Except here I am. It's 12:29 ayem and I am cataloging books. I can't sleep because even with the air conditioner on in our room, it's still too hot to sleep. Also, my mind is racing in mostly unpleasant ways. I've been trying all day to come up with something, anything, to say about Yukio Mishima's novel After the Banquet. I keep mentally approaching ideas and then they slip away. The novel in retrospect seems so unreal to me, it's almost like I haven't read it.
And I'm thinking about my trip to Kingston next weekend, which I am terribly excited about because there will be newborn kittens at my friend Vee's house and also it won't be Toronto, where I saw a dead body on the road today - the second dead body I've seen here, on the road, in the last two weeks. Yes, that's right. I am feeling selfishly grateful that I wasn't the first to see these bodies; the official works were in motion, i.e. cops on the way, when I stumbled into the chaos. I found - and was the first to find - a body that had clearly been dumped when I was in Seoul 10 years ago. That didn't bother me as much because these hometown corpses were lying in such unnatural ways. God, the angle of this guy's head this morning. Gah.
I'm sorry to horrify you, to make you share my queasiness but this is a book blog and I'm extremely awake and something I read this week is making this so much worse in my memory! I picked up my Gogol short stories again and just perused one called Viy; Viy is a horrifying gnome of sorts with eyes that go all the way to the ground, but that's not the problem with this story as he doesn't show up till the end, and besides gnomes? Gnomes aren't scary. No, it's the corpse of the witch in the church and its propensity for getting out of its coffin and roaring and moving its head in unnatural ways while trying to grab a certain philosopher doomed to read from the Bible for three nights in a row while locked in a church with her. I found the story to be terrifying before I saw this guy and his neck this morning. God damn.
I would much rather be discussing the amazing time I had seeing David Mitchell read and talk at the Toronto Reference Library this past Wednesday but there's a photo of us together (er, "squee!," as the kids say) but I can't find the cord to link the camera to the computer to download it, and also I'm all scattered because of the bodies everywhere, dammit. What I'm saying is, I'd liked to be both less disturbed and more organized before I write about Mitchell because I want to do the experience justice including, and maybe especially, the hilarious conversation I overheard, while I was standing in line to get my books signed, about a guy trying to go to the potato museum in New Brunswick.
So, all this is why I am cataloging books in the middle of the night, in the hellish hot heat, and not reading and not writing a book review or a fan-girl post about David Mitchell. So, let's focus on that for a moment, yes? Here are some of the books I'm pricing:
- The Farewell Chronicles: How We Really Respond to Death, Anneli Rufus (why did this have to be the first book I picked up tonight/this morning? Sigh.)
- Open Heart, A.B. Yehoshua (I've been meaning to read this author; thoughts?)
- Slam, Nick Hornby (I hated How to Be Good but loved the film version of About A Boy - and am afraid to read the book in case it ruins the film for me.)
- The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman (love all around)
- Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro (this is annoying because someone asked for this around 4 pm today and I didn't have a copy, and then hubby came home with it and the rest of this pile at 6; this happens much too often. Also, I thought this book was lame; good idea, but while reading it, I found myself wishing constantly that someone more talented had written it, and that I hadn't correctly guessed the shocking truth on the very first page. Double sigh.)
- The Dreamer Awakes, Alice Kane (not sure what this one is about yet but I do know that my husband used to own this exact copy and our bunnies ate it.)
Alright, 20 books cataloged and a blog post written - back to the suffocating apartment for some deliciously suffocating non-sleep!