Well, the Halloween costumes for the ballroom dance party Friday night never came together. My Bookman just wore all black and I wore black jeans, an orange t-shirt and a Halloween cardigan sweater of the kind you would likely see a grade school teacher wear or would be worn for the Halloween equivalent of an ugly Christmas sweater party. Our problem when it comes to costumes is that we always think they have to be elaborate, but while there were a few people wearing elaborate costumes–one couple were his and her scarecrows complete with straw and crows–it is clear that the ballroom dance crowd goes for clever.

There was a woman wearing a formal gown with a sash ala Miss America that said “I’m Sorry” on it. Know what she was? A formal apology. Another woman was rather skimpily clad and sported a big bow on her chest and a sticker on her butt that read “Stimulus Package.” A man wore an unusual combination of a Minnesota Wild hockey uniform and a knight. He was, therefore, a “Wild night out.” Another man wore a halo and dressed all in fluffy white cotton batting. He was “St. Cloud” (we have a city in Minnesota called St. Cloud). So we are going to have to start thinking now for next year. It will take us that long to come up with something clever.

On the book front, I started reading Mentors, Muses and Monsters and am enjoying it very much. It is quite fun reading about the people (mostly other writers) writers are/were influenced by.

I finished the second and final volume of Emerson and Carlyle’s letters and will be writing about the final years probably tomorrow. Since I finished the letters I have returned to Wilkie Collins and The Woman in White I am in the midst of Marian’s narrative and ever so suspicious of Sir Percival Glyde. Poor Laura in her passive womanly goodness is now married to him while her dear cousin and sister-friend Marian rages about the fate of women. I am having a hard time deciding whether Collins believed in women’s rights or if he was making a bit of fun. Does anyone know?

If you are a Collins fan you may be interested in following Wilkie’s blog tour. The Classics Circuit is a recent addition to book blog world. Bloggers who want to read more classics and promote the reading of more classics have joined together to create blog tours except in this case the author has to be dead. No doubt there will still be author interviews owing to the cleverness of book bloggers. I will not be participating in the Wilkie Collins tour but Elizabeth Gaskell will be making a visit to this blog in December as she makes her tour around the blogosphere.

In some really magnificent (for me) news, I had been planning to take a week’s vacation from work over Christmas week. We get Christmas Eve and Christmas day off as paid holidays and the same for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I decided on Christmas week because Winter Solstice is at the beginning of the week and that is the holiday we celebrate at my house. So I was happily looking forward to a week off. Well, here comes the really fantastic part, the university president sent out an announcement late last week that everyone will be getting the entire week of New Year’s off as a paid holiday. This means that I will be having a two-week vacation to conclude 2009. Great vats of chocolate Batman! This is SWEET! I can’t remember the last time I had a two-week vacation. I will also be between quarters at library school.

Do you know what this means? Reading binge! I am already juggling books in my brain and will shortly be starting a little pile on the corner of my desk. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I will be adding to the little pile that is already on the corner of my desk. I’ll be sure to let you know closer to the time of the reading binge what ends up in the pile.