Saturday, May 14, 2005

Trashy novels

for the end of the semester; hit the public library this afternoon (before I'd finished grading, a dangerous move); have now finished grading, read two books and am about to go to bed. The first (this afternoon, while fending off final grading work) was Murder Plays House, one of the cringe-makingly-named "Mommy Track" mysteries by Ayelet Waldman of Bad Mother fame (I was addicted to that blog). I really like her first-person voice of the blog, wasn't that impressed with the first mysteries in the series but feel that the voice has come into better focus for these more recent ones. Though there's no doubt it's now impossible to read her novels without looking for crazed autobiographical revelations. Anyway, this one was really very good, if you like the agenda-driven kind of mystery (this one's about eating disorders and the pro-ana website world). And the second light reading book was much more shamefully trashy, I felt like bowing down to my twelve-year-old self: Dragonsblood (by Todd McCaffrey, son of Anne). I really read these books now out of loyalty. The early ones were so good and made such an impression on me that I will put up with weak recent ones solely out of nostalgia. This one isn't bad in itself, just wholly lacking in characterization,which is a great virtue of the original series (I still say that Dragonsinger is one of the top-ten young-adult fantasy novels of all time, a book well worth reading even if you don't think you like that category; it is really an excellent novel and I'm sure I've read it, oh, well let's just say more like fifteen than ten times, and more than a few of those in adult life too).


  1. Jenny, how fast do you read? I always considered myself a fast reader (about 80 pages an hour), but you seem to be a truly prolific reader.

  2. Hmm. I am a very fast reader, I guess, but it's more that I'm truly obsessive and love reading novels. I live by myself and don't have a TV, so even with a sort of workaholic-y personality, I find there's usually time to read a novel... I read a lot of stuff for work that never makes it up onto the blog, 18th-century things and academic books and such. For work, being a fast reader is an absolute godsend; for light reading, it's sometimes inconvenient, I have to go to great lengths to get hold of enough of the right kind of book!