Archive for November, 2008

a book a week…

At the beginning of every year I resolved to finally, finally read one book a week for the duration of the year.  I have yet to stick to my goal.  This year is the closest I have gotten since I started counting.  With 10% of the year (and 16 days off work) left I have read 30 books.  Which is only 58% of the total, but 10 of those were over 400 pages (one @ 584 and one @ 768) and the 30 books add up to a total of 10,525 pages – so I think I have done pretty well. 

Among them: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, A Quiet Belief in Angels by R. J. Ellory,  Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (finally), The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and lastly The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger which I finished today. 

The Secret Life of Bees is one which I have been wanting to read for a few years now and I am wondering if I would have read it differently a few years ago.  Even a few months ago.  Read it for yourself and see if you know what I am talking about.

The Time Traveller’s Wife gets 6 Stars out of 5 in my book.  I couldn’t read it fast enough.  I wish I had stopped halfway through, though, because the ending hit me hard.  “Had we but world enough, and time,” Marvell.

The list of books I want to read does not think to stop growing to let me catch up.  It is 45 strong today, but probably 50 by tomorrow.  Kate seems to be the only one who recommends books to me these days, so I don’t know where the list comes from.  Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England,  A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Pillars of the EarthStardust.  Many, many others.   None of the Classics are included – that list is 40 strong in and of itself.  Of Human Bondage, or Their Eyes Were Watching God.  The list does not include a single novel by  Dickens and if you have to ask why you do not know me very well at all.

Next I think I will read something by Terry Pratchett even though it is not on the list.  Niffenegger’s poetry and rawness has hollowed me out and I want to cuddle up with the literary equivalent of a big mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows on top – I think Soul Music will do wonders.


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Thanksgiving was on Saturday.  Ours was, anyway.  The 4th Annual Glasgow Thanksgiving at Laura’s flat.  It was a lot of fun – the best ever, maybe.  There was a lot of food and even more laughter.  Amy and I discovered that we like some of the same music, which is unnerving considering she’s 8 years younger than I am.  One of us is doing something wrong and it is probably me.

Lately I have been wondering about the timings of life.  Crucial and not quite so crucial.  I have two friends who have only recently met and have begun a swift romance and I wonder if it would have happened sooner if I had thought to introduce them.  Or, whether their meeting earlier would have made their romance impossible for any number of reasons.  Or what might have happened if they had never met at all.

There is no sense pondering it for too long, though, because everything happens as it was always going to happen – I don’t feel there is anything much you can do to prevent that, even if you know in advance.  Which is a depressing thought, really.

A week ago last Saturday I banged my head and have spent the past week struggling to get over what the doctor called “quite a bad concussion, really”.  I have had a headache since about 11am on the 15th of November excepting an hour or so on Sunday right after I woke up.  Apparently I’ll have a sore head for another week and a half yet which, at least, gives me something to look forward to. 

I’ve noticed my short-term memory is playing tricks on me.  I will write something down on the to-do list and then 30 minutes later I’ll see it has been crossed off, except I haven’t done it yet.  And if you want me to remember something or write it down you are going to have to talk very slowly and I’ll probably make you repeat yourself a few times – especially if it involves numbers.  I go back and forth between feeling like I am underwater (slow movements and comprehension) where I can’t really hear or understand what you are saying without really concentrating on it and extreme clarity where everything is harsher and louder than it should be.  I am told this is all normal.  And then there is the dizziness and nausea which I don’t want to think about as I have just had my lunch.

Last Wednesday the doctor said the only thing for me to worry about would be if I fall asleep and no one can wake me.  Oh, really?

I am very happily waiting for all these consequences to go away.  If I had thought about the timing of things before I bumped my head I would have bought some stock in aspirin.  But I didn’t, because I already would have and I haven’t.  Oh, my head!



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