Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Thoughts, Hockey, Anticipation, and so on


I know it's not at all uncommon, when you loved a book by an author, to not like the second as much. However, I'm not sure that letdown is what I felt with Blackmoore, the second book by Edenbrooke author Julianne Donaldson. Edenbrooke is a Regency-style romance, almost a modern Jane Austen, and I loved it so much that I was afraid, when I first was reading it, that the end wouldn't work out as I so strongly wanted it to (non-spoiler: it did). I got Blackmoore from the library recently with high hopes, and was disappointed; I felt it had a more Gothic feel, which is a shame because I'm not as fond of those. So many mysteries: what did her sister do? Why do her mother and his mother not get along? Did she really hear whispering voices in the hall?

It's still very well written, and when she's describing how trapped she feels, I could feel myself tensing up sympathetically. But ... do I like it? I'm not so sure. Should I keep reading? I was already thinking no, when I picked up Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell yesterday at lunch and got sucked right in, kept thinking about it all afternoon, and picked it up as soon as I got in from knitting last night (the reason I didn’t blog last night), staying up too late in order to finish it (yawn). That’s what I want from a book! Well, not the missed sleep, exactly, but the pull. I’m not putting Rainbow Rowell above Julianne Donaldson, just that in the case of these two specific books, that’s how I feel.

In fact, Fangirl was my favorite of RR’s books that I've tried, by a long shot. I first read Attachments, which is adult (as opposed to kids/young adult), and liked it just fine, quite enjoyable, but nothing earth-shattering. Then I picked up Eleanor & Park, which has had such good press, and had mixed feelings: so good, so well written, but something that I think would have spoken to me so much more when I was that age, in middle school/high school somewhere. I was over 100 pages in when it was due back to the library, and I kind of shrugged and returned it. Fangirl’s main character is a college freshman, not all that much older, but it just grabbed me and drew me in so much more. Aren’t books and our relationships to them mysterious things?

I did have my mind taken off the book for a while, actually, since the Bruins played yesterday afternoon. Of course, I know that yesterday was a holiday (and happy Veterans Day to you), but it is one of those holidays that not everyone gets off work, so I found it very odd that the Bruins played a matinee. Mind you, they always do on MLK Jr. Day in January, which is probably a similar level of holiday in terms of who gets it off, but I guess I'm just used to that one. As Stanley Cup of Chowder said in their game preview, "We're going to skip the complaining about a matinee game on a day that most people still have to work, but just know this: we're not happy about it.

I was able to listen to the game on the radio, so I didn't miss it completely, but it was an oddity: apparently it was the only game in the NHL yesterday, which is unusual*. I tried to keep my cheering silent, but I had to explain to a coworker that when I grinned at him, it was just because the Bruins scored at that moment; and when they scored just 20 seconds later, I let out a small but not inaudible "yes!" Whoops. The Bruins ended up winning 3-0, and other than a horrific injury to Steve Stamkos (who broke his leg) it was a pretty good game. They seem to be finding their rhythm as a team again, which is good news for the Bruins fans.
*The Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony was last night, so that’s probably why.

*****
Recently, I was working on a list of pros and cons about my current job, and was reminded of a line from Douglas Adams. Not from the hitchhiker's books, actually, but from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, which I listened to on audio so many times that parts of it are burned into my brain. Near the beginning of the story, Kate is waiting in line behind someone causing endless problems, and is trying to think of other things, in order to keep her temper. She has read that the human brain is capable of thinking of only seven things at once, and that if one tries to think of more than seven, something else drops out. She quickly comes up with a list of seven things to think of, the final one of which is Jean-Philippe, who is "a set of at least seven subtopics on his own" (or words to that effect), and the man causing trouble in front of her falls right off her radar for a while.

I thought of this because, in my list of cons, there is first and foremost the Editorial Manager, and she is definitely a set of seven subtopics on her own.

It's funny how, though I am fully aware that just because I found a job opening to apply for, it's highly unlikely that anything will come of it, it does not stop me from fantasizing about giving my notice.

*****
Two weeks from yesterday, my mother arrives for Thanksgiving (yay); six weeks from yesterday morning, I set off for Christmas in Florida (yay). I love anticipation.
And in the case of the first event, I also love family that will not be shocked by the disarray of my home. I try to corral the chaos, but by its very nature, chaos fights back. (I think I haven't had house-guests for close to two years, Christmas before last. Clearly they need to visit more often, so I have to tidy up more often.)

*****
It’s still cold at work. Not only was I wearing my coat today, I was wishing it was longer. But I had dinner tonight with someone I worked with a few years ago, who happened to be in town this week, and it was nice to catch up with her, and now I’m going to get on the bike (I missed last night, because of the reading), and then get to bed early, or at least, not so late. That’s the plan.

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