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What to do?

August 9, 2011

I’m working on my review for Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. I can tell you right away that it is going to come out with a recommendation, but if you want the full joy of the review, expect it at the end of this week. It is a little prolonged in development, but that is largely because I am getting through Midnight’s Children quite slowly.

There are a couple factors in this.

First of all, I also simultaneously started another book. Non-fiction. Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. It is fascinating – and a much easier read (how often can you make this comparison between fiction and nonfiction). I tend not to be able to manage two books at once very well, but it is going well so far. I suppose it helps that I am thoroughly enjoying both books.

Secondly, I am preparing to move two and a half provinces away – from my heartland of the Canadian prairie, a city  built on a bribe, to the West Coast, to a city built on a mountain. Burnaby and Simon Fraser University, and my graduate studies in Canadian History, await me. In three weeks from today I will be in a car, traversing the mountains and thinking of everything I am leaving behind and everything I am arriving to in my life. These preparations also may be permanent – so I have to take them somewhat seriously (and so far I have been doing this poorly).

Thirdly, I spent this weekend at the Regina Folk Festival, taking the opportunity to enjoy some live music in my beautiful city’s beautiful downtown. How can I be expected to read in that kind of chaos. I did try, but even I knew that I would not succeed.

Regarding my impressions of Midnight’s Children so far – I’m thoroughly, thoroughly enjoying it. Every now and then I read a sentence and am so impressed. Constantly I read a paragraph and am flown into another world that I can’t even begin to understand until well after the paragraph is over. In some books this would be maddening (indeed, it is even so with this book occasionally), but I have learned to trust Salman Rushdie and his imagination.

I’m looking forward to finishing this book, even if it likely won’t be until next week. After that I need to finish the Regeneration trilogy. Between now and then, trust me, there will be many things worth sharing. I’ve many ideas.

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