So, despite the fact that I've been snowed under by work for my Yeats class, I've spent a fair amount of time reading for myself and a little time reading for my preliminary exams, all of which has been productive. Incidentally, I've also written a twenty-page paper for Yeats, and while I should be doing homework right now, I'm choosing to write this instead. Perhaps I will work on Yeats later this evening. I do need to get some work on it done, as I've a quiz due tomorrow and the final paper is due Thursday, but I only have some minor revisions that need completed for the paper. Still, I want to be able to spend time with the Snarky Writer and Fitz's Person tomorrow for FP's birthday tomorrow.
But anyway, back to my procrasti-blogging. SW, as previously mentioned, has started me on Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan books, and in the last week, I've devoured The Good, the Bad, and the Undead and this evening I've raced right through Every Which Way but Dead. Both were amazing--the protagonist has a singular ability to get herself into trouble that I've perhaps only seen happen to characters like Stephanie Plum and Harry Dresden. Also, hello, Kisten? I've got an image of him being David Boreanaz--hey, if I'm going for good-looking vampires, why not?
I also indulged myself in a nice long soak in the tub this week with Julie Garwood's latest, Sizzle, which was so-so. The plot wasn't quite there, but the first line of the second chapter made up for it: "Grandmother was stealing holy water again." For those unfamiliar with Julie Garwood, this has nothing to do with Gramma trying to ward off vampires, as a grandma in Kim Harrison's books might, and everything with thinking that blessed waters would help her flowers grow. There was also a strange bit with the hero being a dual citizen of the U.S. and Scotland. I'm sorry, but I would imagine that having an FBI agent with a Scottish brogue might result in some operational security issues, in that he would be really, really noticeable.
Last night, I also finished Charlotte Bronte's Villette, which I've been working on a bit at a time over the last several weeks, and was fairly unsatisfied with the ending, as I had thought I might be. Still, I have to agree with the critical interpretation--it's a much better book than Jane Eyre. Part of that is Bronte's characterization of women--she's less concerned with creating the Gothic imagery that's so evident in Jane Eyre and focusing more on the character itself. And it is a powerful lesson in what can happen when you're too scared to make opportunities for yourself. I couldn't help but feel bad for poor Lucy Snowe--she got so close to happiness, first with Dr. John, and then with M. Paul, but neither really panned out. She still leads a productive life, though, and seems to be happy with that, so I suppose there's a lesson in there about lives well lived or something.
In other news, I just realized that Catherine Coulter has a new FBI thriller out, Whiplash, which I would be very excited about it Knock Out hadn't been sitting on my bookshelf in hardcover since it came out. I've also got A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book on the shelf, Christine Golden's Star Wars: Allies is now out, and of course, how can one forget that Stephanie Plum is returning in Sizzlin' Sixteen? Lula and Grandma Mazur are entering a barbeque contest. This does not bode well for anyone involved.
So, I'm going to add a sidebar to this blog with the books I want to read, because there tend to be so many at one time that I will forget I want to read them.
I also need to add to the reading list another book from my prelim list. I'm inclined to put Fanny Hill on the list, just for the hell of it (hey, it's on the reading list, I kid you not) but I don't have a copy of it at the moment. Still, I'm going home this weekend, and I saw it the last time I was at the half-price bookstore. No, I need to focus on a book that I already actually own. At the moment, this means I can finish reading Bleak House (I'm about three-quarters of the way through it, which means I've got about three hundred pages yet to go), can read Gulliver's Travels, or I can attempt to find my copies of Persuasion and Mansfield Park, which, to be honest, are probably what I'm going to end up going with, since Austen tends to be somewhat easier to read and I rather despise Jonathan Swift.
In any case, that is the update from the bookshelf. When you hear it groan, you'll know I've started in more on the 18th century list.