Yes, yes I’ve been neglecting the blog. So sue me. Or cut my blog pay in half. Does that feel better? Besides you should really use this blog the same way I do — as a handy set of links to the more responsible bloggers in the blogroll.
That said, I have been reading — quite a bit. Not as much as I hoped over the Thanksgiving break, but something. I read “The Last Queen,” a historical novel about Juana of Spain, sometimes referred to as Juana the Mad, known to us devotees of Tudor Trash as the older sister of Katharine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. It wasn’t great art but it was a good read and provided a plausible explanation for why she never really inherited the throne she should have inherited.
But the best reading I’ve done recently has all been set in the 19th century — The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue, another work of historical fiction using real people as characters. The novel centers on a scandalous divorce and it pulls off a nice trick — multiple perspectives, all of them plausibly providing the individual characters’ motives and feelings.
The other thing I’ve been doing is Christmas shopping and this year I’m trying to do as much as possible at my local independent bookstore, Voltaire Books. I’m sure Amazon will get some traffic in my family — those wishlists are awfully handy for faraway relatives — but these days anything we can do to keep the remaining indies with us is well worth it.