In Which Our Heroine Sends Dispatches from Geekland

5 April 2006

Here are some pictures of my niece. Is she The Cute? Of course she is. She is the very best niece I have ever had. And she has hats. The hats are very important.

We did not buy her a baseball cap reading, "rookie," but it was a near thing.

Isn't that a good segue? I thought so: anyway, the Twins had their first win of the season tonight.

I'm in the middle of reading Gene Wolfe's The Knight, and I am not overwhelmed. I see what he's doing, I just don't particularly care about it. Mostly I don't care about the characters. The dog is undoggish enough -- is, in fact, not what we would recognize as a dog at all -- that I don't even care about the dog. This is never a good sign for a book, me not caring about the dog. Sometimes I'm angry with authors for using the dog as a manipulative device, but I still care about the dog in some sense. But meh.

Before that I was reading Tanya Huff for the first time in years and years -- Smoke and Mirrors, specifically. The thing about Tanya Huff is that she writes great literature for the ages. Oh, no, wait, that's someone else. The thing about Tanya Huff, though, is that her "dark urban fantasy" (I don't know about the other stuff) is reasonably smoothly written and reasonably entertaining. If I was in the market for ghost, vampire, werewolf, etc. tales as a category, Tanya Huff would be a really good use of my book-buying dollar. I'm not, really: I enjoy some vampire (ghost, etc.) books, but almost never because of the trope itself.

Alongside those two, I'm reading Jonathan Israel's Radical Enlightenment, and it's interesting, but it makes me wish I'd read more Spinoza.

And that right there is a spot where the internet is not as good as a conversation: because in person, there are people to whom I would never, ever say "it makes me wish I'd read more Spinoza." Some people are incapable of taking that statement as anything but deliberate showing-off. But it's true: I really think that reading more Spinoza would have made this book mean more to me. Most of the people I see on a regular basis would nod and go on with their lives and not think, "Gosh, what a show-off," so not saying things like that is something I learned in grade school and have to relearn periodically when I've been living in geekland.

I like it here in geekland, but it's good to remember that it's not the whole of the wide world, some days.

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