Approaching normal

What have I been doing? Moving, renovating, cycling, being sick (hubby and I were laid low with food poisoning this week and I’m still not really okay), and reading. What have I been reading? I couldn’t recall when I typed that compellingly original rhetorical question; I actually had to check the Goodreads to see what I’d plowed through since my last little update.

This is what Goodreads tells me I’ve read in the past 6 weeks, and I have no reason not to believe it. But it’s a dauntingly long list. One-sentence reviews it is! (Warning: I cannot guarantee that semicolons won’t be harmed during the making of this post.)

Restless, William Boyd. An excellent thriller/espionage romp, except for the final few chapters which were written by Boyd’s evilly boring and predictable alter-ego.

The Sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima. Perfection, except for the last sentence which was entirely Mishima in its masculine concerns but made no sense in this book.

Dr. Thorne, Anthony Trollope. The third installment in The Chronicles of Barsetshire boasts one of the most awkwardly contrived plots I’ve encountered but it’s Trollope so I still kind of loved it.

And Then, Soseki Natsume. No one can make modern ennui so convincing, compelling, and beautiful as Soseki can.

Troubles, J.G. Farrell. Christ, what absolute greatness; if you don’t believe me, check out Rohan’s review.

All Our Worldly Goods, Irene Nemirovsky. As sublime and gorgeously bitter as Fire in the Blood and Suite Francaise.

Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell. Unfinished–because Gaskell died suddenly–but still a show-stopping number.

The Housekeeper and the Professor, Yoko Ogawa. All the gorgeous style of Hotel Iris and The Diving Pool but lacking the energy that made them truly outstanding.

Mrs. Lirriper, Charles Dickens and friends. I never found that Trollope reference but I really enjoyed this series of good stories about a respectable boarding house in London and, of course, Dickens made me cry copiously while I did so.

So. Here we are, all caught up. I just want to say, moving is one of the worst things in the world; it’s cramping my style in every facet of my life. But we’re getting there in terms of settling in–and settle in we will, because I’ve decided we will never move again except perhaps at gunpoint. And maybe not even then. My “pared down” book collection still filled over 20 unliftable boxes, gawdammit!

But I’ve unpacked all those books and I’m now tasked with the sisyphean task of sorting my husband’s approximately 12, 374 comic books. I now know that he was just a leetle bit obsessed with Spiderman and that his 8-year-old self was also perhaps not as discerning as his 38-year-old self is:

No, I didn’t read that. But as we’re going to be here a long time, you never know.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Tony says:

    I have to say that ‘Samurai Squirrel’ has me intrigued 😉

    Once again, lots of good stuff in your reading – and thoughts eerily similar to mine in most cases…

    1. Colleen says:

      Well, perhaps I’ll read it and report back to you.

  2. Stefanie says:

    Samurai Squirrel? C’mon, it’s GOT to be good! Glad you are getting settled in. I’ve been in the same house for 12 years now and whenever husband and I wonder if we might want to pick up and move to another city within 5 minutes we decide that it’s not going to happen unless I get a job at the Library of Congress or something.

    1. Colleen says:

      A job at the Library of Congress would be worth any number of inconveniences I would imagine! But I hope you’ve got a cool job close to home and no moving will be required.

  3. trapunto says:

    Thanks to you I am thirty four pages from the end of Dr. Thorne right this minute! Not what I expected. Belated congratulations on your expected-to-be final move. Someday, I will throw away all the flattened perfect-size-for-books-from-when-my-husband-worked-for-a-print-company boxes that I have kept through my last 3 moves (and never unpacked for one of them), and then I will be home.

    Be good to your back, dearie! Surely any fella who grew up on Samurai Squirrel is the one to lift those boxes.

    1. Colleen says:

      How are you enjoying Dr Thorne? Did you read The Warden and Barchester Towers first? Not required but interesting… I’m doing my darndest to be good to my back, thanks…not entirely successfully.

      1. trapunto says:

        Yes I did and they were awesome!

  4. J.G. says:

    I admire your ability to read while doing all those other things. Reading usually goes out the window when I am packing and moving. But I totally get the boxes and boxes of books part! Me, too. Me, too!

    1. Colleen says:

      J.G., I had to read at every spare moment just to stay sane. Truly. I’m reading less now that we’re more settled in, which is kind of discouraging.

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