Monday, January 28, 2008

Eyre & Eyre, The Perfect Pair

Tonight, I finally feel like I'm starting back en route to joining the ranks of healthy people (although still sniffly & the bug is taking a good parting shot in the form of a nasty earache - hot-compressing right now, believe it or not). But this weekend? Oooooooh, was I a sickly chick. I sort of expected Saturday to be a down day, but Sunday was nice & although I'd written off the Greenwich pool session or paddling, I was hoping to be able to do something low-key, like go to the Aquarium & have a quiet amble on the boardwalk.

Couldn't even manage that, though. Don't know what this was but it just knocked me off my feet for 48 hours straight.

However, I did still manage to have a little bit of fun. Hahaaa, take that, foul bug! Without a tv, the routine went eat soup, read, sleep, read, eat soup, read, sleep. I didn't have any new books around (yes, Stevie, I already finished A Speck on the Sea, thanks, another good one!) but I have plenty I don't mind revisting.

Among those are 3 fairly recent acquisitions. I had stumbled across a Jasper Fforde book in the giveaway bin at work, became instantly addicted to the Thursday Next series & ran out & bought the 1st 2. I can't say everybody would like the series as much as I did but I think anybody with the least bit of bookworm in 'em would - the hero, Thursday Next, is a British detective, except that the Britain she's in, people care about arts, literature & drama to the point of rioting...and as can be the case when people care strongly about things, there's many a skulduggerous plot afoot centering around those things - and ferreting out such skulduggery is the type of detective work Our Heroine does. Thrilling, what? In the first one of the series, a nefarious evildoer is threatening the Great Works of England by...snuffing out characters. Yes, the actual characters in the books, starting with a minor character in Dickens, just to show that he can - and his next move? Mwahahaaaa! You get the idea, right? And Thursday has a pet dodo who loves marshmallows & goes "plock". Yup. OK, either this sounds horrible to you, in which case never mind, sorry, or it sounds like fun, in which case it's worth a try.

It is helpful, but not entirely necessary, to start with the first one in the series, the one I've just been talking about, The Eyre Affair. As the title suggests, Jane Eyre, both the book by Charlotte Bronte and the namesake of the book, are central to the plot. Mr. Rochester too!

Mr. Fforde is of course smart enough to realize that not everyone on the planet who picks up his book is going to have read Jane Eyre, or at least not recently enough to recall all the various plot twists, so he is kind enough to make sure that the reader of The Eyre Affair gets enough of an in-a-nutshell plot outline to not be totally in the dark. I had read Jane Eyre, but far enough in the past that I did appreciate the synopsis, but I also found myself thinking that it would've been even MORE fun if I had reread Jane Eyre RIGHT before I read The Eyre Affair.

So finding myself with an entire weekend during which I was basically glued to the couch anyways, that's exactly what I did. And it WAS more fun!

About as much fun as I possibly could've had feeling the way I did.

Not saying that reading both in one weekend is a perfect plan for everyone (I happen to be an extremely fast reader) but if you happen to like Jane Eyre, and this Fforde fellow sounds like fun, I'd highly suggest digging out your old copy of the former, picking up a copy of the latter (it would be especially cool to do that at an actual independent bookstore, but you know where to find books online if you don't have time), and leaving your next reading slots open for the next ones in the series.

Oh, gosh, and speaking of next reading slots...

One of the things I love about my building is that there are evidently a number of readers living here, and we've got a totally informal building book exchange going. There's a deep windowsill just outside the elevator, and books who are in need of new readers end up there all the time. I've put my share down & picked my share up. It's nice & it's interesting, you never know what's going to turn up there.

The one thing you do know is that at least a couple of books turn up & get taken every week. Good turnover...

But THIS...oh me, oh my, what's a reader to do?

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