07 November 2011

Housekeeping, and Returning Home

It was good to be on the road (mostly in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina); now it's even better to be back home. For some reason, however, it's taking me a while to get used to the time change (daylight saving time, elsewhere known as 'summer time', just ended in most of the United States; the November transition is supposed to be easier than the one in March)--and to communicating with everyone again.

I tweeted occasionally from Myrtle Beach, and wrote a few urgent emails, but otherwise focussed more on relaxing than on anything else. I believe I admitted on Twitter that my addiction to the new ABC-TV series Revenge had grown so intense that I started rereading The Count of Monte Cristo as a sort of readerly methadone. Dumas's best books are great to come home to, by the way, and this is surely one of his greatest. By the way, I'm just starting to look for the right methadone for my Once Upon a Time 'issues'.

What seemed to me like the biggest 'event' of last week in the world of (US) ebooks, an event that I would have blogged about last Friday if I'd been at home, was Amazon.com's introduction of its 'lending library', which offers free access to several thousands of ebooks for Amazon Prime customers who own Kindles. This is limited to a single free checkout per owner per month, and your browsing for books to check out begins on your Kindle, in the Kindle Store. For more information, click here.

The main problem I'm aware of as I return to blogging, is that topics are 'clumping': they're occurring to me in clusters that make them less manageable than usual, especially considering my resolution to limit individual posts to a maximum of 500 words.

For example, I've left a great deal unsaid about recommended reading for the Dickens centenary (even after previous posts here, here and here), all of which unsaid material clumps together in a supertopic that you might call 'Contrarian Responses to Dickens 2012'. But the first of those 'contrarian' recommendations--that you read, if you haven't already, Peter Carey's Jack Maggs (1997)--seems also to be part of a second supertopic, for which my best title so far is 'A Certain Kind of Novel' (referring to a kind that I encountered in an accidental cluster in the 1990s and that included, most memorably, both Jack Maggs and Barbara Vine's [i.e., Ruth Rendell's] The Chimney Sweeeper's Boy).

Please bear with me, though, and keep coming back. I promise to do my best to 'get it all down'... even if it takes a few attempts.

Barring some unforeseeable cyberevent (that stops the presses, so to speak), I'll pick up on Wednesday with Jack Maggs--and, although I won't be indiscreet about the plot per se, I'll be quite frank about the kind of novel as which I read it. If it's been out there for 14 years without your reading it, and it's as good as I think it is, then perhaps a little indiscretion about its subgenre is not too high a price to pay.

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