I’ve reached the overwhelming of the semester, when I’m swamped in books and I can’t remember which book I read for which class, or which class has which assignment (there’s a lot of overlap – each class is having me do 3 booktalks, for instance) or which assigment is due when.  My reaction, of course, is to sort of ignore school.  Um, maybe this is why it feels overwhelming…

Yesterday I was on this roll of gushing over things.  I was also in a very good mood generally, for no particular reason, and apart from the fact that I got no schoolwork done, yesterday was all happy and shiny.

  • I’ve been listening to Catherine Gilbert Murdoch’s Dairy Queen in the car – rereading it – and everytime I get out of the car, I’m sad to leave it behind.  It cracks me up, and all the little emotional moments totally suck me in.  What impresses me most about the book, though, is that it’s the only thing I’ve ever read that makes football seem remotely interesting.  Not like you’ll find me watching it anytime soon, but I can appreciate why someone might like to play.  Nothing short of a miracle, I tell you.
  • I made rice and beans for lunch, and it was like the best thing ever.  Weird, huh?  It’s That Time of Year again (actually, this happens many times a year), when meat and dairy are cut out of my diet.  Of course, in the True Spirit of the Fast, I then made a delicious loaf of pumpkin bread, going substitution crazy with coconut oil and egg replacer.  Somehow, in my mind, the fact that I used whole wheat flour makes it more “fast friendly.”  Um, yeah.
  • I discovered Adam Rex’s line of t-shirts (he of The True Meaning of Smekday, Pssst! and Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich/Takes the Cake fame) and I am mighty fond of the Koobish shirt, although I can’t help wishing the Koobish were more prominent or that someone was biting off an ear (read Smekday).  But when I look at the J. Lo shirt, though, I can’t stop laughing (hey, Christmas is coming!)  Abraham SuperLincoln is nothing to sneeze at, either.
  • Finding Wonderland has had a really fab run of author interviews this week.  The interview with D.M. Cornish completely convinced me to pick up Foundling – how can I resist when he gives this answer to “what feeds that kind of mind”:

“The “Making of…” DVDs for the Lord of the Rings films and Star Wars are powerfully inspiring; Patrick O’Brian (whom I only began to read after a reviewer in the Washington Post mistakenly cited him as one of my influences), whose world building within the narrative is just awe-inspiring; real animals; odd moments; scenes glimpsed from a moving car; some odd bit of fact on the TV; any well-made movie (especially Stranger Than Fiction, Master & Commander, Anne of Green Gables, Pride & Prejudice BBC Version); history books; esoteric fact books; my favourite authors; music that sounds much like that of the Half-Continent; I am also rediscovering poetry at the moment through my friend and poet Aidan Coleman…”

  • Also good reads are the interviews with Elizabeth E. Wein and M.T. Anderson, whose books I don’t need to be convinced to read.
  • Somehow I ended up reading another interview with Wein, and I thought this comment of hers about the series in general really summed up why I find them so gripping: “I like to keep the tension cranked up even when there’s nothing going on.  None of my characters are ever safe.  Part of what I consider The Mark of Solomon to be about is how to live with fear.”
  • I started reading Melina Marchetta’s new Jellicoe Road, and either it has a very different feel from her earlier books, or I’m not remembering them well.  At any rate, I’ve been thoroughly confused about what’s going on for about the first half of the book, but simultaneously so intrigued – and emotionally involved – that I’m pushing through the confusion.  Or maybe it’s all me, and my brain turned to mush when I read Outlander. It’s a possibility.  (Side note: few things frighten me more than rabid fans who refuse to acknowledge flaws in a book, especially one that is fluff disguised as something more serious, but still strangely compelling, so that I can appreciate the fandom but its rabid nature.)  How did I get from Jellicoe Road to rabid fans in one paragraph?
  • That’s enough rambling for today.