BOOK & BLOG
November 23, 2007
Books of the Week: A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART, by Timothy Hallinan; HOLIDAYS ARE HELL by Kim Harrison
I’m delighted to see that Timothy Hallinan finally has a new book, A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART. Hallinan wrote four books in the nineties, a series about detective Simeon Grist, and each one was memorable. Hallinan’s lived in several different countries, and he’s got a huge talent for evoking emotions with his intelligent writing. I’m looking forward to having the leisure to read NAIL with the attention it deserves
I gave myself a break on Thanksgiving Day by reading Kim Harrison’s novella in HOLIDAYS ARE HELL, “Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel.” This novella is set in Rachel’s past, and it’s a sweeter story about a sweeter (and much more innocent) girl. I haven’t had a chance to read the other novellas in the book (Lynsay Sands, Marjorie Liu, Vicki Pettersson) but I’m sure looking forward to the experience. They’re all writers I’ve enjoyed.
The deadline for the anthology Toni and I are editing (now titled WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE) is fast approaching, and Toni and I are having the great pleasure of reading stories by such diverse writers as J.A. Konrath and Nancy Pickard, Karen Chance and Kat Richardson. It’s like a literary Thanksgiving; we have a full and rich table.
Since the deadline for submission of books eligible for the Best First category of the Edgars is also approaching, I’m gulping down mysteries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of them are more digestible than others, but this has been a good experience for me.
This is a crowded season, and seems to become more hectic every year. The latter part of November contains my mother’s birthday, my own birthday, Thanksgiving; and after that, December is just one big blur. I know it’s become a tradition to get Christmas decorations down on Thanksgiving weekend, and there’s a lot of practical reasons to do so. For one, family members have extra time at home, and they can help.
But this year Thanksgiving is early, and I can’t look at a Christmas tree for four weeks. I’m just digging in my heels. For one thing, I lose that special feeling, if the tree’s around long enough to need dusting. For another, our daughter has a new puppy, and the idea of what Nike’s going to do to the tree is terrifying. Nike isn’t exactly a puppy she’s probably a year old, anyway but she’s chewing on everything (including our fingers) as if that’s a great idea. There’s no question we’re going to have to keep the presents shut away until the moment they’re going to be opened.
Nike is a rescue dog from the pound. She is a lhasa apso, and at the moment she has the worst haircut in the world because her fur was so snarled and matted. She’s very lively and healthy (though not spayed), and she seems very adaptable. But we all like our fingers enough to get pretty riled up when they’re chewed on. I hope she gets the message soon, because when she’s calm, she’s the sweetest warm bundle of love you ever cuddled up to. She has a date with the vet in a week and a half, to be spayed and to get a bad leg fixed. Someone else’s loss has been our gain. Our two older dogs (also rescues) are not too happy about Miss Nike, but I suppose they’ll adapt like we did.
Maybe having this young dog is giving our daughter a taste of what it’ll be like to have a toddler. That’s not a bad thing, right? Daughter is used to leaving Nike with me during the day while she drives away to school, and by the time Daughter gets home, I’m incredibly ready to turn Nike over to her “mama.” This holiday is the first uninterrupted exposure they’ve had to each other. The stress and strain is considerable.
Aside from the upheaval of Nike’s rambunctious nature (she’s much like Daughter in that respect), this has been a very peaceful Thanksgiving. Oldest Son is home, and appropriately bored. He brought his laptop with him, thank God. Husband is off work and sleeping late. He also has his laptop. We are all in our own little universes, but at least we are under one roof, thank God. We talked to Second Son yesterday, and he said it was around 32 degrees at Fort Wainwright practically balmy. He may get to come home for Christmas, despite earlier indications to the contrary. The Army you learn to wait for the next change in plans.
I hope all of you are doing well, and making happy plans. Leave yourself some time to go off and read, though. It’ll help you deal with the rest, both good and bad.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris