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Anyone Sniff Any Books Today?

No matter how many years it's been since I finished college, September still means syllabus. Sometimes I want to sign up for some classes just so I can get my hands on one. There was something about that long list of books, some of which I couldn't wait to read, some of which would end up shaping or shaking my point of view in the months to come. Once I had my stack of syllabuses, the subsequent excitement of going to the book store made me as giddy as a freshman in a co-ed dorm. I savored the search for each book, and enjoyed the absurd tower I'd end up with, even if it meant a back-breaking walk to the checkout. But nothing stands out in my memory more than the sweet scent of fresh books in my arms as I waited to pay. Seriously, someone should bottle that fragrance. Today, the calendar reads September, and one of my embarrassing little rituals is to make my own sort of syllabus for the fall. The books I plan to read, themes I want to explore, time periods to which I want to be transported. Lately my husband is into medieval history and literature, so perhaps I'll join him on his quest to grasp the social implications of the plague. Or not. But of course, no fall syllabus would be complete without Pride and Prejudice. And no reading of Pride and Prejudice should go un-followed by some Colin-Firth-as-Darcy action in the BBC's movie version. Big. Fat. Sigh. Anyone else planning a personal syllabus for the fall? Have any recs?


Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by rebecca

Luckily, CB I Hate Perfume has bottled that scent: In The Library.

For whatever reason, I reserve my yearly passes through the book and BBC version of Pride and Prejudice for February/March. I sometimes watch it several times in a couple of months.

Also, consider checking out the Firthsday page on facebook. Every Thursday (Firthsday) another sexy pic of Colin shows up in your newsfeed. Brilliant.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Mikeachim

Syllabus, check. Been thinking along the same lines, since I've been wanting to sink into a few topics, particularly Mediterranean history (I have Braudel's massive tomes bending a shelf in my wall-cupboard, long overdue some serious study).

But for something short and sweet and inestimably thinky, I recommend this:


Her book is as extraordinary as her talk. And it's really got me reassessing things…

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Naperville Now

A personal syllabus! Brilliant, Nichole. Thank you. (And definitely sign me up for Mr. Darcy.)

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Anonymous

Funny you should ask that because I did just that today! I was setting up my classroom for the new year and going through the chapter books (4th grade) on the shelf. I found a few oldies that haven't been cracked in a while so I opened one up and inhaled…aaaahhhhh… :)

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by gaby@stilelemente

That's not an embarrassing ritual at all, I think it's kind of cool and makes me realise how little reading I do these days, for someone that was a real book worm growing up… and yes, the scent of fresh books is one of my favs too – enjoy your reading!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by California Girl

Brain Pickings is an awesome blog with many fascinating ideas. You should just follow it now that someone has recommended it.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by mrs smith

I love that idea almost as much as I ardently live and admire Mr Darcy.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by LatteLisa

Personal syllabus … love this!

I still miss standing in line in the students' bookshop in Reykjavik, Iceland. And I definitely have a reading material for this 'semester of life' ;-) I recently finished an biography of Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser so I was thinking about some follow up reading and maybe digging into he Napoleon era. Then I'm reading works by W. Somerset Maugham and David Lebovitz's 'The Sweet Life in Paris' which is making me laugh out loud ;-)

Enjoy your da!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by MFP

i'm still getting syllabi (or syllabuses? haha) but i might make one of my own. the idea is exciting! of course, pride and prejudice will be there as well.

great post!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by PoetessWug

I didn't even know what a syllabus was until now! _ I've never gone to college, or desires to go. But I do love to read!! In fact I just recently read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. I'd seen every movie version known to man…..more than a couple of times! LOL And I've never met a version I didn't like! But the ending to the book…disappointing! Just saying!…Maybe sense and sensibility will be better. :-)

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