiell Hammett, Peter Laughlan Heath, Georgette Heyer, Patricia Highsmith, Zora Neale Hurston, Aldous Huxley, M. R. James, P. D. James, Diana Wynne Jones, Pauline Kael, Walter Arnold Kaufmann, Randall Kennedy, Florence King, Ira Levin, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Sinclair Lewis, H. P. Lovecraft, John D. MacDonald, Philip MacDonald, Don Marquis, John McPhee, H. L. Mencken, Vladimir Nabokov, Joseph Falaky Nagy, Ogden Nash, Dorothy Parker, Walker Percy, S. J. Perelman, Edgar Allan Poe, Philip Pullman, François Rabelais, John Shelton Reed, Rick Riordan, Berton Roueché, J. K. Rowling, Dorothy L. Sayers, William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, David Shipman, Victoria Simmons, Dodie Smith, Stevie Smith, John Steinbeck, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Stewart, Rex Stout, Josephine Tey, David Thomson, James Thurber, J. R. R. Tolkien, Calvin Trillin, Patricia A. Turner, Mark Twain, Eudora Welty, Cornel West, Tennessee Williams, Edward O. Wilson, Gahan Wilson, N. D. Wilson, P. G. Wodehouse, C. Vann Woodward (Shared favorites)

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameVictoria

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Winter_Maiden (profile)
/catalog/Winter_Maiden (library)

Member sinceJun 15, 2009

Leave a comment


You have great taste! I look forward to browsing the titles in your library for ideas.
I pictured Mr. Penicuik as both crabbed and sly, and given some of Barrymore's different roles, I think he could pull it off. But Alec Guiness would have been great in the role as well, now that I think of it.

And yay! it's good to know I'm not alone. As I mentioned in my review, Heyer is not at all the sort of author I would have thought to read on my own, but now that I've discovered her I'm definitely going to read more. I already own copies of Lady of Quality and Royal Escape (although I have been informed that neither of those are among her best) and my library has a fairly wide selection as well. I even went down and checked the romance aisle in Half Priced Books for her stuff the other day—a place that I usually would not be caught dead in!
Just had to pop by after finding (and lending a thumb to) your review of Heyer's Cotillion. While I was reading, I did some mental casting of characters too, and did quite a bit of head-scratching over who Freddy's father reminded of. Well, you're completely right—Christopher Plummer it is! And Mr. Penicuik is Lionel Barrymore all over, don't you think?
I stumbled across your review of a Heyer book, and you mentioned that the book (I think it was Sprig Muslin) is not one of the top dozen Heyer works. Do you have a list in mind? I've read some Heyer that I liked (The Grand Sophy, The Unknown Ajax, Frederica, Cotillion) and some that I couldn't bring myself to finish (Regency Buck, Bath Tangle, A Convenient Marriage). I think you liked many of the same ones I did, and getting your recommendations might keep me from investing more time in the books with excessively silly or obnoxious leads. Thanks!
I do love Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer -- I'm happily rereading both after many years. I also love folklore of various kinds, and am looking forward to perusing your interesting collection!

Sarragossa is readily available, Polish film from the 60's with Cybulski,
the "James Dean of Poland". ;-) Not sure about Teruel; 60's French film that uses special effects and dance very effectively.

Just wondering if you've seen a couple more surreal film favorites:
"Sarragossa Manuscript" and "Lovers of Teruel". Both highly recommended if not.
I don't, DG, know the Greenwood Press. I'm finding used paperbacks at amazon marketplace ruinously expensive when bought by the pound. When the fixed income is fixed as low as ours is, I should be more careful. I also don't know much about late antiquity ----- I'm supposed to be filing in the great gaping holes here in retirement; so far I haven't spent any time in that period or with Greek drama or with the Romantic poets. I do wonder what you think of Year of Wonders which I read with some appreciation last year and Doomsday Book, an all-time favorite. Is there some fiction that catches individual experience of the Black Death for you? (And now I must also refer you to "History at 30,000 Feet: The Big Picture" or at least to our formidable leader Stellarexplorer who makes a special study of that general topic.) I also remain ignorant about movies; of your list I've seen only *MP&HG.* I hope your students pay more attention than my high school kids used to. Sounds like a winner of a day to me!
LizzieD? (Boring) The shortest version is that I'm a Dickens Disciple, so "D" is for Dickens and "Lizzie" is for L. Hexam from Our Mutual Friend, about the least nauseating young woman that he created.
Now I'm off to Almack's and then to bed. I finished Gravity's Rainbow this evening just before it finished me, and I need some GH to cleanse my mental palate.
Heavens, how could I have missed you! There I am on your "books in common" list, and I'm sure that you show up on mine. I came by way of Scribulous, who has listed yours as an interesting library. It certainly is. Let me invite you to visit Almack's where a few of us GH lovers are enjoying each other's company and revitalizing the place.
I'll also tell you about my South (southeastern N.C. with lots of family stories) if you would care to hear or we could talk about Rome or the black death or theology or the Long Weekend (What! No *Dance to the Music of Time*?) or our 265 books in common - most of which I've read.
Thanks for finding my library interesting!

I do think I have a diverse library. However--with no desire to appear less intriguing--in my case, while the Georgette Heyer books are from my loving Georgette Heyer, the calculus books are from my uncle having written them.

ah, well then - Georgette Heyer without calculus. But the mix of vampires, archaeology, and the Black Death also appeals.

