Thursday, March 15, 2007

More books

I'm taking a trip next week for work. 4 days in San Diego, then 5 in LA. I love traveling, getting out of the routine, going new places. I like staying in hotels every once in a while, provided they have good bath products and a good bed.

I hate leaving home. I know J will really miss me. I'll miss the cats. I feel an excessive need to plan for every potential wardrobe contingency, but don't want to have to carry any bags.
I'm making many lists in my head.

The other part of it is that I'm naturally quite bashful, but really enjoy good people. I know, for the 5 days in LA in particular, I'm going to have to break away from my instinctive hiding in a corner and participate, meet, interact - otherwise I don't get the full benefit of being there.
I almost feel like I need to make a list for that in my head, too. Maybe it'll just come naturally when I get there and I'll discover my tendency isn't towards bashfulness but just pre-show jitters. Doubtful.

I keep in mind - what would a true kick-butt chic do? hmmm ... wwtkbcd.....

back to books -
Book #4 - Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman - I heard of Gaiman when I sat next to a girl at work who had this kinda creepy, but pretty cool, fascination with the Death character from his Sandman comics. I really got interested when I read the first chapter of Neverwhere online and later when I got the book. His blog just makes some of the "magic" behind the work more apparent - so his stuff is that much cooler. Anyway - this was a fun book that read fast (being stuck in an airport helped carve out some time, too). I liked it a lot. I'm always very excited when a book (especially one I'm liking anyway) deals with the power of language and the power of stories (also song here)to mold, create, and shift realities. My one-day thesis if I ever were to do one. Most excellent.

Book #5 - Lizzie Borden -A Casebook of Family and Crime in the 1890s edited by Joyce G. Williams, J. Eric Smithburn, and M. Jeanne Peterson. A much slower read, of course. As a casebook, it deals almost entirely in first-hand accounts - newspaper articles, letters, legal documents, interviews. Some of it gets a bit dry, but I found it fascinating. I wanted to corral the Fall River police and send a modern-day CSI squad in to cement the evidence once and for all. Not only did a whole "village" come through the house immediately after the bodies were discovered, but all the police tried to take credit for finding evidence - making the chain of possession impossible to really figure out - and the family and various hangers-on remained in the house a few weeks between the murders and Lizzie's arrest. Hmm wonder why they never came up with the dress??? No sealed crime scene there. Many other nuances that made this as compelling as a good 48 Hours Mystery episode - the 1 1/2 hour soliloquy that masqueraded as the judge's instructions to the jury - riddled with bias. (Would any sane person really tell a friend she wanted to get rid of her stepmother and then actually do it 2 days later? Common sense says "no". - to paraphrase) The cheer that went up for Lizzie at the acquital and the closing of doors back in Fall River. Anyway - very interesting if you can stand the Victorian newspaper reporting. (Reading a graphic novel version now - we'll see how that goes)

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