Saturday, May 23, 2009

American socks

Lately bags o' socks at outrageous prices are to be found in various retail outlets. I've noticed that the socks seem to come from China. I'm just now finishing the last socks from an assortment bought a long time ago somewhere in Austin. The label bears the cotton emblem and also a badge that says that the socks were made in the USA ("It matters!"). The socks were made in Alabama by Prewett Sock Mills ("Quality Since 1953"). On another part of the carboard insert, this is to be found: "An individual's pride is reflected in the products they produce. For over forty years our people's pride has resulted in uninterrupted sales increases. This produce is unconditionally guaranteed. If, for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with your Prewett socks we will replace them absolutely free. V. I. Prewett, Jr., Chairman Prewett Mills, Inc. For replacement, send laundered socks and original package to [the company]." These must have been good sucks, because there are still new socks in the package waiting to come into use, the ones already removed still being worn. The history of the company reports that, in October 2007, the founders having died, the company was acquired by an outfit called Gildan Activewear, Inc. I like the useful size chart that relates shoe size to sock size for men, women, and children. I haven't yet learned where Gildan manufactures socks, if it does. Gildan has its corporate headquarters in Montreal.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 1982 books read

Fay Weldon: Watching Me, Watching You
Fay Weldon: The Fat Woman's Joke
John Lehmann: In My Own Time (The Whispering Gallery, I Am My Brother, The Ample Proposition)
Wilkie Collins: Tales of Terror and the Supernatural
Virgil Thomson: Virgil Thomson
L. M. Boston: The Children of Green Knowe
L. M. Boston: Treasure of Green Knowe>. M. Borson: A Stranger at Green Knowe
L. M. Boston: An Enemy at Green Knowe
L. M. Boston: The River at Green Knowe
L. M. Boston: The Stones of Green Knowe
Pamela Hansford Johnson: A Bonfire
Pamela Hansford Johnson: The Good Husband

All of these came from the library. It's very sad that there's now just one novel of Pamela Hansford Johnson in the entire system, all others apparently having been de-accessioned.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

May 1981 books read

Barbara Pym: Less Than Angels
Peter Quennell: The Wanton Chase: An Autobiography from 1939
Fred Lape: A Farm and Village Boyhood
Barbara Pym: A Few Green Leaves
Frank Hamilton Cushing: Zuni
Graham Greene: Ways of Escape

New arrivals

This morning, there are big buds on both colors of oleander. These are the two that have survived thus far the blight that's been killing them all over town. We have pink cosmos joining the Bright Lights cosmos, and three more colors of sweet peas, one nearly a tomato red.

Friday, May 08, 2009

May 1980 books read

John Lehmann: Thrown to the Woolves: Leonard and Virginia Woolf and The Hogarth Press
Edward Seidensticker: This Country, Japan
Philip Larkin: Jill
Charles Osborn: W. H. Auden: The Life of a Poet
Isak Dinesen: Daguerreotypes and Other Essays
A. L. Rowse: A Cornish Childhood

Thursday, May 07, 2009

May 1979 books read

Ivan Turgenez: Fathers and Sons
Frank Bellamy: Mexico and Central America
Laurie Lee: Cider with Rosie
Sybille Bedford: A Legacy
John Updike: Too Far to Go: The Maples Stories
Norman D. Ford: All of Mexico at Low Cost
John Cheever: The Brigadier and the Golf Widow
Evelyn Waugh: Men at Arms
Evelyn Waugh: Officers and Gentlemen
Evelyn Waugh: Unconditional Surrender
Thomas Hardy: Under the Greenwood Tree

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May 1978 books read

This is a continuing transcription of a hand-written record recently unearthed.

M.F.K. Fisher: The Art of Eating
Gerda Lerner: The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina
Margaret Halsey: With Malice Toward Some
Gustave Flaubert: The Sentimental Education
Thomas Hardy: Desperate Remedies
James Agee: Agee on Film
Randall Jarrell: Pictures from an Institution
Evelyn Waugh: Vile Bodies
Evely Waugh: Decline and Fall
Evelyn Waugh: A Handful of Dust
Evelyn Waugh: Scoop
Anthony Powell: A Question of Upbringing

I never think of Scoop without recalling the cleft stick.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

May 1977 books read

Olive Schreiner: The Story of an African Farm
Leo N. Tolstoy: Childhood, Boyhood, Youth
Henry James: What Maisie Knew
John Rowe Townsend: Written for Children
Edith Wharton: The Fruit of the Tree
Lionel Trilling: The Liberal Imagination
Charles Dickens: Hard Times
Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Blithedale Romance
Jane Austen: Persuasion
William Dean Howells: The Vacation of the Kelwyns: An Idyll of the Middle Eighteen-Seventies
Ronald Blythe: Akenfield
Dan Wakefield: All Her Children
Alison Lurie: The War Between the Tates
Mark Vonnegut: The Eden Express

Just how often have I re-read Hard Times? The only edition of What Maisie Knew that I've ever read (and read again) is the Vintage paperback with the Edmund Gorey cover.

Monday, May 04, 2009

May 1976 books read

Mrs. Oliphant: Miss Marjoribanks
Madama D'Arblay (Fanny Burney): Diary and Letters, volume 1, 1778-6/1781 (ed. Austin Dobson, 1904)
Virginia Woolf: The Death of the Moth and Other Essays
Mary Russell Mitford: Our Village
Rumer and Jon Godden: Two Under the Indian Sun
Dorothy Wadsworth: Journals of (Alfoxden 1798, Grasmere 1800-93)
Virginia Woolf: The Moment and Other Essays
Osbert Sitwell: Laughter in the Next Room
Osbert Sitwell: Noble Essences

If I'd just skipped the Sitwell and moved on to more of Fanny Burney, it would have been a month of female authors exclusively. But there's no account of what mysteries were read during this period, so there's no telling.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

May 1975 books read

Howard O. Sturgis: Belchamber
Willa Cather: Obscure Destinies
William Thackeray: Pendennis
Charles Dickens: Hard Times
Willa Cather: My Antonia

Belchamber was the only book read for the first time.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

May 1974 books read

Anthony Trollope: The Small House at Allington
Henry James: A London Life

May must have been very busy that year, or perhaps lots of mysteries were being read (and not recorded). The Small House is one of the saddest books ever written, I think, with people determined to work against their own best interests and destroy their own chances for happiness.

Today's newcomers

In the pleasure grounds, today we found these flowers for the first time this year: Drummond's phlox, Turk's cap, four o'clock, and rose of Sharon. They've all been green for a long time, although showing no signs of buds. A lot can happen overnight.

Friday, May 01, 2009

May 1973 books read

David Graham Phillips: Susan Lenox
Fanny Burney: Evelina
Honore Balzac: Ursule Mirouet
Alfred Kazin: On Native Grounds
G. M. Trevelyan: English Social History
Mrs. Gaskell: Cranford
W. G. Hoskins: The Making of the English Language
Kingsley Amis: The Green Man
Walter de la Mare: Ghost Stories
Mrs. Gaskell: Sylvia's Lovers
Marcel Proust: Swann's Way
Marcel Proust: Within a Budding Grove
Langston Hughes: Not Without Laughter

Susan Lenox and the Hoskins, Kazin, and Amis were from the library. I've even seen Garbo's movie version of Susan Lenox. The others were purchased at an odd establishment that sold newspapers and magazines from all around the world, racing tip sheets and various gamblers' aids for certain professional sports, and a lot of pornography. There were also many shelves devoted to Penguin, Oxford University Press, and other trade paperback imprints.