In Which Stories Vary and Boots are Preliminarily Shown

22 January 2006

Just once -- just once -- I would like to have a question that starts, "When did I get to be..." and not have the answer turn out to be, "You always have been. You just didn't notice before."

I'm reading Robert B. Parker's Promised Land, because I was in the mood for something that seemed unlikely to rip my heart out and whack it with a hammer, and the last couple of Gwyneth Jones books I've read have done just that, so while I had picked up Life, I put it down without really giving it much of a go. So far Promised Land fits the bill: it is interesting and entertaining and has some emotionally interesting moments for the characters, but not moments that really hit me where I live.

This is a problematic mood to be in: I don't want unexpected bits of angst popping up out of the books I'm reading, but I also don't want them to not be good enough to grab me like that, or I will just sit around being annoyed at the bad book. I want them to be good enough but not do it, if that makes any sense. I know some people talk about the emotional resonance of a book as though it's the only reason to read, as though deep personal engagement with a book is the only adequate response to have to it, but sometimes I don't need to have a long-term relationship with my reading material. We can be casual acquaintances. That really is all right sometimes. There is no one thing books always have to do.

Anyway, I feel like rereading would be a good solution here (because any angst would not be a surprise -- so I could read some of the squirmiest moments in fiction because I would see them coming), but for whatever reason, I'm not reading for rereads, I'm eyeing the stack of new stuff and borrowed stuff.

I hope to find time to pick up a few hockey books at the library this week, to help with The True Tale of Carter Hall, but if it doesn't happen I will work on something else, or work on the less-hockey-heavy parts of it. (I'm not looking for information but for mood and ambiance. And I suspect there's much less hockey material out there in that direction than baseball material, but baseball material is totally useless to me just now -- and, I hope, indefinitely; it may be the religion sport I was raised in, but there is more than enough baseball spec fic out there for me.) And I might get some noir stuff just in case I'm wrong about Carter Hall. And all of this is fairly low on the list for the week: little to do, and much time, and Gene Wilder in my head telling me to strike that and reverse it.

And that, my dear ones, is what I have for the night: I am tired, and it has been a long week, and I think this will be another. But here is a picture of the new boots, at least, though not as good a picture as I hope to get of them later. (I am prepared to enlist help in this cause.) It also features my Onie's new kettle, which I got on a fabulous sale, and it shouldn't slip around in her hands, which seems to me an important consideration for a 93-year-old's kettle.

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