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A Book Goes Back, A Book Gets Started: August 25, 2008

August 25, 2008

I finished Byron: Life and Legend last night — it was a very good read, worth the time invested. I picked up the Nathaniel Hawthorne biography, but it didn’t grab me. I’m not a fan of Hawthorne to begin with (despite living for years and years in Salem, Massachusetts), and his life failed to grab me. The thing is, I’m not a Byron fan either, so why did that biography interest me?

Curiosity, I suspect. I’ve been mildly curious about Lord Byron for a long time, and this was a good chance to satisfy that curiosity. A lot of what I check out and a lot of what I read is because I’m curious.

The Hawthorne book is going back to the library — I brought it back to Boston today and I’ll walk it over to the library tomorrow.

I started Jo Graham’s Black Ships on the bus tonight. Absolutely fabulous so far. It’s basically the story of the Aeneid from another person’s perspective: Gull, oracle of the Lady of the Dead, daughter of a Trojan woman carried away after the fall of Troy. It reminds me a little bit of Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy — there is the hard, cold hand of divinity touching the narrator.

I went looking for this book because I’d read about it on her agent’s website; I was on her agent’s website because I’d heard of the agency and wanted to know more, that curiosity thing again. A lot of the books I go looking are things I’ve stumbled across like that. That, or they’re things that looked interesting in the library.

It’s always something.

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