30 July 2004
I am still not sick today. I have been lying in bed reading to better admire our new duvet cover. The coughing is for soundtrack.
I finished The Grand Ellipse -- despite some good aspects, my verdict is don't bother -- and started Jasper Fforde's Lost in a Good Book from the library. I was not keen on The Eyre Affair, but so many people I like and respect liked it that I thought I'd give the second volume a chance, in case I was in the wrong mood when I read the first.
I think these books put me in the wrong mood. I think they are just not for me. There have been a few nifty moments so far, but mostly I'm rolling my eyes and feeling like I'm dealing with a grade schooler -- oh, you just named two agents Kannon and Phodder? Yes, yes, sweetie, you're very clever. (Only I never talk to actual grade schoolers in that condescending voice.) I stopped with names like that when I was 11. I remember the day I realized it kind of stunk. I was walking the dog, and I know I was 11, because it was the summer we had moved to Kansas, and it was the half-developed housing in the development just behind ours. I stopped and though, "Actually, that's not really all that funny."
There are funny bits in this book, but there are enough thoroughly unfunny attempts to be funny and unclever attempts to be clever -- ah ha ha, the goons are named Chalk and Cheese -- that it's hard for me to really enjoy much of it. So I think this will be my last book in the Thursday Next series unless it improves drastically as it goes on, or unless one of them is up for an award for which I'm voting, or something.
I decided that Kim Stanley Robinson has lost me as a reader: I had his newest book on my pile, and after the last three by my count (Antarctica disappointed, I HATED the stories in The Martians, and I was thoroughly unexcited by The Years of Rice and Salt), he loses. That's the proper number of strikes, and I'm no longer all that interested in seeing what he's up to unless I have a good and specific reason. His new one sat on the pile until I took it back to the library. Life is too short to read books that bore and annoy me if I know they're going to bore and annoy me.
More of Sampo -- really good bits, I think, or at least I'm having fun with them. They may die horrible deaths in the edits, but for now they are good bits. For now I am happy to write them. For now I get sidetracked from housework and e-mail and journal entries and everything else I'm trying to do because of the good bits in the book I get to write. It's not like that every day around here. Maybe writing books is always more absorbing and magical for you than trying to remember which of the Godiva chocolates are left in the box and who it is that likes coconut so you can foist the little dark chocolate coconut pyramid off and make yourself and whoever-it-is happy simultaneously. For me, well, it varies. Today is a good writing day, and I'm going to enjoy it.
As much as I can while being absolutely in no way sick, of course.
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