Also Plague has thinned the kiddy ranks at work so I don't even feel the necessity to go in and be a body on Horrible Thursday tomorrow. (Horrible because it's granola for snack day and the clean-up for that requires much more than the half hour allotted to it by people who have never done clean-up.) Unless Plague hits one of the staff as well...
The Inferno. Reading being spread over two or three translations and notes, I still have a very misty idea of what is where in Dante's Hell and how the place actually looks. My impressions are still going to be dictated by Dore's engravings..
Nix, The Abhorsen Trilogy
-- *this* is what reading is about. No pushing oneself, no reluctance, just flow along pleasantly on the tide of wwords. True, I was a little diverted by the glimpses of early spring 2003 I kept getting as I reread, though not anchored to any particular book because I'd forgotten virtually all of it. And true, I did resist the last book because I thought I remembered how it ended, when everything has failed and everyone has to beg Spoiler to please save the day. It isn't like that at all, of course. And I shall miss Moggett who reminds me so much of various ambiguously malignant domestic items of mine, starting with my bicycle. Moggett is a youkai very reminiscent of Aoarashi, down to the laziness and gluttony and 'quantum mutatus' attendant on having a corporeal form.
Clarke, The Black God's Drums
-- in ebook. Should be read in paper but all the local bookstores are out of it, annoyingly.
-- must have read this back in uni but remember nothing at all. Thus am surprised by the lightening of atmosphere apparent in the first few cantos at least. Reading this in the Ciardi translation because it's a portable paperback with notes, and if I don't subvocalize the rhyming doesn't bother me. Unlike the Inferno, Dore's engravings made no impression on me at all: he seems to have needed violent themes to do his best work. I may even read the Paradiso, which I never did because the illustrations for *that* are all of blessed souls doing Rockette imitations, forming mystical roses in the air, and circles and rainbows and whatnot, all of which looked dull as ditchwater to eight year old me. Besides, who wants to swap testy Vergil for sublime Beatrice anyway?
Ondaatje, The English Patient
-- to have it read, and to see what the fuss is about, and because it takes place in northern Italy too. I'm not sure what the fuss is about, actually, but am getting the same frisson I did from In the Skin of a Lion ie this man has a weird notion of how women work, one which is pleasant to a male author, no doubt, but wildly unlikely to a female reader.
Jansson, Comet in Moominland
-- so how can I justify my love of Moominmamma? I shan't. Moominmamma is the Platonic ideal of the perfect mother, calmly accepting of everything. This works in Moominland, but mothers, don't try this at home.
Next two Old Kingdom books coming from the library.