I often dream of someday having a real fireside to curl up by, of course while sipping brandy and reading some good books. But for now I usually read huddled under some absurd configuration of scarves, ponchos and wool blankets, as close as I can get to my baseboard heaters without actually lying on the floor - whatever it takes to stay warm in these cruel winter months. I've been reading both some pretty silly and not-so-silly stuff lately, but I'll share the stuff that has the best covers and would be most delicious by my imaginary fire.
To read Dorothy L. Sayers and is to release your inner gentleman detective. Lord Peter Wimsey is an aristocrat and a PI; he is a dilettante in the sense that he doesn't work for money, but no scoundrel ever eludes him! There are sentences in Sayers' books that make me laugh out loud. To wit: "'The unidentified body in the bathtub wore only a pince-nez and was unabashedly dead." Most of the Wimsey books are novel-length, but some are collections of stories and the titles of these are also hilarious: 'The Abominable History of the Man with the Copper Fingers'; 'The Vindictive Story of the Footsteps that Ran', etc. Fire or not, these are good fun.
And I'm almost finished a creepy and gripping little book by Shirley Jackson, who wrote the oft-anthologized short story, 'The Lottery'. We Have Always Lived in the Castle was sent to me by my friend Tommy, along with many other wonderful, wee things that really deserve their own post; they are doll-sized and have their own story. Tommy said that my dolls remind him of the sisters in the book, Constance and Merricat, so of course I devoured it and he knows me and my dollies so well; while I was reading, I kept imagining how what the doll versions of these characters might look like.
I have a few Alices that are nearly done, so I'll be back in a few days with some photos, but I hope you'll all stay warmed by fireplaces - real or imaginary - until then. (Unless you're somewhere very hot - then I send you breezes and drinks full of fruit and crushed ice!)