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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

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On reading, restaurants, & road work
My new job is treating me well, but, for these first few weeks, that hasn't always been the case with my commute. Tuesday, yesterday, and today are the first three days I've managed to make my preferred start-time, which are minor victories. I've missed working in an academic museum environment, although the commute is still substantially long enough on each end of the day that, by the time I get home in the evening, I'm too tired to write and ready to crash by 11pm. I expect this will change somewhat when the weather warms up again; I react quite badly to both ends of the spectrum, extreme cold and extreme heat, and the fallout is usually that my energy levels and my capacity for social interaction outside the context of my work-day plummet. If I have been giving distant, tetchy answers to text messages and similar, please know that it's entirely down to the fact that my professional life (at the museum, at the magazine, etc.) is demanding a lot more of me than usual under the pressure-cooker circumstances created by the weather.

I'm reading more than I've had the time to do in ages. I spent January on the most recent Vampire Chronicles, believe it or not; I first read Interview With the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned when I was in 6th or 7th grade. My parents' first reaction on catching me with one of these was wary disapproval; by several years later and several more books from said series under my proverbial belt, my mother started outright buying them for me as birthday and holiday gifts each time a new one came out. I was a more casual reader after The Tale of the Body Thief, which I didn't care for as much as the core opening trilogy; the middle stretch was boring, and Merrick made me mad enough to walk away for a while. I read Blood and Gold, although only in the sense that I reserved it for bored-stuck-in-airport type reading and never actually finished it (oops). After that, I just didn't think about the series for years. I recently found out by way of idle conversation that there were three I hadn't read; on finding a blurb re: Prince Lestat, I had something of a giggle-fit and wondered if I ought to read Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, and PL as an exercise in MST3K-ing whatever I may find in them. To my surprise, Blackwood Farm was a ghost story with some merit (as many of you know, I love ghost stories), although Lestat's part in it made me roll my eyes as hard as I've always done when he's around (he felt weirdly out of character even for all that he's mercurial to begin with). It took an incredible amount of willpower just to get through BC; I've never read any of the Mayfair Witches content, and that bleeding heavily into the vampires' storyline did nothing to interest me in it. PL pleased me more than I thought it would, but only in the sense that the huge ensemble cast aspect was back (as well as a storytelling style reminiscent of QotD; it's by and far the strongest novel in the series, and I swear I'm happier just pretending this was a trilogy with a perfect ending note). Louis got the last word, and, while that didn't win me over wholesale, it certainly undid some of the unnecessary damage he'd sustained several novels back. Many of you also know I have intense issues with character-torture that does nothing to further plot or teach me anything new about, well, the characters involved. Hurt the ones I hold dear without sound narrative cause to do so, and I will have it in for you until such time as you fix what went wrong. And if you don't fix it, if I'm mad enough, sometimes I'll even fix it myself.

February's reading consists of Hild, by Nicola Griffith. So far, I'm loving it, but it's something of a slow, dense path. I'll reserve commentary and judgment for when I'm finished.

I decided on Tuesday that the way to combat this weather is to start trying all of the extremely nice restaurants in Boston that I've been putting off for months. On Mardi Gras evening, I dined alone at Craigie On Main, and the food was to die for (please see my tweets on the subject). Tonight, I have a reservation at Giulia, and I'm not going alone.

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I also did not much care for Tale of the Body Thief. The first three books are very enjoyable, though, my personal favorite being Queen of the Damned.

The Queen of the Damned is not only my favorite book in this series, but also quite possibly one of my favorite books of all time. I like it for reasons similar to why I like American Gods, actually; both cover a huge amount of ground and have sections that feel like short stories, quiet little glimpses that don't bear directly on the main plot, but which nonetheless have profound impact on / resonance with the greater whole.

Slow and dense describes my reading experience of Hild pretty well. But oh, I loved that book. Will be interested to hear what you think of it.

I get the impression that a sequel is on the way, if I'm not mistaken? Saw the author say that somewhere.

Edited at 2015-02-19 09:16 pm (UTC)

Yes, so I've heard! Really looking forward to it.

Hoping the weather will level off soon enough to give you back some needed energy for just plain living! So sorry for everyone stuck in that killer winter weather. Be warm, be safe. Thrilled you have a museum job again.

> Many of you also know I have intense issues with character-torture that does nothing to further plot or teach me anything new about, well, the characters involved. Hurt the ones I hold dear without sound narrative cause to do so, and I will have it in for you until such time as you fix what went wrong. And if you don't fix it, if I'm mad enough, sometimes I'll even fix it myself.<

Never been a major reader of vampire books (no prejudice against them, just a spotty interest) but gratuitous torture porn gets me exactly where you also describe and I too have done "fix-its" as well as walking severely away from said author often for the duration.

