Well, I survived my first Black Friday. More importantly, we managed to get up to North Carolina for a post-Thanksgiving family visit. It was beautiful. Here are a few bookish highlights/musings from our weekend.
1) While in NC I visited my former local indie bookstore and chatted with the bookseller. Was pleased to hear that their business has picked up a lot with the holidays. I hope this good news is voiced by your booksellers too. Do let us know. Also I bought this book (by one of North Carolina’s more famous authors) and have high hopes for it. If it’s any good, I think my mother would love to find it in her Christmas stocking.
2) Luke and I have been working our way through The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I had heard so many good things about the book and the description sounded good: a more adult Harry Potter or Narnia, but with darker themes. Alas, 300 pages into it (300 to go), I find it all a bit teen-angsty. Plus, the protagonist still doesn’t have a mission. However, there are some interesting ideas: magician students turning into geese and flying south to Antarctica, tattoos with demons lodged inside who jump out and defend their “keeper” in times of need, and the theory that one character provides that magicians (and, by extension, people who seek out magic) are all basically unhappy. It’s intriguing. But we’re tired of Grossman trying to sound edgy and young. The teenagers are constantly getting drunk off of sherry and champagne (really?) and calling one another by the first letter of their names: “What’s happening, Q?” We’re going to tough it out and see if any of the loose plot ends tie themselves up. But we are looking forward to getting on to the next read. And in the meantime, we’re enjoying dipping into PG Wodehouse when we need a break and a laugh.
3) We spent a few relaxed afternoons this weekend sacked out on the couch, sipping green tea and listening to Sting’s Winter album . The sounds in that album are so mysterious and enchanting. It perfectly sets the mood for winter. Now I’m really anxious to pick up some more wintery-sounding albums, as opposed to purely Christmasy ones. I’m going to stop by Decatur CD this week and see what they have. It’s exciting to be preparing for Christmas. Can you recommend any good Christmas/Winter CDs?