Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Strange Things Are Afoot at the Circle K."

I would say "Ten points to the first person who identifies the movie quote," but that would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Taking candy from a baby. Finding malapropisms in a George W. Bush speech. If you can't do it -- sorry, dudes.

Anyway, the rationale for the quote is that it sums up the situation at my personal Circle K, as I will shortly be moving for the first time in eight years . . . leaving my beautiful little studio in Park Slope to move in with James in Prospect Heights. (Note that I'm sharing this for your information, not your commentary.) Eight years in one apartment is a lifetime in New York City terms, and I've stayed here so long because I've really loved this apartment , in which I've done a great deal of my growing up. But I am also turning 30 this next month, and while this by no means means I am actually grown up -- God forbid -- I feel ready to go on to a new phase of my life. So. Posting here will probably continue to be erratic as I pack up, move out, and settle in.

Indeed, the only thing I have started to pack thus far is -- surprise! -- books. I have six boxes thus far, with probably another four or five to go, and it's forcing all kinds of hard choices about how I see my life and my reading in years to come. Am I ever actually going to read Daniel Deronda? Traveling Mercies? Swann's Way? Will I ever finish The Great Bridge? Little, Big? I never reread the non-Harriet Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries -- do I need to keep all of them around? (I decided "no" on this one, though of course I am keeping all twenty Aubrey-Maturins, as I'm looking forward to a glorious year rereading those. Someday.) What about those books I inherited from my grandmother -- not the family-heirloom ones, just random books I know she liked? Am I obligated to keep them? I was holding on to certain children's and YA novels because I thought my own children might want them to read -- also someday -- but that "someday" is far enough off that I don't think I'll have the shelf space by then, because I just keep finding more novels I love. . . . In the end, it's also no surprise that the first items James and I have bought for our joint apartment are new bookshelves.

Anyway, again. Other notes:

  • I'm enjoying the Democratic convention thus far, though not the political chatter around it -- all we Democrats need to stop second-guessing ourselves and Barack and just start bringing the rain on McCain. (This means you, Maureen Dowd.) I'm really looking forward to Barack's speech tomorrow night.
  • I'm going to Atlanta this weekend for the Literary Festival -- if you read this, do please say hello!
  • Kristin Cashore's Graceling is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME. If you love Tamora Pierce, early Robin McKinley, Kate Constable, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you need to read this book. If you were disappointed in Breaking Dawn because it didn't force hard choices or you wanted Bella to be more of a feminist, you need to read this book. If you love a good romance and great fight scenes, you need to read this book. In general, you need to read this book. Galleys floating around now; out officially in October.
  • The SQUIDs I didn't answer in July all went out yesterday, so if you sent a SQUID anytime since April, you should get a reply this week.
Closing wisdom: Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!


  1. WOW, Bill and Ted! I haven't seen that movie in years! Good luck with the move . . . my mom just moved from So CA, where she lived for 39 yrs, to AZ. Still not sure why she did it, but in the immortal words of Cheryl Crow, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad."

  2. Oooh, I hope to see you at the Decatur Book Fest! Travel safe.

  3. I have been looking forward to Graceling since bookshelves of doom posted a review of it.

    Good luck on the move. I totally sympathize with selecting/keeping books. I live in the country, so I rarely have to make hard choices on which to keep (some go in the attic), but when my aunt and later my grandmother died, I forced myself to only keep the top 5-10 books that reminded me of her, not the 40-50 that I could have inherited but knew I'd never read. I haven't read my 5-10, either, but having them on the shelf makes me happy.

  4. Ah my most excellent friend, that is grounds for some serious celebrating. Congratulations! Party on!

    Kimberly J Smith

  5. Good luck with the move. I am moving tomorrow and it's so exhausting.

    And yes, you will read Daniel Deronda.

  6. I feel your pain sister. J and I just purged some books moving into this place (our bibliophile neighbor with the library I covet took most of them) and suddenly I am confronted with a new book dilemma.

