I had to travel for work recently so was able to catch up on some reading.
I read The Elephant Keeper’s Children (Peter Hoeg) for bookclub — it was okay. It was an interesting mix of madcap adventure, religious philosophizing, and quirky first-person narrative. It reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time, and also a Flavia De Luce mystery, with some oddments of structure thrown in. I liked it but had problems with it. It was a little hard to connect to the characters, and those that I wanted to know more about, were closed to the reader.
Then I raced through the latest Pendergast novel by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston, Two Graves. This series is hit or miss, but I thought this was a hit. Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast was back in all his pale, elegant mysterious glory, and there were Nazis! And twins. And a volcano! It was just exactly what I needed to read on a 9-hour journey home (three-leg flight plus significant wait time at the airport…) I like it when books promise adventure and thrills and deliver just that. It was totally brainless but had enough fun plot twists that it kept me thoroughly entertained on the long journey home.
Now I’m reading Shogun by James Clavell. I don’t know what possessed me… but so far it’s quite good! I wish the writing were a bit smoother but it’s really interesting and entertaining so far. It gets rave reviews and seems to move along quickly so hopefully, even though it’s enormous, it won’t take forever to read. Has anyone read it?
So far reading seems to be going better this year. I hope to at least get 52 books — 60 would be terrific. The number doesn’t matter, but it’s nice to have a tidy list at the end of the year to look over and remember. Plus there are SO MANY BOOKS and only one lifetime — we must make progress!
Home sick today (actually, just taking care of a sickie, but since it was a violent stomach bug, I’m worried that my time is coming…) so got some reading done. Just a bit, since I took a five hour nap. I never nap. But hardly slept last night, so it was necessary. Thomas the kitty has been carefully watching over us and enjoying an extra day in bed.
Things have been busy — I was gone for a week to LA and Pennsylvania, and previous to that had gone skiing for a day. Tomorrow night we are going to see Eddie Izzard — I’m so excited! And Sunday is a live performance of Philosophy Talk which is syndicated on public radio stations… not totally familiar with it, but it sounds like fun. Berkeley is good for things like that.
A very busy spring is planned: a trip to Nashville, a ski weekend, a trip to Oregon, a visit from Erin, and another TBD trip in May. We were planning to go to Scotland in May but have decided to go in the fall, instead. If not Scotland, perhaps Spain or something else — whatever seems like the best idea. That little nagging feeling says, “Stay stateside in the spring… overseas in the fall.” Since I ignored that little voice last year and went to Amsterdam anyway and was a zombie the entire trip, I’ll listen this year. We’d still like to go to Scotland, but the trip isn’t coming together for some reason. We’ll see what happens.
Have I mentioned that I love being able to travel again?