Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesdays on the Margins Because Reasons

So I saw my (rather dreamy) eye doctor and he thinks my contacts are giving me pink eye because of microscopic areas of inflammation in my eyes, possibly left over from when I was really sick over Christmas. So, eye drops. Then my ears got sore and I couldn't hear very well, so I went to the doctor, and she said I have an ear infection because of poor fluid drainage, possible due to who the fuck knows. So, ear drops. And (TMI alert), the nasal prongs from my CPAP have given me a blister inside my left nostril. So, laying off the CPAP for a few nights (who needs to sleep and breathe at the same time, let's not get greedy). And yes, first world problems and yay Canadian health care and all that crap, but perhaps you'll forgive me if I feel a bit like the seven plagues of Egypt have descended into my head. I'll keep you posted on whether locusts start flying out of my throat.

So my reading focus has been less than stellar. I keep starting new books and not finishing them. I keep reading YA and feeling like weeping when I contemplate tackling anything challenging. I can only read on the ipad once Lucy's in her crate, or it disturbs her (thank god I didn't get a dog before there were ipads). Which is fine, I have a crapton of books on my ipad, but making decisions is not my strong suit at the moment.

So, here are a few reviews of the partiality of the books I am reading at the moment.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: I bought this for my friend Janet for her birthday because she wanted to read it, and then she didn't love it. She passed it to another friend, and I finally remembered to ask for it when I was at her house, and then didn't touch it for a few months. I finally picked it up even though I didn't really feel intellectually equipped to read it (see above), but I'm finding it completely entrancing so far (not very far, see above). I'm torn between loving the setting and the writing, and being desperate to find out what happens next, and being sickened by the cruelty with which the two children are being used, and being afraid to find out how it all ends.

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel: The main character's name is Nora Dearly, ha ha so clever. I think I borrowed this ebook on a whim from the library, and it is kind of interestingThe year is 2195. The place is New Victoria, high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. But it's also reminding me that I very rarely like steampunk as much as I want to or feel like I should. Also, I was promised a zombie love story, and I'm not seeing how that's going to happen. Of course, I probably have to read more than forty pages before complaining.

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst: I think my friend Sue recommended this author, so I borrowed a couple of her ebooks. So far this is totally intriguing - the character is some kind of magical girl in some kind of non-magical Witness Protection Program, and I have no idea what's going on, but in that delicious way where you feel like when you do figure it out, it's going to be mind-blowingly cool. The only thing bugging me is how mean the female marshall is to the girl. Did anyone else watch In Plain Sight? I loved that show. The female marshall is like Mary Shannon but with only the bitchy parts and none of the heart-of-gold and humour. And also, remember how her partner was a marshall NAMED MARSHALL? That never got old. 

Emergence by David R. Palmer: I read this in a list of great but little-known post-apocalyptic books, so I ordered a crappy secondhand copy of it, which I carry around in my purse for when I'm in waiting rooms, and it's getting progressively more and more beat-up and losing little pieces, but it's AWESOME. The main character is an 11-year-old girl genius who, through an improbably set of coincidences ends up virtually alone in the world after a nuclear exchange. The whole book is written in shorthand, with no articles or pronouns. This is surprising in a couple of ways: first, how fast you get used to it, and second, how much funnier or more heartrending certain statements are when stripped of articles and pronouns. I will review this more comprehensively when I've finished.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLean: I was dimly aware of this for quite a while but not really interested - I don't really see the point of this kind of fictionalizing of actual historical characters. Do I recall why I went ahead and borrowed the ebook then? I do not. Do I recall why I started actually reading said ebook? Sort of - I think I opened Overdrive, and it was the only adult book on my bookshelf, so I forced myself to read a few pages and got hooked. It's not stunningly beautiful prose, but it's very readable, and I'm enjoying the evocation of the jazz age. I'm half reading it just ignoring that the characters are real people, and half enjoying the glimpse (even fictionalized) of Ernest Hemingway before he was Ernest Hemingway (it's so weird sometimes to think of famous people as only their first name; Ernest. People called him Ernest. That seems so wrong,). 

There are a couple more on my Goodreads currently-reading list, but these are the ones I'm actually reading every day or two right now. If I try to start anything else, somebody slap me. 


Lynn said...

You seriously are reading all of these AT ONCE? I don't have the brainpower to keep so many stories in my head at the same time. As it is, the one book that I am reading, I have to re-read a page every time just to remember what was going on. I am pretty impressed with you.

In Plain Sight! Awesome in so many ways. Oh how I loved Marshall. I wonder what he's up to these days.

Many of these sound very intriguing but I am really trying to put a damper on my buying/library getting these days, as I went through a little binge there after Christmas, and now there are like, 100 books on my Kindle and I am reading nothing. Still - I don't think I can resist Conjured because it sounds awesome.

Get well soon - and in the meantime, a few days in bed reading sounds like just the ticket :).

Nicole said...

I loved the Paris Wife! Absolutely loved it. It was very interesting to me, and also I didn't really know anything about Hemingway, so reading this led me to read a lot about his life, which was interesting.

Steph Lovelady said...

I was about to say how can you read 5 books at once and remembered I am reading 4 if you count the 2 I'm reading with the kids, so... Never mind.

I hope all is better in your head soon.

Maggie said...

Man I am super irritated that my library doesn't have Emergence. It feels like it's right up my alley. Will have to investigate how to get this.

Yeah, steampunk is one of those things that it seems like I should be into. I mean I like fantasy and sci fi as well as vampires, urban fantasy, supernatural stuff. But I find myself utterly unable to be even a little bit interested in it. I've tried a few times and am just left feeling meh.

Bibliomama said...

My library didn't have it either! Hence the crappy secondhand copy. Do you know about abebooks.com? Sometimes useful for situations like this one. If the book is only a buck or so, the ten dollar shipping charge isn't such a big deal.