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“Do you read children’s books?”  “I’m afraid so,” said Nick.  “I started when I was young, you know, and never got out of the habit.”  – Tam Lin

I’ve been reading Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin, which I think I heard about at Chasing Ray (although I can’t find the specific mention of it that first hooked me).  Ignore the hideous cover – it is a fantasy story, but I’m 380 pages in and so far it’s a college story full of English and Classics majors with incredible abilities to quote the greats, dealing with relationships and academics and making me strangely nostalgic for my own days as an English major.  I don’t know anyone who can quote like that, but the spirit of the book feels just right, and makes me wish I could relive college (minus the homework and dining hall meals, and with the option to fast-forward the boring bits and have more self-assurance).  There are only hints of the fairy tale background, which I’m not really familiar with, so I’m probably just turning a blind eye to all kinds of forshadowing.  There’s no fantasy so far, just the possibility of a book throwing ghost, disturbing department heads, some bagpipes, and Classics students riding horses through campus at odd moments.  I’m totally hooked.

The big snow melted, and it’s snowed twice more since then.  In any other year, those thin layers of snow would have been thrilling.  Now I’m jaded and unimpressed with a mere inch or so – which feels so un-Oregonian of me, I don’t know what to think.

Classes start again this week and I’m the opposite of prepared.  Only one class this quarter, and then I ought to have all my credits squared away.  Yikes!

I listen to tons of podcasts while I’m at my boring job, and I recently got hooked on the CBC’s Writer’s & Company (thanks to Crooked House).  She can take a writer I’ve never heard of – or read – and ask such interesting questions that I’m completely enthralled.  Big picture questions and detail questions both, that make me feel familiar with the author.  Anyway, I just listened to her interview with Salman Rushdie – and while there was nothing wrong with the interview, it did NOT make me want to read any Rushie.  I also heard, a while back, another podcast where he was reading from his latest novel – same reaction.  There was just something about his attitude, and sense of the world, that irked me.  Feel free to try to talk me out of this – but it’s not like I’m running out of good books any time soon.  Especially since Tam Lin, with all of its references,  is reminding me that I ought to tackle the occasional classic.

August 2022

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