BOOK & BLOG
July 14, 2008
Books of the Week:
I discarded several books this week. If I can read three chapters, or seventy pages, and pretty much map out the rest of the book, I see little point in finishing. My TBR pile is now consuming two bookcases, so I don’t want to waste time on books that don’t intrigue me. Sometimes a writer can charm me enough to keep turning the pages, even under those circumstances, but that takes a really big dollop of charm.
I’ve been reading my way steadily through the “Provincial Lady” series by E.M. Delafield, and enjoying the holiday from mayhem these books have been providing. Delafield created a wonderful character with the first book, and consistently delivers with the whole series. The Lady is besieged by a million problems, saddled with an unresponsive husband, and lucky enough to have two children she adores. Her trials and tribulations will resonate with almost all of us: the visitor who won’t leave, the publisher who wants to know where the manuscript is, the overdue bills that pile up. Yet the Lady’s consistent humor and her determination to take every day as it comes are really delightful.
I have a real treat coming, but I anticipated it. A friend of mine (Toni L.P. Kelner, I’ll just drop a name) stood in line at a Naomi Novik signing to get me an autographed book. I had forgotten to cancel my order with Amazon. So now I’ll have two copies of the latest book, and I think that’s a pretty good place to be! I’ll donate copy one to the library here (which is broke, like most libraries) and keep copy two on my shelves. Novik’s books are absolutely wonderful, and VICTORY OF EAGLES doesn’t let the reader down. I couldn’t imagine how Temeraire and Lawrence would get out of the disaster at the end of the last book, and what kind of future they could have. After reading VICTORY I feel much better. Thanks, Ms. Novik, for writing these books.
It’s been a tough week at work. Yesterday, I finished DEAD AND GONE. I wrote the last page and sent it to my friends (hey, I’ll just name names: Dana Cameron and Toni L.P. Kelner) who get the first viewing, which means they have the awful task of reading the book before I plug all the gaps and straighten out all the logic. This is not an enviable task; it’s like seeing your favorite room in the house without the drywall up. All the wiring and plumbing is exposed. I hope by the time readers see the book all the cracks and crevices will be spackled over, and the walls will not only be up but covered with a coat of glossy paint. I’ve already thought of some passages I meant to include and didn’t, and I finished the book less than twenty-four hours ago!
Next week is a busy one, even though I’ve finished the book. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop working! I used to take a two-week break between projects, but no more. On Monday I have a phone interview with a German magazine, on Tuesday a doctor’s appointment, on Wednesday I have to take Middle Son to a plane, and on Thursday I have to catch a flight myself. I’m going to the Horror Writers Association convention, NECon, in Rhode Island. I don’t know too many of the horror people, so this will be fun and informative. Maybe I’ll finally figure out why so many of the horror writers are guys. Are men more horrible than women? This writer will report to you after research.
The week after that, another interview, this time with the local newspaper, and maybe with a guy from the NY Times. (Quite a contrast, but that’s life in the fast lane, baby.) Then I’ll make a quick trip to ComicCon, which I’ve finally learned how to spell correctly. I’ll do a signing on Thursday morning (24th), an event well within my capabilities, and then in the afternoon I’ll serve on a panel with the cast of “True Blood,” which is a lot more daunting. My comfort zone has gotten stretched all out of shape this year, and it’s only the beginning.
The week after that will be a softball week.
The summer is flying by, and I feel like I’m barreling through events one right after the other. I don’t seem to get time to savor them as I ought to.
Today, though, I’m going to enjoy having finished the next week. Even if it’s only “kinda sorta” finished.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris