A few months ago, I received an email from an old friend with whom I had lost contact. I wrote back immediately, and a month later, she wrote a second note. A couple of weeks later, I answered to her belated response with a quick, “I am thinking of you, and don’t want to let too much time elapse, but I can’t write much now. More soon.” That was the Fourth of July. Around August third, I had a breakthrough about the inertia in writing to this woman: I felt like I needed to somehow recap the missing four years for her, get her all caught up, and then we could move forward with our communications. Every time I thought about writing her, I was daunted by the idea of somehow encapsulating all that missing time.
I wrote to my friend immediately, explained what I’d realized, and said, “I hope you’ll forgive me if I just proceed as if no time has passed, and we can fill in the gaps as needed.” In the interest of getting this blog back on track, I’ll say the same to you: much has happened since our last posts in February””some good, some bad, some good-disguised-as-bad. Not having written about them at the time, I don’t feel like going back and recapping them now, but I feel the same inertia about communicating across a gap in time. And I’m giving myself the same out with blogging as I did with my friend: I’m going on as if we didn’t lose any time at all, and will fill in the gaps as needed.
Much has gone on in my book life, too. I’ve reverted to a childhood habit of having several books going at once””an audio book on the iPod, a book left by the bed, a book left at work for lunchtime reading, and e-books on the computer for inconspicuous reading during down times at work. I’m reading fantasy and historical fiction and chicklit and nonfiction memoirs all at once, and somehow tracking it all. I don’t know how long it will last””already, the historical fiction (Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth) has taken over both the bedtime and lunchtime slots””it’s too interesting not to give it every available reading moment. The history of Britain is much in mind these days: after the Follett, I have a biography of Churchill, a history of the Blitz, and Linda Colley’s Britons: the Forging of a Nation in the To Read stack, and I’m considering adding Rutherford’s London or Sarum to the mix. (Or perhaps I just need to get myself on a plane back to London already?)
While I was away, I had a torrid, page-devouring affair with Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, and a light-hearted weekend getaway with the last Harry Potter; I finished Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series, and anxiously await more; I peeked into the seamy underbelly of modern life in Stephanie Plum’s New Jersey and devilish Dexter Morgan’s Miami; and I visited Appalachia, Italy, and 1950’s New York City with Adriana Trigiani. Many of these books deserve their own dedicated entries, few will get them, alack and alas.
Still, you never know what will come up as we fill in the gaps.