Monday, February 20, 2006

Eight readerly things about my weekend

1. I (mentally) slapped myself around on Friday and was thereafter able to pick up the pace where New Grub Street was concerned, finishing it late Saturday morning. This book drove me back to drink. I'd not brought Coke into the house in weeks, limiting myself to an occasional soft drink when eating out, but L. wisely bought a carton of little bottles instead of the two-liter I'd stated, upon finishing the Gissing, I was going to buy to drown my despair in. Consuming a mere 12-ounces a day undermines the entire gesture, though my thighs do thank him.

2. Became convinced that Gissing's Edwin Reardon and Harold Biffen would have fared much better if they'd moved from London to the outskirts of Concord and become neighbors of Mr. Thoreau. At the very least, the fresh air and vegetables of Walden would have done them all a world of good.

3. Read two more chapters in Feed My Dear Dogs. I'd like to say that I'll definitely have this one finished by the end of the month, but the chapters are lengthy and dense, and it may well take me into March.

4. Was receiving more hits than usual via Library Thing, so I checked my library-size status there and saw I was in danger of falling off the100-largest list. Ack! Did enough cataloging on Saturday to keep myself from falling into obscurity for a bit longer.

5. Started The People's Act of Love. Was rather "eh" about the first chapter, but thought the second was fabulous.

6. I haven't attempted audiobooks since the problems with the Didion in December, but L. loaded the first part to Don't Know Much About Mythology before we went to the gym Sunday afternoon. I listened happily for 12 minutes until the "new" battery went out. The Fates are surely against me when it comes to audiobooks.

7. Returned an armload of unread books to the library Sunday afternoon, then wandered forlornly through the aisles, not finding anything that could overcome the What's the Point? I Won't Have Time to Read You If I Take You Home Now malaise, until I chanced upon Ronan Bennett's Havoc, In Its Third Year.

8. Also chanced upon Audrey Niffenegger 's The Three Incestuous Sisters, of which the woman at the check-out desk said she was eager to hear my opinion. After reading it at work last night, my opinion is that the spare text adds nothing necessary to the project; there should have been either none, since the aquatints clearly tell more of the story than the words do, or the text should have been used to fill in a few plot holes instead of merely reiterating what's in the prints. Why did Paris abandon his son, claiming later that he thought he was dead? Why didn't Clothilde clothe the boy once she rescued him from the circus? Invisibility lessons are all well and good, but I'm convinced jeans and a T-shirt are in order for those family picnics among the tombstones.

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