I'm having an unusual, disorienting day here in Mary's Library. For one thing I've been smelling corned beef all morning. My sister is at the moment cooking 50 lbs of it for a church supper, but she's doing that in Massachusetts, so I'm probably not getting a whiff of that. It's my imagination.
Which may be out of kilter as my blood pressure when I measured it this morning was 93/61. I have to stand up very, very slowly. Nobody ever accused me of hypertension.
I'm waiting for a phone call from my sister to report on her beloved Golden Retriever, Bailey, who is having surgery this afternoon to remove some sort of obstruction in her abdomen. She probably swallowed something that got stuck. Bailey is a young dog, two years old, I think, and very healthy, but the situation is worrysome and I'm worrying for Sandy because she is too busy cutting up cabbage and peeling potatoes to go with the corned beef to have time to fret much.
And my reading is all over the place today which, as I've been moving back and forth from one book to another, is disorienting. I'm still reading Dante's Paradise, which is disorienting enough all on its own. The rest of the reading group is on about Canto 30, but I'm still struggling with St Thomas Aquinas back in Canto 13, I think. Better hustle. I'm also reading Exodus, which has some great stories but sometimes even Moses nods.
But this morning I read a review on Goodreads of Charlotte Bronte's Shirley, and realizing I have never read it got it off the shelf and started it. Did you realize it takes place in about 1811 and at least at the beginning is about the Luddites? My copy of the book says it's a roman a clef and gives a list of the characters and the real people upon whom they are based. It's a good thing the dead can't sue because none of these people so far is anybody you'd want to take bring home to Mom. I'm expecting great things of this novel as the review by SarahC was five-star and enticing.
I'm in the middle of a book about health care insurance in the US by David Goldhill called Catastrophic Care, and I'd really rather be reading that than anything else on my plate. He asks a lot of provocative questions, like why, when the cost of all other technology has gone down dramatically in the last few decades, does the cost of medical technology continue to go up? Why does Medicare brag about its low administrative costs when they estimate a third (yes, 30%) of their spending is waste, fraud, and abuse? Why are there nearly twice as many surgeries and other procedures in the hospitals of the Miami area than in the Columbus, Ohio, area?
But I have to ignore that because I need to finish Eleven Pipers Piping, the second Christmas mystery, which is due back to the library on Monday. Despite the titles and the series name, the books are not about the holiday but about the Reverend Tom Christmas, rector of two little parishes in rural England in the years immediately after World War II.
And then there's Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? That's what she always said when the doorbell or the phone rang. The book is filled with Dorothy Parker quips but basically it's horribly depressing. So I'm having a love/hate relationship with this biography right now.
I won't even mention Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, Dracula, and Frankenstein. Or Sebastian Faulk's Engleby. Or Peter Ackroyd's Foundation (a history of England.) Or the most recent New Yorker. Or Sarah Hodgson Burnett's Through One Administration, which is highly recommended by Random Jottings, who, by the way, is gadding about Tasmania right now, where I'm told it's about 9:30 tomorrow morning. I have enough trouble getting my mind around daylight savings time. This glimpse into the future is too much.
I'm probably forgetting something, but this is enough to give you an idea of the bibliographic chaos I'm living through right now. I think a Cadbury Creme Easter Egg and a cup of tea would help, don't you?