Monday, March 28, 2011

Fun Reading

It's spring break for the kids' school, and we celebrated Walker's birthday on Saturday at a chess tournament, so now a bunch of deadlines have been met and all we have to do is catch up on our sleep and play with the new toys.

Because there were so many deadlines in the last week or two, my reading time was spent on amusement. I read the next few Kage Baker novels about the Company.  The parts about what we're like in the future from Sky Coyote were good satiric touches, I thought, and I loved the philosophizing about the meaning of time for immortals in Mendoza in Hollywood.  My favorite so far is The Graveyard Game, where much of the overarching plot of the story is played out, with scenes like one in which two immortals appear to get drunk on hot chocolate in a public place and the discovery of what really happened to that ninth Roman legion.

Then I topped off the reading week by finding Alexander McCall Smith's new Mma Ramotswe novel, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, on the seven-day-loan shelf at the library, which meant I had to read it right away.  I was quite in the mood for the slow pace and simple plot, with asides like:
"So might we fail to see the real sadness that lies behind the acts of others; so might we look at one of our fellow men going about his business and not know of the sorrow that he is feeling, the effort that he is making, the things that he has lost."
 Mma Makutsi gets married to Phuti Radiphuti in a pair of really good shoes in this one, so it was entirely satisfactory.

Now we have a bookshelf to put together--to hold all the chess books Walker got for his birthday--a schedule of movies to watch, an excursion to see a musical called Spring Awakening, and pet-sitting duties for the kids. We also have some bags of books that Eleanor found at a used book store to fill out some of her list of books she wants her own copies of to take off to college, so I see some bookshelf arranging in our immediate future.  She already had her own copies of the Lord of the Rings, the Narnia books, the Harry Potter books, and the Borribles.  Now she also has the first three Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, The Thief Lord, Life of Pi, The Golden Compass, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, A Wrinkle in Time, Summerland, Ender's Game, Feed, Hatchet, Nine Princes in Amber, and the Earthsea booksIt's interesting for us to see which books she thinks she can't live without.  It's kind of like seeing which of the many books people have thrown at her over the years made an impression, which ones "took."

20 comments:

FreshHell said...

Gosh, we don't even own all the HPs. Guess that should be easy to fix.

kittiesx3 said...

And I own none :P

I'll be interested to see what she thinks of Ender's Game (assuming she hasn't read it yet).

Jeanne said...

FreshHell, the problem with Harry Potter books is that they're not cheaper at the used bookstores yet, unless you find one that's so worn out it's not worth it.

Elizabeth, these are books she has read and reread and wants to keep by her bed for rereading before she goes to sleep. I think she first read Ender's Game when she was around Ender's age at the beginning of the story.

Avid Reader said...

I'm curious to heaer what you think of Spring Awakening. I haven't seen it, but I've heard interesting things.

Betty (Beth) said...

Ah, now I'm reminded that I should read Summerland again. When baseball season starts back up, I'm always in the mood. :-)

Hope you enjoy Spring Awakening.

FreshHell said...

But I can use my paperbackswap credits to fill in the blanks for free!

Jeanne said...

Avid Reader, I'll let you know, one way or another. The teenagers are primed, knowing the story and having played the music for months.

Betty, Summerland is definitely worth a reread this time of year.

FreshHell, in that case, go for it!

Trapunto said...

Seven day loan = cruel.

Graveyard Game is my favorite, too.

Your description of Eleanor and her list gave me a vivid memory of packing Roget's Thesauras and my favorite dictionary (Winston's) into a suitcase. Just those and Hamlet, since I was going on a plane.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I love the music in Spring Awakening. I've never seen the musical, but truly, the music is incredible. I hope you enjoy it!

Jenny said...

I was interested to see what books stuck with me too, when I moved off to college. :p Moving to New York, I had to leave most of my books home, and I was a little surprised at how easy it was to pick which books to take -- not that it was easy to leave them behind, but that when I put two books next to each other, I nearly always knew immediately which one to take and which to leave.

I'm glad you're enjoying the Company books. The Graveyard Game ended up kind of being my favorite! I loved seeing all those plot threads come together, and The Graveyard Game occurred before a, um, a certain event transpired that irritated me mightily. :p

Jeanne said...

Trapunto, I love 7-day loan because I'm a fast reader, and usually willing to drop everything if there's a good new book on that shelf.

Hamlet? Really? I'd take Othello if I had to pick just one.

It sounds like I've reached the Company high point if the last one I read is your and Jenny's favorite.

Kim, we all love the music, too--that's why we're driving four hours to get to the nearest city where we can afford tickets on the tour!

Jenny, yes, Eleanor is experiencing a lot of that kind of certainty. She had to have Funke's The Thief Lord but could leave Inkheart, for instance.

I'm glad for the warning that the Company books may not be this good all the way through. I'll go into the next ones with lowered expectations.

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Trapunto said...

I hereby admit that I have not read Othello; I've seen the movie, but never read it.

Don't trust Jenny and me too much on the high point issue. Graveyard Game was my favorite because I discovered Kage Baker when it had just been published, so I read those first four books in a gulp, then had to wait and wonder for a long time before I got to read the next. Also, beside featuring my favorite operative (Lewis), I happened to think Graveyard Game was the best of the lot structurally. I am big on that, and opinionated about what sorts of structures are most satisfying in a fantasy novel.

Good things await you in the other books!

(Now I am wondering which event annoyed Jenny the most; there are a lot of events, so there are a lot of possibilities. Maybe she will say when you have read the rest.)

Jeanne said...

Trapunto, have you seen the Branagh as Iago movie, or the Janet Suzman South African one, or Trevor Nunn's RSC production, or Stage Beauty, with the death scene in it twice? I love all of those.

I'm glad to know there are more good things in the Company novels!

Traputno said...

Branagh and Fishburne. I didn't know about the others. Hmmm.

Jeanne said...

Trapunto, the movie version of Trevor Nunn's famous RSC production has Ian McKellan (Gandalf) as a very military Iago, and it has the most emphasis on the May/December Desdemona/Othello romance that I've ever seen. She is so young, and he so fatherly.

Jeanne said...

Also, the Janet Suzman version has the most handsome Cassio. I think Ben Barnes should play Cassio someday soon, because if there's ever a face and figure that fit the line "he hath a daily beauty in his life/that makes me ugly" it would be his.

chez said...

'daily beauty in his life' I think the word 'life' is important, and tells of his purity of conscience, and happiness of his nature rather than his looks?

chez said...

'daily beauty in his life' I think the word 'life' is important, and tells of his purity of conscience, and happiness of his nature rather than his looks?

Jeanne said...

Chez, you're absolutely right. I was joking, although I think there could well be some jealousy of Cassio's physical beauty, depending on how the part is cast. It is Cassio's nature that is beautiful, though. He is upright and honest and loyal and all those good things.