The only vampire books I've loved and will recommend to people are the first three Vampire Chronicles (as named above), plus Let the Right One In (the Swedish novel on which the excellent Swedish film adaptation is based; I didn't care for the US remake of the Swedish film, bleh) and Sunshine by Robin McKinley (and I suppose maybe I maintain a soft spot for I Am Legend, the novel). Vampire stories, in order to really grab me, have to be vampire stories with a difference.

Belated congratulations on your new position!!!!

Thank you <3 How are you doing, by the by? Keeping warm, I hope.

I just put up a super whiny lj post, but I am all right. Tired! We've been on duty a lot, and the snow is just awful. However, we are WARM! Yay!

PS <3<3<3

Edited at 2015-02-20 04:50 am (UTC)

Your whining is entirely called for, and your pun is MASTERFUL <3

Ty! I couldn't resist.

Have you seen mb(ecket)ta? I'm howling.

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Hild was sent to me last month by ida_pea, and she is one person in this world whose book recs have never done me wrong. It's doing well by 7th century Britain so far!

Edited at 2015-02-20 04:15 am (UTC)

Where are you working now? I've fallen so off the wagon about your life sob. Did you guys find your own place in Boston?

I spent two years on the MBA Registrar Services team at Harvard Business School, and three weeks ago I started at the Davis [Art] Museum at Wellesley College (which, as you know, is the institution at which I earned my BA). James and I did find a place in central Boston in late 2013, although it's located on a steep-incline brick sidewalk that's proving...not safe at all in these winters. We may move in the autumn. I don't know.

My parents' first reaction on catching me with one of these was wary disapproval

What a difference half a generation will make - I read Interview when my dad bought it for me at the airport while seeing me off for some long plane trip somewhere *g*

Am not sure if I ever even read the sequel (none of the others were out yet) - pretty sure I never got to QotD. I think that first one, thick enough as it was, filled me up on vampires. Also left me nothing but contempt for all the followers - Anne Rice already did that! Find your own shtick! *g*

The paths of fanfic - 50 Shades was originally an AU fanfic of a vampire novel; now it is a movie - do you suppose there will be fanfic for it? I guess there will be. Will one of them be an AU where he is a vampire? And sparkles? Or maybe he could be an ethical one with SSC practices. Wonder if they'll find a fanfic they like well enough to make into a movie?

Hild has been on my list to read since I read a review of it a year or so ago. Should probably get to that... :-)

ETA: Are they keeping you busy at the museum? My guess is not too many visitors either, with all that snow O.O But I think your job is less visitor-related and likely has on-going stuff to do regardless, yes? Fundraising never ends, managing your board, creating new displays, borrowing and loaning items, obtaining new collections (or figuring out how to finance that), goes on and on...

Edited at 2015-02-20 04:53 pm (UTC)

Anne Rice brought something fresh to the genre with that opening trilogy, I feel; I also love Let the Right One In (original Swedish novel and original Swedish film adaptation both), Robin McKinley's Sunshine, and maybe I Am Legend (the novel, not the film adaptation). I like vampire stories, but only when they've got a fresh edge. It's a rare occurrence.

Edited at 2015-02-20 06:48 pm (UTC)

I was wondering how the new job was going--glad to hear it's going well. I can't imagine how awful your commute must be this winter. The only good part is that it will make the commute seem so easy the rest of the year. And yeah, I'm totally a spring/autumn lover and could dispense with the other parts. I loved Hild. It does speed up as you go along. Enjoy the good eats and stay warm and safe.

This is just another reason why I miss Britain so much: the all-around temperate weather, lack of snowstorms like this, etc. I don't even mind the early darkness during autumn and winter; it doesn't depress me. Snow and extreme cold depress me :-/

Edited at 2015-02-20 06:45 pm (UTC)

Can't really comment on any of the books since I've never read any of Anne Rice's works. I do hope that the commuting to work continues to remain easier than it has been!

Wow, I haven't commented here in a while. I feel a bit out of the loop not knowing that you're back working in a museum but congratulations. :)

I feel like I've been out of the LJ loop just generally speaking for a long time. I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging here. Happy New Year, and here's to both of us being around more, hopefully! :)

Hmmm, I did just recall a few vampire books I have read that I enjoyed. 'Salems Lot by Stephen King, Let The Right One In and... Carmilla, one of the earliest vampire works out there. By Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.

I've been in and out of the LJ loop, sometimes posting frequently, other times not! So let's celebrate the Chinese New Year and make a habit of posting and commenting more! :)

I have read neither Salem's Lot, nor Carmilla, but I need to rectify this! I've heard great things about both books over time :)

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