Daily Archives: July 11, 2004

Buried in Books

I’ve just finished my fifth book since arriving here. I feel like I’m catching up on reading fun stuff. I enjoy research, of course, but it’s truly relaxing to read a book for pure pleasure, without a pencil in my hand and a notebook by my side.

I read a third of Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson on the plane, then finished it here Thursday night. Not as solid as I’d hoped it would be; I guess the reviews denoting it as a summer beach book were more accurate than the ones touting the comedic value. It felt like a giant set-up, as it ends on an obvious tune-in-next-time note.

Once here, I had access to my mother’s mystery library, so I read the third Indigo Tea Shop mystery by Laura Childs, Shades of Earl Grey. I like the author’s characters, and the setting of Charleston, so I still read them, despite the author’s heavy-handed habit of obviously teaching the reader about something new every book. Educational tea references embedded in the text are fine, as that’s what the series revolves around. But the fourth book, The English Breakfast Murders, opens with volunteers baysitting a turtle hatching on the beach, and the author Educates You About Turtles. Apart from this habit which makes me roll my eyes, the copy-editing drives me mad. Two books in a row had a character taking a “peak” at something, one of the spelling errors that drives me mad. (The other really bad one is ladies wearing “broaches.” You broach a wall or a subject. Ladies wear brooches. A successful computer spellcheck does not mean that you’re using the correct spelling for the context of the word.)

Last night in bed I read Joanne Dobson’s The Maltese Manuscript from cover to cover. This is the latest in a literature-themed series based in a fictional New England college, around an English professor. It’s been about two years since the last book in this series, and I’d forgotten how truly above-average Dobson’s work is. I almost wish I’d never read her before so that I’d have the pleasure of reading all five now.

And half an hour ago I finsihed Victoria Thompson’s latest in the Gaslight series, Murder on Mulberry Bend. Set in Victorian New York, this series foucuses on a midwife and a police officer as they uncover murder in both the lower and upper classes. They’re nothing to write home about, but I’d read one recently, and I needed something new to read, so I pulled it out of the bookcase.

Next is a fictional story of Elizabeth I, another of my mum’s favourite topics. But now, it’s dinner, which I think is grilled German sausages. And I think I’ll have a cider.