Wednesday, March 20, 2013

a quick post

The latest reading:

Bill Bryson's African Diary, by Bill Bryson. This is a very, very slim travelogue - only about fifty pages long - about Bryson's trip to Africa with the CARE organization. It's more or less an advertisement for that organization, although it does display Bryson's humor and general haplessness. It was fine, but its brevity made it seem somewhat pointless.

Nicolas and Alexandra, by Robert K. Massie. After my ultimately-rewarded struggles with Massie's Catherine the Great, I decided to give his book about the last Tsar a try. It's quite good, with fascinating descriptions of Russian life at the turn of the twentieth century, and I learned a lot. The dragging part - I was prepared for there to be one - came after Nicolas abdicated and the royal family was being held prisoner; that part just went on and on until I found myself muttering, "Shoot them already." But until that point it was thoroughly engrossing and I can recommend it to anyone interested in the topic (although you will have Boney M's "Rasputin" in your head the whole time, if you are like me).

Garnethill, by Denise Mina. This is the first in Mina's trilogy about a young woman in Glasgow investigating appalling crimes and getting herself in a lot of trouble (not to mention a lot of bars). I read the second one first, and I think I liked it better, but this was quite good as well. So, so grim. I look forward to the third.

The latest in my life:

I continue to dogsit a third, small, dog. I keep trying to come up with an Austenian nickname for him (Bingley and Darcy aren't their real names), but Wickham is too mean. He's a very silly yippy dog, but he's also a cuddler, and when your own dogs are large and gangly, a lapdog is a startlingly wonderful thing. Especially in March snowstorms.

Small dog in deep March snowdrifts: boingboingboing*pee*boingboingboingboing. Last night I took him out more times than was strictly necessary because the porpoising filled me with such delight.

I have a mammogram this week. Part of my brain is convinced it will find something the MRI didn't, even though I know it works the other way around. In any case, there will be squashing. Good times!