So after moaning on and on about how I can't find any decent books to read, I was recently ushering and found myself with lots of time on my hands and thus finished three pretty awesome books in short order. They are, chronologically:
1) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro -- if you've read the reviews and know what it's "about," you'll miss some of the suspense, but the good news is that it's as expertly crafted as mystery, and you'll still be turning the pages frantically trying to figure out "why" and "how" even if you know the "what." Also, I think it's actually not about what it's apparently about anyway. I think it's about something much sadder.
2) The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Dandicat -- a short story from this was excerpted in the New Yorker a few years ago. The weird thing for me was how little, in many ways, it actually felt like fiction, and how much it just felt like "Yup." Not at all the book I thought it was going to be after the first chapter, but good and memorable and, I think, much better than the book I thought it was going to turn into.
3) Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson -- OMG. I know, right, how, when you read Shakespeare, then you have this tendency to say to people "Wow, like Hamlet is pretty good, eh?" and everyone looks at you like "Uh huh. That's why there's been incessant hype about it for 4 centuries." Well, this may not be Hamlet, but it is like really famously good. And deservedly so. Man. Unsentimental coming of age is hard. Unsentimental yet captivating mentally ill people are hard. Difficult beauty of a landscape I've never experienced is hard. And yet, it's just so good. And really is, in some very fundamental ways about housekeeping. Both housekeeping and house keeping, what they mean and what they accomplish and what they inhibit. Anyway, just read it. Preferably, as I did, with a wonder-dog curled up on your lap.
In completely unrelated news, we are now randomly blessed with extra cable channels for a probably brief period. This means that I can spend every possible moment watching My Super Sweet Sixteen and call it research for a play. Transitioning back into the "real world" upon graduation will be pretty damn difficult at this rate.