My week flew by! I think I was in some kind of rapture from the gorgeous light and being so busy at work.

I read Lady Susan this week. Have you read it? Stumbling on an unread Jane Austen was like realizing there's an episode of Buffy you haven't seen (or something similarly awesome). It's a quick read, but trademark Austen - acerbic and delightful.

I also loved Hila's "Picturing Lucy" post. And I haven't done so yet, but I look forward every week to clicking on every link in Jessica's Read. Look. Think.

I already think Kevin Barry is a fascinating writer, though I haven't read City of Bohane yet, I'm predisposed to think it good (these kinds of predispositions, which I frequently have, make me feel very nervous about approaching anything). But this too - that chocolate answer - he's already good.

I enjoyed reading What Hangs on Trees. And, although I'm not sure how much I swallow of this article, I'm also very interested in the idea of malignant shame and identity, at a personal and national level.

"Malignant shame, more than a simple emotion, is an identity: a more or less permanent state of low self-esteem that causes even successful persons to experience themselves as being unworthy . . . Thus, abuse victims often remain passive in the face of punishment because they suspect that the rage and criticism of their perpetrator is both accurate and justified."

This is an eerily accurate diagnosis of the collective passivity of Irish citizens. We are the victims of an obvious outrage – forced to beggar ourselves to pay off debts that "we" never incurred. But we are unable to respond to this attack because we suspect that we deserve it." - Fintan O'Toole

And I suppose I should end on a happier note than that? Perhaps a thought about rearranging books this weekend, spending time in the company of writers, heavy beverages and starchy plates, food that's mashed and melted, and finding room in there for flowers too.

Have a great weekend!
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