I spent my childhood reading. I could usually be found curled up on one end of my parents' dark-blue sofa, absentmindedly stroking the smooth page edges of a Redwall book; by second grade I had read the complete Nancy Drew series; my mother used to say that a bomb could go off and if I was reading, I wouldn't notice. Even as a teenager, books formed a huge part of my identity and even my social life - I think with fondness of the time two friends and I went out to try to find a pair of "Traveling Pants" that fit all of us (this attempt failed, but we were so excited to discover that I had a black wrap-around dress that we could all wear). I loved fantasy, science fiction, and animals best; some of my favorite books included the Redwall books, Watership Down, Ender's Game, Artemis Fowl, The Golden Compass, and the Harry Potter series.
And then I went off to college halfway across the country, not taking any of my books with me because I didn't want to lug them all the way from New Hampshire to Missouri and I didn't know if there would even be space in my shared dorm room. I had a laptop of my own for the first time, and I soon discovered television shows broadcast online. And because I dove so eagerly into my music studies - not only did I have books to read for homework, but I also had to practice voice, piano, and sight-reading in practice rooms - I largely stopped reading for pleasure. It wasn't a total loss, of course; in those years I discovered Jane Austen thanks to a dear friend who taped the movies for us, as well as Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy and Philippa Gregory's English Reformation historical fiction. But in my senior year, when I was writing a musicology thesis and realized that I'd go crazy if I didn't do some reading just for fun, I didn't know what to read anymore. Young adult literature didn't grab my attention in the same way that it once had, but I didn't know what else to try.
Enter Jane Eyre! Completely by accident. And enter the world of book blogging. Thanks to bloggers with similar reading tastes, my to-read list exploded. Since starting to read classics and literary fiction over winter break during my gap year between undergraduate and graduate studies, I've fallen in love with Tove Jansson's The Summer Book, Vita Sackville-West's All Passion Spent, Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, Enid Bagnold's The Squire, and Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child. And now that I'm in graduate school, paradoxically, my interest in children's and YA fiction has returned, since it provides such a refreshing break from academic work.
As a PhD student in musicology, I created this site as a discursive space in which I can puzzle out
connections between books and across the fiction/academic gap. This blog will thus be a mix of classics, literary fiction, children's classics, and musicology, history, theology, and other academic texts. It's also a place to share some of my favorite recipes - of course the best accompaniment to tea and scones is a good book!
In keeping with the dual nature of this blog, its name is derived from
both musicology and literature: I crafted this title by uniting a favorite 17th-century collection of early music (Robert Dowland's A Musicall Banquet) with a favorite novel by Hemingway (A Moveable Feast). You can read more on my shift from YA to classics here, on the purpose I envision for this blog here, and a more detailed explanation of the blog name here.