The best-laid plans of mice….
I knew 2018 was going to be the Year of the New Devices. I replaced my dying phone in August, and was limping along with my aging computer. Then on Wednesday morning I turned it on and discovered the battery was at 90%, plugged in and not charging. If the battery is no longer charging, then its ability to power the computer is waning. Rather than spend $100 on a new battery I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new computer. I’d been saving up all year for it, and I back-up my files every couple of weeks, so I wasn’t worried about any of that. It was the day lost to set-ups, log-ins, and updates that annoyed me. Wednesday is my day off, and I had so much planned, life-wise and blog-wise. While I managed to finish a little bit of it, I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I wanted to.
But everything is set and ready to go now and it’s just a matter of getting accustomed to the new keyboard. I’d forgotten how nice it is to be able to plop down on the couch with the computer. The last one needed to be plugged in at all times.
Technology problems aside, the week’s been pretty good. Save for a high of 92F on Wednesday, the rest of the week has been wonderfully cool (in the 50s) and rainy. Others are complaining about the cloudy days, but I love them.
What I read This Week:
- Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold, audiobook narrated by Grover Gardner
- Penric’s Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold, audiobook narrated by Grover Gardner
- The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
The Penric books are novellas set in Bujold’s ‘World of the Five Gods’ series, and they are wonderful! The stories are about Penric, a temple sorcerer who gets wrapped up in mysteries and theological problems where the answers are never as simple as they seem at first glance. Bujold won the Hugo Award for Best Series for these stories back in August, if that tells you anything about their quality. It’s also wonderful to see such rich, complex stories told in a short format.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant had been on my list for a few months, but a reminder that the sequel, The Monster Baru Cormorant is due out this month moved it toward the top of the list. And wow, was it worth reading! I’m planning to write a complete review later on.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- Hopkins by Gerard Manley Hopkins
- The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, audiobook narrated by Rob Inglis
The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins is not something you can read quickly. I’ve been going through a few pages each day and loving it. Meanwhile, in the Lord of the Rings audiobooks I’ve been listening to since August, I’m drawing ever closer to the end. Frodo and Sam have reached the final stage of their journey, and I’m wondering what I’m going to do when I finish it all. Inglis has become a constant companion while I’m in the car.
What I’m Planning to Start This Week:
- Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri (NetGalley ARC)
- The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
I’m looking forward to all of these books, so I’m hoping nothing crazy will pop up this week and steal my reading time!
A couple of days ago, I checked out Clifton Fadiman’s book, The New Lifetime Reading Plan because I’m thinking about a reading plan for 2019. There are plenty of “lifetime reading plans” out there, but I’ve read several essays by Fadiman and a couple of his daughter Anne Fadiman’s books and I’ve found both Fadimans to be quite funny and open-minded about their books. I’d thought about looking into Harold Bloom’s suggested canon, but I’ve found that he’s a bit of a stick in the mud and isn’t terrribly open-minded about genre fiction and newer authors. I want to read more classics, and a glance through one of Clifton Fadiman’s lists showed quite a few titles from outside of the traditional Western canon. So we’ll see. I will probably add some of the foundational books for the various waves of Feminism, like Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. The most recent US Supreme Court nomination hearings had me quietly raging. Yesterday, I bought Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly. This will definitely be an upcoming read.
The Latest Installment of my The Lord of the Rings Reread Project covers the chapters ‘The Old Forest’, ‘In the House of Tom Bombadil’, and ‘Fog on the Barrow-Downs’. Taking a deep dive into these chapters has really influence my view of Tom Bombadil. He’s never been my favorite character, and I used to just skim through these chapters. But forcing myself to slow down and really read them has definitely given me a new appreciation for this part of the book.
Home is Behind, Weirdness is Ahead
Some things from around the web that have cheered me up this week:
- ‘How to Be a Good Man: What I Learned from a Month of Reading the Feminist Classics‘ by Carl Cederström, from The Guardian
- ‘The Queen of the Night‘ Aria from The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, from The Royal Opera House.
- Austin Kleon’s Blog – Kleon writes about creativity, writing, drawing, and the benefits of using analog media in the digital age.
And with that, I’d best get going. After a couple of months apart thanks to lots of travel plans, my book club is finally meeting up again! I miss these wonderful women and am so looking forward to seeing them!