Thursday, July 20, 2006

How fun....

If I was still living in New Haven, I would definitely go to Neil Gaiman's reading this coming Tuesday at 7:30 in Sudler Hall, part of the Yale Summer Writing Program reading series. Excellent choice of author.... oh, and scrolling down I see they've got some other very good things coming up too--we have missed Elizabeth Hand and John Crowley, but Paul Park is reading on the 26th--reminds me I must get the second volume of his trilogy, The Tourmaline--I loved A Princess of Roumania.

I was thinking very much of Yale this week because I did indeed get and read Diana Peterfreund's rather delightful Eli-centric Secret Society Girl. It's extremely well-written, the voice of the main character is so well-done that it makes the whole thing totally work. Also I must note in this regard a potentially evil milestone: I have been selected (probably along with millions of others, but it makes you feel special & want to spend more money) for a three-month free trial of Amazon Prime, and it is INSIDIOUS, I totally didn't think I wanted it because I always get super-saver shipping but I ordered this book on Sunday and it was delivered on Monday. For free. Seriously. And I forgot how often I send books from Amazon to other people as presents, and two-day shipping to other addresses than your own is also included in the price; I can see that I am not going to go back from this one, how alluring/addictive....

And you know, I have been feeling so virtuous about not reading novels but of course I have read a just few novels, sort of in bits and pieces around the edges of work. (When I was little I used to read a lot of earlier twentieth-century British fiction, for children and otherwise, where people gave things up for Lent like sugar in their tea--I am not a Lent-observer but novels would really be the painful but spiritually improving thing to give up--but it would be very painful!) First off, another extremely good young-adult novel, this time Australian (I pretty much love these girl-power books, this one's sort of along similar lines to the Sisterhood of the Pants books and I highly recommend it as well as Peterfreund's): Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta. (Oh, and if you are thinking about getting one or both of these books for your daughters or other Official Young People, SSG has actual sex and SF doesn't, though both seem to me appealingly innocent and also very smart in a way that makes them suitable for younger teens as well as older. SSG more candy-like and SF more like what a librarian recommends, but in both cases the best-case version of such a thing--really, reading these two makes me feel great about the whole young-adult publishing scene....)

And then I also read an extremely good novel called BloodAngel by Justine Musk (that's her appealingly smart blog), somehow I totally missed hearing about this when it came out (I don't know why--it's completely my kind of thing) but I plucked it from the shelf at the bookstore--I very rarely buy a mass-market paperback by an author I don't know already, it is usually too much of a crap-shoot, but this one looked excellent and it completely lived up to my expectations. She's a great storyteller in the mode of early Stephen King or Peter Straub, but it's also got more of a contemporary urban fantasy feel which I like, and she even manages to pull off a grand sort of theological/Blakean mythic scheme with angels and demons which I liked a lot, those things often touch & go but I can't wait to read more books by her when she writes them, I think she's going to be one of the really good ones.

Back to the eighteenth-century horses!

(Event link via Neil's blog.)

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