    My father plans to move out of our family home and asked me to go through some boxes next time I'm in town. Four more boxes of books just got dumped in my lap it appears...

    Anyone want to go in on a storage facility??

  7. It's so painful to give up books! My family and I have moved around the country around 5 times, and I haven't given away ANY of my books. I know that's stupid, but I argue my case with the "my children will read" argument.

    Good luck with the move!

  8. Congratulations on your move and the next chapter in your life - sounds like an exciting start!

    I look forward to seeing you at the Decatur Book Festival this weekend! I'll be speaking twice and hanging out at the CBAIS (Children's Book Authors and Illustrators of the South) booth the rest of the time - hope you'll stop by!
    Elizabeth O. Dulemba

  9. At least you're moving from one place to another. We are concluding one year in a rental house while our own is being completed, and that means most of our books are still in the boxes along with lotsa other stuff. And I'm feeling needy about re-reading Lord of the Rings, which I usually do about this time of year, and can't find which box the set is in. The movies are good but just not the same.

  10. I absolutely can't wait to read Graceling. I love a good, dark story of redemption, and frankly, Twilight left me a little cold.

    Thanks for the SQUID update!

    Sarah Frances Hardy

  11. Congratulations on everything that moving means!

    Moving is always work, but it is often exciting. When I moved to Rome I really had to trim down my library., so I know a little of what you are going through. It's almost like leaving friends behind as you move on to new adventures. But, in the months and years ahead, there were be many more new "friends" to accompany you along the way.

  12. Yes, you MUST read Traveling Mercies! I was disappointed in the follow-up, but TM is brilliant, heartfelt and insanely funny. I felt touched by moments of grace as I read it.

    And you MUST keep your favorite children's/YA books for a possible future child. I carted mine around for 20 years in countless apartments/houses before finally marrying and having a daughter. What an incredible joy to find she loves some of them as much as I did (and still do.) Many are out of print now, which makes it even more special.

  13. That's so funny! They'll play that quote once in a while on KNIM out of Maryville but I had no idea where it was from. (I actually called the station because they'd play another quote: "Being on fire's a weird thing. You're like, My God, I'm on fire." It was Richard Pryor.)

    Good luck on the move and the terrible choices you must make regarding books. But if you give away something you ultimately regret, well, there's always E-bay.

  14. Are you going to bring along your metro card butterflies and perch them in the new place?

    Have a great move!

  15. I hate moving, so I don't question your living in the same place for 8 years. Congrats on taking the plunge. Books are the hardest thing to give up.

  16. Joy to you.
    if you have not read the last Aubrey/Maturin, which is barely notes but tells a little story, do so. You will weep for it not being finished, but it is lovely to know where the characters are going.
    And young George Aubrey is so going to grow up and marry Brigid Maturin...

  17. Hey, if you need someone to babysit the Great Bridge for you while you move, it's on my list of books to read. Although, what am I saying? I can't read a book right now.

    I would like to second Cheryl's statement about eight years being a lifetime for a NY apartment, for the non-NYers in the crowd. I will miss the exposed brick covered with MetroCard butterflies.

  18. It's definitely been too long since I've seen that movie! And obviously it should be added to our list for Movie Night, which will totally totally happen. And it will be most excellent. Um, yeah.

  19. I need to do a book purge. I try to cull the shelves when I find myself passing up buying a new book because I think that I don't have room for it. Make space for new stories! New Ideas!
    I can't believe you got rid of "Clouds of Witness" and what about "Nine Tailors"? I know they don't have Harriet but the writing is so beautiful.
    Congrats on the joint apartment!
    Happy end of summer,

  20. Given your probable space limitations in the apartment with James, I can completely understand needing to purge, but here's an idea that may or may not work for you: the books that you love, that have sentimental value like your grandmother's books--could you put them in a small storage unit so that you can have them for that "someday" but don't have to have them cluttering up your now?

    Good luck on the move and organizing! I'm going through a lot of that myself and sympathize. It's both fun and energizing to organize a new place, but so absolutely hard to pare down what you're going to move and what you're going to give up.