1) Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading, by Maureen Corrigan. I'm already kind of hating this lady, on page, like, 7. First, because she KEEPS talking about the world that she lives in "as a reader" in the lavish, breathless way that an elementary school librarian on television talks about it--how books open up a whole new world of fantasy that you can live in. Of all people, I understand this, but she makes it sound all snotty and smarmy and like someone small trying to make herself sound big. Second, because it's not the Lady of Shallot, it's the Lady of Shallott--what the heck kind of mistake is THAT to make on page 5? And finally, because within the space of two pages she complains that Joan of Arc wasn't edgy enough because she wore men's clothes when she led her army (wouldn't it have been edgier, braver to have worn a dress? You can't wear a dress on a battle horse, dumbass--no one she rode with mistook her for a boy, that's for sure.) and then also snarks lightly at Nellie Bly because she "might have circled the globe unchaperoned, but she did so cloaked in the protective mantle of late-Victorian ladyhood." Meaning a pretty dress.
And that's all I have to say about that.
2) I have to finish Joan of Arc this weekend. That will be tricky, time-wise.
3) Another observation from A Summer to Die. There was a conversation in that book that always sort of stuck with me. The narrator and her mother are talking about how the sister is like their mother (emotional, cheerful, vivacious), but Meg herself is more like the father (thoughtful, fretful, solemn). Then the mother explains that people like her have an easier time with life day-to-day, but that when something very hard happens, people like Meg are better prepared. My memory of the conversation, of her explanation for this, is that emotional people are so used to reacting to small things that they don't know how to take in the larger ones--their emotions are scaled for day-to-day, and they can't adapt them to larger things. While Meg is more reserved with her feelings, like she's saving them up until there's something worth spending them on.
It turns out, though, that on rereading, the explanation is much more mundane. The mother says that cheerful people like her are more shocked and shattered by the deep sorrow of mourning, while solemn people like Meg are able to encompass it more easily. Now, where do you suppose I got my memory from? It's so strange--it seems so unlikely an interpretation. I've often thought about it over the years, and contemplated whether it was true or not. The fact that I made it all up gives that contemplation a whole new angle.
4) I'm going to plug this now, in time for Christmas (and probably again before the end of the month): if you're still reading and you want to buy anything from Amazon, please click my links! You can click either of the books in the sidebar and then navigate to whatever you'd like to buy--you don't have to buy those books--and Amazon gives me credit for the sale. Also, it makes me feel loved. Feed my ego! Feed it!
That is all. Halfway through the month, and still blogging! I'm quite proud.
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