Friday, June 15, 2007

My Summer Reading Schedule

Wow, it's a Friday morning, and I'm not running around frantically packing and getting ready to leave the house, at least half an hour later than I planned to leave. This is nice. It's also cool and rainy, so I've been able to turn off the AC and open windows again. I'm feeling very anti-social right now, mostly because of that book idea I want to play with, so I may bow out of the few things on my agenda for the weekend. The insanity starts again next weekend, so I need the break. I don't know if I'll manage to hold onto my no work on Sunday rule. Maybe I'll do research and brainstorming but not actual writing because I probably should stay off the computer.

I've been re-reading the Mordant's Need series by Stephen R. Donaldson. I still really like it. The hero is totally my type of guy -- the one no one else seems to be able to imagine could be a hero. He's adorably bashful (gee, wonder why I like that?) and a little awkward and clumsy, but brave and utterly loyal, and ultimately more competent than anyone gives him credit for (since it turns out that he's not so much incompetent as he is differently competent). The heroine makes me want to throttle her at times because she's so passive. I know that's kind of the point, that she has to go from being utterly passive to making a difference, but she spends way too much time in the first book falling under the thrall of the guy that a blind person living under a rock could tell is the bad guy, and even though she knows she can't trust him, and even though the people she knows she can trust tell her not to trust him, she just can't help herself around him and can't bring herself to believe that he's really bad. I just started reading the second book, and I seem to recall that she improves significantly in it, but I do find myself thinking that the hero could do better. In fact, the one thing about him that I don't like is the fact that the way she acts about the other guy doesn't change his opinion of her (most guys would wash their hands of a woman they keep finding half-naked with their enemy and not really enjoying it, but not resisting either).

I haven't read a big, sweeping traditional fantasy in forever, so it's fun to revisit this one. Once I'm done with this book, it's time for the great Harry Potter re-read to begin. The timing is tricky, with the movie based on book 5 coming out a week and a half before the new book. I don't like seeing a movie too soon after reading a book because then it's too easy to make comparisons, but I really like to re-read books soon after seeing the movie. Unfortunately, the movie comes out during the RWA national conference, and there's no way I'll be able to get to the movie until maybe Sunday. I won't be getting the new book until the Monday after it comes out, since I'll be at a con and if I have it, I won't enjoy either the con or the book because I'll be tempted to hole up in my room instead of mingling, but then if I'm holed up in my room reading, I'll feel guilty and won't enjoy it. It's easier to just increase the anticipation by waiting (and hope no idiot at the con goes around blurting out spoilers). That means I'll have about a week to read books 5 and 6, the ones I probably need to read in most detail as I've read them fewer times than the others. I haven't re-read book 6 at all, and I kind of tore through it in the first reading, so that one needs careful attention.

Yes, I know there are worse dilemmas to have, but it's easy to fixate on the minor ones. And this means that my reading is now planned through the end of July, since I have to mix in a lot of research reading and some writing, along with a lot of events that mean I essentially have a four-day work week available. I guess I won't be going to the bookstore much this summer. Given my usual book purchasing patterns, that might mean the US publishing industry could collapse.

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