When we last spoke, I had only the most virtuous of intentions. I was going to go home, make some dinner, and grade 'til I fell asleep.
But when I left the computer lab, I still had about ten minutes before my bus was due, so I stopped in the campus bookstore. Yes, I realize that was a bad idea, but I didn't expect them to have anything I liked. What I remember of their sf section was pretty paltry.
But they had a copy of Pamela Dean's new novel, _Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary_.
I was lost.
She hasn't written a novel in at least five years. Her last one, _Tam Lin_, is one of my favorite books, one of the ones I re-read periodically. The new one seemed to have similar elements; a retelling of a ballad, an urban fantasy about bright kids who quote Shakespeare fairly often. I bought it, thinking that it was at least possible that I'd only read it on the way home. But no. Oh no.
I did pause in my reading long enough to return David's phone call. I talked to him while I chopped the onions and garlic for my dinner, but once those were done, I said goodbye, picked up my book and started stirring. I didn't put the book down again until Roshani called, at almost 9. (I had planned to go to bed at 9, so as to get up at 5 to grade). I did put it down then; my eyes were tired.
I ended up talking to her, Kevin, my mother and Jed -- for some reason they all called me in the space of 20 minutes. Jed and I ended up going off on this long discussion about competition and cooperation and games and teaching and grades, which in some ways was relevant to my grading and was certainly enjoyable, but didn't actually get any grading done. And it was an intense enough discussion that I was pretty hyped up for a while after I got off the phone. I called Kevin back and talked to him for a bit, and finally went to sleep after eleven.
Today I read the book when I woke up. I read it on the way to the bus stop, and on the bus. I read it in between classes. I even read it while they were doing in-class writings. I finished it just before lunch, and it was delightful, and compulsive. That compulsion actually ties in interestingly to the book, but if I describe why I'll spoil things about the book, and some of you will hopefully read it. It's good. Read _Tam Lin_ first.
Now I'm going to go do some grading. Really. No more bookstores for me. (Probably no sleep Sunday night either as I finish the grading, but it was worth it, dammit.)