Wednesday, December 04, 2013


Rather arduous week, but I taught my last class of the semester today and I should be able to have a bit of a breather as long as I keep chipping away at tasks: I have one more letter of recommendation to write tomorrow, and a lot of comments on student assignments and various other similar, but it is very good to have a temporary reprieve from the form of public self-performance, however enjoyable and stimulating, that we call teaching!

(This week's reading: Justine, which is sufficiently disturbing that at 11pm on Monday night, though I still had several hundred pages left to read for Tuesday's class, I instead downloaded a favorite novel by Eva Ibbotson and read it in its entirety as a remedy!; and Persuasion.)

Lots of meetings and appointments still over the next two weeks, but I am looking forward to getting more sleep and doing massive amounts of exercise, particularly the hot yoga, which I have a yen for right now (was too tired to get there this afternoon, but with luck I will make it there tomorrow morning).

Miscellaneous light reading around the edges: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus (excellent, memorably so); Jakob Arjouni, Happy Birthday, Turk!, a good recommendation from Chase Madar; Daniel Woodrell, The Maid's Version (excellent); Kelly Braffet, Last Seen Leaving (I've liked all the books of hers I've read, but I think this one is my favorite); Garth Nix, Newt's Emerald (not bad, but it made me think about how Georgette Heyer's Regency pastiche has been so influential that anyone who writes in that period is almost bound to sound exactly like Heyer - it makes me wonder whether there is any other literary period ripe for colonizing with this kind of a verbal and world-building reimagining?); and Gordon Ferris, Truth Dare Kill. I think I am going to spend the evening rereading several other Ibbotson books; they are immensely and indescribably soothing, second only to the works of Diana Wynne Jones I think.

Really I am hungry for something genuinely intellectually demanding, but I think I need a few days of downtime first, and some more light reading to bathe the tired brain. Minor tasks for December include doing the final revisions on my article about particular detail and reading and reviewing an academic book that I promised to write about a long time ago; in January, I think I will be working on a proposal for my long-contemplated little book about Clarissa....

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