Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Can't put it down

It's my first week of summer, first week of my leave, kind of, (leave doesn't technically start until September) and so I'm alternating between feeling totally decadent and wanting to do nothing that has anything to do with my project, and feeling like I've already blown it and how will I possibly accomplish anything over the next few months if I don't even have the discipline to start rereading what I've written and remember where I left off.

Happily, I got sucked into a book so compelling, so dark, so suspenseful (maybe even scary) that I don't have to vacillate anymore. The choice has been taken from me. All I can do is read this book. I'm sitting at work, where I stopped in to have a quick meeting with my chair and pick up my laptop, which I had to leave overnight last night for some software upgrades, and rather than leaving and running errands, or answering my e-mails, or even reading blogs for a few minutes, I'm back in the book. I would have made it out of here within a reasonable amount of time if restarting the computer hadn't taken so long that I had to pull the book out to occupy myself for a few minutes.

I'm reading Carol Goodman's The Lake of Dead Languages and it borders on derivative of The Secret History, but since it doesn't have any awful bully boys named Bunny in it, (in fact, it barely has any boys in it at all) I think it's much, much, much better. It's set in a private girls' high school in the Adirondacks, a feeder school for Vassar. Of course the tortured protagonist/corrupting influence is a Latin teacher (they always are), who was once a tortured Latin student at the same school. There's goddess worship, implications of lesbianism, suicides (or are they murders?), a haunted landscape dominated by a deep, quiet lake, school secrets and legends and ghosts, a big, dark, isolated mansion, and, of course, lots of classical references. Totally delicious. What is it about declensions that turns normal kids into killers?

Speaking of lakes and mountains, GF and I are packing the cats in the car and heading off for two weeks in the lakes region of New Hampshire, where she is from. That means hiking, running in the woods, swimming, kayaking, playing tennis, reading, playing cards, etc., but no television, cell phone reception (except at the top of mountains), or internet access. Sounds good, right? So I won't be blogging on account of being a) blissed out and b) seriously disconnected.


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