You are just moving right along, aren’t you? You have until Wednesday, so I expect to see everything else done by the next time you post! (Just kidding.)
You know how we had been working on Little Mister’s bedtime. He’s pretty much got it down now, I’m happy to say, or else he’s resigned to his lot – that he’s going to have to go to sleep sooner or later. Tonight Charles got him down in twenty minutes, which is much faster than I ever have. He still cries when we leave the room, but he usually gives up quickly and soon goes to sleep.
However, the week or so before this milestone was reached was a little rough for all of us. I consider it an achievement that it took less than one bottle of wine for me to make it through. I also got some good reading time in while listening to the boy cry during each ten minutes between my comforting visits to him. Which means that there is actual progress this month on this:
I believe the three closest books are all new since the last time I updated you on this shelf. I enjoyed each one, and I’m guessing that at least one you probably haven’t read before, so let me tell you a little about each.
Sad Cypress – One of my favorite Agatha Christie mysteries, this is her homage to Dorothy L. Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. Well, maybe homage is the wrong word. Sidelong glance at, maybe? A woman, much misunderstood, is on trial for a poisoning murder she didn’t commit. A young man named Peter Lord has fallen hopelessly in love with her, and is determined to get her exonerated. However, in this version, he can’t do it himself and must enlist the help of Hercule Poirot, of course. Sound familiar? Like Strong Poison, just a little? It’s your standard Christie (which is not a bad thing if that’s what you’re in the mood for), although I think sparking off of one of her colleagues helped her elevate her game a bit, as this is a more coherent, solid story than she sometimes produces.
Life of Pi – I know I’m late to the game on this one. What can I say; when it came out I was reading books from 500 years ago. And I’ll admit – to you, not to anyone else – that I picked it up for the tiger. I’m a big fan of tigers these days. Anyway, it turns out there was more of interest in the story than just the tiger. The extended digressions on zoos and Parisian public pools and religion and food were, for the most part, engaging. (Oh, the plot before I forget: Indian boy survives ridiculous amount of time in a lifeboat after the ship carrying his family and its zoo animals sinks.) The majority of the book was so realistic and detailed that it seemed believable enough to actually be real, until the boat got to the carnivorous island. The reason this novel will stay in my mind, though, is the very interesting question that’s raised at the end. When faced with multiple possible explanations for a particular outcome, and when none of those explanations can be verified, do you choose the better story or the more believable (ie, less transcendent, more mundane) story? I’ll choose the tiger every time, thank you.
The Snow Child – This book was part of a local library reading program, which is how it got on the radar of a friend of mine, who then passed it on to me when she had finished it. And I’m so glad she did, because this is a very good novel. It’s not perfect, so I don’t want to say it’s great, but it’s the first book in quite awhile that has tempted me to stay up until three am to finish it, even though I knew that was a bad idea. The Snow Child seems like the kind of book that would result if Laura Ingalls Wilder lived today and had written an extended fairy tale. In 1920, a childless couple decide to homestead in Alaska, escaping too much family and heartache back on the East Coast. The wilderness has almost broken them when they build a little snow girl who seems to come to life and brings with her hope, life, and healing. I can tell you from experience that the pain the couple experiences in the beginning is very realistic, and the healing they eventually receive is a beautiful thing. So, the story itself is enjoyable, and the descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness make me want to live there – even in the winter, so that’s quite a creative accomplishment. I think you might like this one; once you get finished with the house and can sit down and rest for a bit, consider picking it up.
So, there’s still plenty of room on the shelf, but I’m making progress again, which makes me feel good. Hopefully there will be more time to read this weekend.