Bouguereau was the most popular painter of the 19th c. then was
almost forgotten. Recently "re-discovered". An idealized realism.
I'm also interested in fairy tales/children's stories/folk tales.
Some of my favorite writers use them as resonance for more
complex, psychological novels. Leo Perutz is a good example.
Try "The Master of the Day of Judgment". ETA Hoffman
(The Golden Flower Pot), Gustave Meyrink (The Golem)
and Guy Endore (Werewolf of Paris) also use "folk" elements
very effectively.
Hajime Sorayama is an interesting artist. Super-realistic and kind
of wild.
Dulac looks familiar. Lately I've been interested in Mucha, Bouguereau
and Alma-Tadema. I seem to be fascinated by fin-de-siecle in art and lit.
Leo Perutz and Gustave Meyrink are two old favorites. Probably right up your alley. How about Francis Carco or Guy Endore?
Netflix has "Human Condition" by Kobayashi. Also highly recommended.

Ever seen "The Woman of the Snow"? Part of Kwaidan by Kobayashi from
Lafcadio Hearn story. Highly recommended.
Yes, I'm snapping up Heyer books as the new trade paperbacks come up -- and our library is buying them too. I'm happily substituting them for my collection of crumbling paperbacks; her books were always hard to find in hardback. Purchased and reread The Reluctant Widow. I think that one and Frederica are my favorites. I've just noticed that they both have big unruly dogs in them and some of the others have bull terriers. She must have been a dog lover.
I agree with your assessment of Barber's vampire study. While I, too, enjoyed reading the book, I felt he was one of those academics who is overly focused on proving a particular thesis to the exclusion of all else. Still, it was an interesting combination of folklore and forensics. I haven't actually read the other book yet. It is still on its way to me and it will probably take a bit of time to get to it. On google books I saw it had a chapter on the spirit world as a reversal of this world, and I wanted to see what he has to say on that topic. (I've always been a bit fascinated on views of the other world - particularly those in Chinese myth that are like copies of our own world, with otherworld bureaucracies and all.)

Thank you for your comments and for your encouragement. I have to agree about the popularity of the imprisonment and punishment in the shared consciousness. Whenever I mention my research topic to non-scholars, the reaction is usually enthusiastic and interested. When time permits - post dissertation - I hope to resume studies on the Silk Road and related topics, which I see features among your interests as well.

Midway through Georgette Heyer's "The Nonesuch," after which I'll be caught up on the Heyers coming back into print (until the next one arrives). Meanwhile, a collection of essays by Walker Percy has arrived. I'm looking forward to that one--although such a backlog of non-fiction now!
Thanks for your guidance
I read Diana Wynne Jones' books so voraciously when I was younger and, now that you mention it, I think it's time I reread them! I have read 'Howl's Moving Castle'/'Castle in the Sky' so many times I know it pretty much off by heart :D
I'm going to go see what Georgette Heyer books I can get my hands on - the two you mentioned in your message sound quite good!
The book on Japanese supernaturals sounds very interesting - might go see if 'my' library has that!
Still in Georgette Heyer mode, "The Corinthian" turned out to be rather good, with some comedy deriving from the gender-disguise element, and a heroine who, though innocent, was boyish rather than childlike.

I then read "A Civil Contract," longer and more serious than most Heyer books, featuring a titled hero who saves his family by marrying the plain, plump daughter of a self-made man. The book consists of their adjusting to the situation. Not a romantic book at all, but a lovely portrayal of how a marriage can be a success without romantic love. (The couple's relations with one another are so politely detached, however, that my imagination can't quite encompass the encounters that get her pregnant!)

Now on to "Friday's Child," but with a pause for my yearly re-reading of Diana Wynne Jones' "Charmed Life." I have checked out a book on Japanese supernaturals, "Pandemonium and Parade," which I am tempted to buy, and another, "Fertility Goddesses, Groundhog Bellies, and the Coca-Cola Company," which purports to give the background of various holidays, but which is both wrong-headed and badly researched. Not tempted to buy that one.
Your library fascinates me, too, and I also nose around a bit! I love that you also have a lot of academic folklore titles.
Current reading:

Georgette Heyer's "The Corinthian": bored Regency aristocrat being harangued into marriage by his family assists a young thing who, dressed as a boy, is running away from a marriage she herself is being forced into. Sixty pages in, meh. It's early Heyer (so not as funny or gracefully written as most), I'm tired of runaway heroines, and of her various types of heroines I don't like the childlike ingenues with the sparkling blue eyes. The saving grace so far is the bored hero, who nicely sardonic.

Georgette Heyer's books (Regency romances with a strong comedy-of-manners element) are coming back into print and I'm re-reading them as they do. There are a couple of more in my to-read stacks. The non-fiction options at the moment are Carl Stephenson's "Mediaeval Feudalism" and Umberto Eco's "History of Beauty."

I just bought some bargain books: "Hindi English Visual Dictionary" (I have a thing about Bollywood), "What Southern Women Know About Flirting" (I loathe this writer's work, but I collect portrayals of Southernness), "The Ghost Map" (a book about the 1850s cholera epidemic), "Black Talk" (a c.2000 dictionary of African American speech), and "The Hound of Rowan" (a kid's fantasy set in modern times but linked to medieval Irish myth).
It's his sheep costume. He wore it for months after Halloween, when he felt like it. :)
We adore the first sentence of your library description -- it sounds just like us! But we won't steal it without your permission ;-)

Phaedra and Isaac
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