Book notes 6-6-12

I’ve just put about 25 books on hold, trying to whittle down my TBR list either by reading the books or trying them and deciding against them. Of course, this is in addition to the 50 odd that I already have checked out, plus the five that I bought at the last library booksale and want to read before I decide whether I’m keeping them or not. Working in two library systems is great, because I get two accounts. It’s also terrible, because I get two accounts. If I REALLY WANTED TO, I could get out 150 items.

I was planning to do the 48 hour challenge this weekend, but looking at my work schedule, I don’t think it’s possible. Most weekends have quite a bit of church in them for me–at least an hour Saturday night and then 2-3 hours on Sunday, factoring in the meal afterwards. Add 5-8 hours of work each day and it starts to look like dedicating any significant time to reading just isn’t possible. I had been hoping to work on the Bookshelf of Library Doom but maybe there’s a way to do that which also actually works with my schedule.

(Working! Almost more trouble than it’s worth. Except not.)

I was very sad to see that Ray Bradbury died yesterday. He’s one of the first authors I encountered when I started reading sci-fi and fantasy. I remain especially fond of his short stories–The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, Twice 22. What I remember most is the combination of straightforward and utterly magical that made up both his writing and his prose. As I said about Dandelion Wine: “Bradbury is also a master of prose and nowhere more so than here. Open the book to almost any page and almost any paragraph and you will find a gem waiting for you. There on the first page:

A whole summer ahead to cross off the calendar, day by day. Like the goddess Siva in the travel books, he saw his hands jump everywhere, pluck sour apples, peaches, and midnight plums. He would be clothed in trees and bushes and rivers. he would freeze, gladly, in the hoarfrosted icehouse door. He would bake, happily, with ten thousand chickens, Grandma’s kitchen.

I’m almost finished with Jonathan Stroud’s Heroes of the Valley. My primary impression of it is that it seems to meander a lot. I haven’t decided yet if that’s a good or a bad thing. Hopefully by the time I’m actually done reading it I’ll know.

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