Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We now return you to your regularly scheduled life

Train Wreck Loco 201
Image from Cornell University Library's Flickr collection. I love this picture.
I was talking on the phone to my dad a few days ago, and he said: "So how's work going? I know you must be busy - you haven't updated your blog in eleven days!"

I don't even know if I've done laundry in eleven days. Have I? I must have, or the situation would be even more dire than it already is. (Here I pause in the writing, reminded that the laundry needs changed.)

Anyway, maternity leave is over, and last week was my first week back at work. (That is less than eleven days. I know. Shit happened.) It was a little bit of culture shock, but not in the way you might think. The work, that's nothing; going back to a library job is like - well, dude, like going to a library. Exactly like, but better.

The coffee is another story.

I spent six months getting my coffee for (approximately) free, out of my own coffeepot, my own kitchen. Sometimes, if I timed the breakfast attempt for just the right moment when the baby went into his morning milk coma, I got a big plate of scrambled eggs and toast alongside it. But this week, I pick up my coffee and a cookie from campus dining, and it's, like, half the price of a book. Two days of that, and O NOEZ, I COULD HAVE BOUGHT A BOOK WITH THAT MONEY!

I'm trying to console myself with the thought that I can't read a new book every two days anymore, anyway. I'm not sure that's actually helping. BUT - I work in a library, which is full of free books. And that does help.

So here's what's going on around here, bookwise. (Let me e'splain. ... no, there is too much. Let me sum up.)

  • I saw the movie for The Hunger Games, which is one of the books I'm filing under "science fiction for girls". The movie was a pretty faithful adaptation. I failed to be properly creeped out by President Snow, though. He looks too much like my dad to be scary. Plus, smell-o-vision has not yet been invented. I was creeped out by the Careers. Those kids sounded just like the cool kids at high school, just having a good time.
  • I'm picking away at writing a long post about Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate novels, a five-book series that starts with Soulless. The short version is: this series is mind-bogglingly full of win. I love it. Someday, I will tell you why. Honest.
  • I'm still reading through the Hugo nominations, and plan to post what I think about at least the fiction entries.
  • I got a migraine and, while lying down in a dark room with a pillow over my head, tried out the audio on my Kindle with some short story podcasts. I was a little disappointed. It seems like it doesn't keep track of where you left off, if you stop it in the middle of the file? That's kind of a deal-breaker for ever investing in audiobooks. (Although maybe they address this in files they sell you themselves, I don't know.) But I liked that I could turn on a feature to have the Kindle read the menus to me, so I could switch between stories blind.
  • I want John Scalzi's Redshirts. It's coming out soon. I'm pretty sure my library will get it automagically in a few weeks, without me having to interlibrary loan it or anything. If you somehow manage to check it out before me, I'm gonna recall it. Fair warning.
  • I also want N. K. Jemisin's The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun rather badly, but I am even less fond of the trade paperback format than I am of hardback prices. It's like the worst features of hardback and mass market, combined: more expensive than mass market, bigger and heavier and easier to fumble into the bathtub, without the benefit of a really solid cover to steady it. So, library again.
  • I don't know how I got so carried away buying books. I still have about a dozen lying around that I am excited to read, but haven't had time for yet, but OMG ANOTHER BOOK, MUST HAVE. I thought I was going to try to be more reasonable. I'm such a sucker.
  • OMG ANOTHER BOOK. I spied Julianna Baggott's Pure on the New & Noteworthy shelves at work, checked it out, and read it over the course of the week. It was pretty good. It's a funny thing, though - it used to be that when I read a book with a young boy as one of the main characters, I considered him representative of my brothers, maybe sometimes of me. But now, I see in him my sons. It makes the stories a lot more heartbreaking, at the same time as making me more proud of the young hero's accomplishments. It's a little weird.
  • Mira Grant's Blackout is part of the to-be-read pile. I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought that information in this book, clarifying the parts of Deadline that I had questions about, might affect my ranking of Deadline in the Hugo voting. When I wrote that, I thought it might move Deadline up. But now I read a review elsewhere that makes me worried it might move it down. I do not think I am going to like what this book has to say about "Good night, George."
  • I expect that I spent more money on books during this maternity leave than I ever have before, or ever will again, in a comparable amount of time. The baby and I spent a lot of time in the rocking chair and not so much even thinking about dragging our asses out of the house to any library. The internet was our friend, both for purchases and for library ebooks. I kept my digital receipts and library notifications; eventually I mean to have a look at how the reading habits broke down. But it won't be for, y'know, at least another eleven days.

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