Thursday, April 28, 2005

In the cracks

of a ridiculously busy week I did read a few novels. Most amazing is Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl, a magical fairy-tale-retelling on the same level as the gold standard for this sort of thing, Robin McKinley. I spotted this when it came out but felt it was excessively extravagant to buy in hardcover, bought it on Friday while purchasing several presents at the Bank Street Bookstore
for sort-of-family-related kids my mom wanted to send Passover gifts to, then forgot about it, and seized on it with delight at midnight this evening when I'd reached my limit on work. It is so good! I can't wait to read her others.

Also read Stephen White's Missing Persons, a loan from my friend M., who (to my great good fortune) buys lots of mysteries in hardcover & is generous about loaning. I like these ones, though I think that using the rule of the psychologist's patient confidentiality obligation as the main source of suspense is slightly maddening. These are like a much better version of Jonathan Kellerman's books (Kellerman's early ones were good, but of late they've become ridiculously narcissistic).

Actually, now I come to think of it, I read a couple other novels too, on the way to and from Philadelphia: Margaret Mahy's Alchemy (YA real-world fantasy, very good and well worth reading but not as good as her best ones) and my old favorite Dick Francis For Kicks. I have largely given in to my novel-reading addiction, occasionally resolve to forgo them due to pressures of work (as I did last week) but then often find they slip in anyway without me noticing. Fiction is certainly a dangerous drug. I am constantly amazed that there are such things as free public libraries. Nobody's lining up to give you free (a) alcohol (b) cigarettes (c) delicious meals (d) movies etc.; how very lucky it is that we can get books that way....

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