Daily Archives: February 28, 2003

Insomnia: Good For Catching Up On Reading

One thing that insomnia and being so sick for the past week has given me is lots of time to read. I finally finished The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell; I also finally finished Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Both are excellent books, they just took me a lot longer to read than I expected. Both were loans from other people, too, so I really felt bad. Both were really densely written, which contributed to the long read. Perdido Street Station was nasty and dark and so damn well written that I will willingly plunge into The Scar once winter is officially over and I no longer feel like brooding, moping, or otherwise indulging in winter-connected depression. (There should be a warning label on Mieville’s books that reads, ‘Caution – Do Not Read During SAD Season If You Are Prone To Moodiness’.) As for Cornwell, I really, really have to be in a particular mood to read his work: namely, in a mood to appreciate logic and war maneuvers while simultaneously being actively interested in Arthurian characters. That’s a rather rare mood for me.

I also read an advance copy of Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K Hamilton that’s been sitting on my shelf since, um, mid 2000 or something. Anyway, it’s highly ironic that it was an advance copy, because not only has the book itself been released in hardcover in the meantime, but also in paperback, and the sequel was released in hardcover with its paperback publication imminent, as well. (March 4, as a matter of fact, so if nothing in my collection appeals to me when I start hunting for something new to read, I know what I’ll be buying.)

I picked up Dianne Day’s Strange Files of Fremont Jones Wednesday night when I was wide awake, and it was good. So’s the sequel, Fire and Fog, which I finished today while taking a break from packing. Nice little historical crime books, with your standard independent female protagonist. I have a third in my possession, but like other crime series that my mother sends to me once she’s read them, it appears to be missing a few books in-between. Mum picks some up at the shop and reads others through the library, so when I get the series they often look a bit like Swiss cheese – you know, volume 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8. Insisting on reading books in sequence is one of those delightful character traits that make me so lovable, so I’ll be hunting through second-hand shops for these ones. (A day’s read contained within a light crime novel is not worth the $10 purchased new, in my not-so-humble opinion. And it’s my blog, after all, so my opinion doesn’t have to be concerned about humilty, now, does it.)

I have an entire box devoted to Books Which I Have Not Yet Read, so I don’t have to go hunting once we’re in the new apartment. So very clever of me. Probably pointless, though, since as I unpack I look through my books, and I will likely find dozens I suddenly must re-read immediately.

Apparently it’s gearing up to be a lovely day tomorrow, with a high of +2 degrees. That’s reassuring.

Scattershot

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The main problem with moving (because of course there are several) is that there are never enough boxes. I fervently believe that it’s one of those dark SF equations at work. Neil Gaiman should write something about this. No, really – it sounds like one of those mildly annoying things that the protagonist of a dark fantasy novel encounters as s/he prepares to move out of an equally dark house with A Presence. Protagonist gets boxes, packs, needs more boxes; calculates, gets more boxes, and falls short yet again. The pattern is repeated as an (apparently) minor amusing recurrance, and not until the end of the novel does the reader realise that The Lack Of Boxes Is Significant!

Sleep update: I didn’t Wednesday night. Did last night, thanks to the joys of drugs enabling me to (a) sleep, and (b) breathe while doing it. All bow to the pharmacists, architects of my preserved sanity. Somewhere around four AM on Wednesday night (Thursday morning?) I began to understand why sleep deprivation works as a method of torture. You literally don’t have a chance to download. No blessed darkness descends to make it all go away for a while. It’s reality, 24/7. And even if your reality is nice and humdrum, it loses all appeal at 4 AM after a total of six hours sleep over four days.

It occurs to me that for the first time in quite a while, I’m hungry. Really hungry. Hmm.

Today, more packing, and I have to take the delicate stuff over to the new place – cello, viola, bodhran, harp, stuff like that. While I’m there I think I’ll unpack what I can and bring boxes back. It’s nice to feel well enough to plan things like this, although you can be darned sure I’ll stop the moment I start feeling wobbly.