I snagged Mike and Psmith off interlibrary loan, partly just to see how the system works (I’ve never used it all by myself before. WITCHCRAFT.)
One of the first things I did when I had it in my hands was take a look at the “Date Due” slip.
This book hasn’t been checked out since 1993.
It hasn’t been checked out since before I was born.
…Is there a way you can lobby to keep a book that you feel, by rights, ought to be yours?
A few weeks ago, I attended the first meeting of my college’s shiny new English society and got myself placed on the literary committee because
no one wanted to be on that committee of my obvious talent in the field. My job is really to help with the weekly book discussion. Near-unanimous decision by the group as a whole to read The Cuckoo’s Calling, otherwise known as “You know that book J.K. Rowling published this summer under a pen name? Yeah, that book.”
I made a confession to the rest of the committee (knowing full-well that I had to trust them because at least one of my fellow club members was likely to strangle me in her Slytherin scarf if word got around to her)—I read the entire Harry Potter series and I … gulp … didn’t. Really. Like it. That much. At all. Okay, not even a little. Besides the fact that Mike and Psmith is probably the only British boarding school story I will ever love, Rowling’s writing just has a certain something, or lacks a certain something, and I feel like a snob for saying it (I really wanted to like it, friends!), but I don’t like it.
However. This book. Not about wizards. About detectives. (Somebody said it was from the Watson’s perspective. I’m listening.) Appears to be well-edited. I am a forgiving soul. Okay, J.K. Rowling, make me love you.
So I’m putting together a series of discussion questions and here’s what I’ve got so far:
- Why would a promising young model—in attempting to choose a riveting stage name that will bring her fame and fortune—go with Lula Landry, which sounds like Luna Lovegood’s elderly, washed-up maiden aunt? Going off this: why, after choosing this name, does she actually succeed in gaining fame and fortune to the extent that she’s worth millions of pounds?
- Do we ship Cormorant and Robin? Should we be shipping them? Is this a rollicking rom-com disguised as a detective thriller? (Was that incident with the door a mere introduction of resident Holmes to resident Watson, or a grade-A meet cute?) Are we going to be fooled for a second by the fact that she’s freshly engaged, or by the fact that he’s hitting the bottle to forget his last girl? Do the mutual bird names qualify as a further clue?
- Why am I still liking this so much better than Harry Potter?
- Why are all of you so dead gone on Harry Potter?
- OT but related: Why did I just snag Mike and Psmith off interlibrary loan even though I already have it on my Kindle?
- Perhaps I should be looking within.
After reading this tale of library adventure, I thoughtfully nudged my copy of Rebecca off my bedroom bookshelf. Sadly, my edition does not now, nor did it ever, contain a cache of hidden stamps—but I sat staring at the pages for too long and got sucked into reading it again.
I think I like it better now than I did the first time, mainly because I’m in awe at the quantity of the language that has stuck with me over the years. It’s not so much that I remembered the phrases and words—I couldn’t have quoted most of them if I’d been asked—as that they appear to have been buried, intact, beneath my conscious thought the entire time, and now as I reread it they come up to the surface to meet the words on the page, the way a reflection rises up to meet your hand as you touch the top of the water. It’s a uniquely pleasant sensation.
That—and once you know about the conclusion, the lead-up becomes an entirely different story, one that I vastly prefer to the first.
As you can see, there’s a whole lot of stuff to do before school starts this Fall,
So stick with us ‘cause Phineas and Gene are gonna jump out of a tree repeatedly until one of them gets grievously injured.
On Tuesday, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) announced a drastic turnaround on the part of the federal government: The German Romeike family, which sought asylum in the United States to home-school their children, will now be allowed to stay in America. “The Romeikes can stay!!!” the…
"But I was used to finding something deadly in things that attracted me; there was always something deadly lurking in anything I wanted, anything I loved. And if it wasn’t there, as for example with Phineas, then I put it there myself."
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles
"And then, too, I had learned early to assume something dark and lethal hidden at the heart of anything I loved. When I couldn’t find it, I responded, bewildered and wary, in the only way I knew how: by planting it there myself."
- In the Woods by Tana French
Rob Ryan took the Gene Forrester correspondence course in how to wreck your life.
Well, [Dear], our pentameter may seem
to foreign ears as if it could not rouse
the limp iambus from its pyrrhic dream.
But close your eyes and listen to the line.
The melody unwinds; the middle word
is marvelously long and serpentine:
you hear one beat, but you have also heard
the shadow of another, then the third
touches the gong, and then the fourth one sighs.
It makes a very fascinating noise;
it opens slowly, like a grayish rose
in pedagogic films of long ago.
Cartoon, “Snuffed”, from the Rock Island [IL] “Argus”, 2/28/1914 [p.1]. Cartoon depicts the devil being “snuffed out” by a candle extinguisher labeled “Lent”. Playing cards, dancing shoes, and two cards labeled “Tango” and “Turkey Trot” lie nearby, illustrating what people will be giving up for Lent this year.
So, just in case you missed my first post on the subject, I will be off the Internet for Lent starting tomorrow (Ash Wednesday). I will be in on Sundays! Just don’t be alarmed by my non-presence.
Today’s the last day before the fast starts, so if you want to talk to me you can. :)
[Tumblr Christians: pray for me, please, this is a tough fast. I do it every year and it never gets any easier! But I’m gluten-free and I don’t eat a lot of dairy or refined sugar either, so it’s hard to think of anything else to give up. Plus I should really be using this time to tackle college and take it out.]