on book releases, colds, and surgery

I was extraordinarily excited for The Luminaries to be released. Eleanor Catton is among my favourite NZ authors around at the moment – I love love loved The Rehearsal (pretty sure that I’ve waxed lyrical about it at some point on here), and the thought of not only a new release from her, but a veritable tome of a new release… well, I can’t quite come up with the words, which is part of the problem.

My head (and general person) is a snuffly, almost-flu-y mess right now, and concentrating on beautiful and expansive prose is unfortunately not really meshing well with this undesired state of being. I got about 150 pages in by Saturday evening, and since then, I’ve been in a sad state of nose-blowing, whimpering and spluttering affairs. Still at work, of course – we’re all plague-ish at the moment, so for any particular one of us to actually go home sick, we’d have to pull out some pretty spectacular malady-related action.

So instead of absorbing the splendor of my fourth (or third, depending on your reckoning – third technical release, but fourth one I’ve read – thanks advance reading copies!) book of ‘the winter of magnificent book releases‘, I have been furthering my YA book ‘research’ with my third John Green book in two/three months (who’s counting?), which are enjoyable without requiring as much in-depth attention as The Luminaries is demanding.

So it sits beside my bed in all of its hardback-beautiful-end-paper-beribboned glory, while I knock back Codral (occasionally with Tramadol, when UC symptoms require it – my, what a combination) and tap at my Kobo screen, unravelling the mysteries of many Katherines and Alabaman boarding schools and teenagers with cancer. My bedside (well, within reaching distance of my bed) bookshelf bears many treasures which I need to get around to reading, as well as a couple of additions which I have read but hadn’t owned until recently (The Forrests, by Emily Perkins (for which I should really write a post about, in terms of the not entirely pleasant feelings I always manage to get from her books lately – not a bad thing, just unsettling) – and The Fall of Light, by Sarah Laing (one of the other three Magnificent Winter Releases (TM) (not actually TM). I have a squillion books around me that I need to read (curse of the bookseller-come-writer-come-English graduate), and yet here I am, on the e-reader, reading books that, whilst enjoyable, aren’t the ones that have been sitting on my to-do list for 5+ years (hint: I still haven’t read any Jane Austen).

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with all this. Maybe it’s still the codeine/paracetamol/tramadol cocktail coursing through some of my various veins.


I think the moral of that story was that, if you aren’t wracked with illness like I am, you should poke your nose into The Luminaries, for I recommend it wholeheartedly, or as much as one can recommend a book one is only 18% of the way through. I can also more thoroughly recommend The Fall Of Light, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Maddaddam, now that I have actually read all of them.

The other thing is that surgery is creeping closer, and I now have two possible dates of These Will Probably Be Your Options But It Is MoH Policy To Not Book Surgery Until All Outstanding Tests Are Completed nature. So after my MRI next Friday, hopefully things can be more properly booked. By which stage it will be less than a month til either of those dates. Yikes.

Hopefully I’ll be sufficiently snuffle-free over the coming weeks to finish the damn book. If I can’t manage it now, I can’t imagine that post-surgery-brain-fog me will be up to the task either.

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Basically, I deal in words.

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