Friday, June 04, 2010

Friday miscellany

"The famous doctrine of ‘only one fact on one piece of paper’": a lovely and slightly heart-breaking piece by Keith Thomas at the LRB on the trials and tribulations of the note-taking life.

Henning Mankell on the Gaza flotilla attack (via the Literary Saloon).

Peter Terzian's spell of not being able to ride the subway.

Other than that, I got nothin': I've been having a quiet week settling in down here in Cayman, immersing myself in a pile of light reading from the Humane Society Book Loft and clearing a couple bits of work I didn't sort out before I left New York and beginning to think about the ABCs of the novel, the next project I'm going to be working on.

Reading: Nina Kiriki Hoffman's The Silent Strength of Bones, which I enjoyed very much indeed; Mercedes Lackey's Storm Rising, which I suppose I should not have bought as it is the middle book of a trilogy, only I find the Valdemar books incredibly soothingly bland and really most of her books are fairly similar to each other, as though they could have been written by a Mercedes Lackey computer; Val McDermid's Fever of the Bone; Henning Mankell's Before the Frost, which really I read when it came out but I wasn't quite sure enough of having read already not to buy it anyway (and also there are times when it makes more sense to read a very good book for a second time rather than reading something else one will enjoy less).

Another one I got and read was Diana Wynne Jones's lovely novel Charmed Life, which really I have read so many times already that it can hardly bear rereading but which I love anyway. I was very sorry the other day to see her cancer has progressed to the point where she may only have a few months to live; an email address is given there for those who want to send good wishes and messages, and I will certainly write a message myself later today. She is one of a handful of authors who have given me absolutely countless hours of pleasure and delight.

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