This will be a random post, I’m sure. I think my brain has decided that logic is for the birds and therefore has declared a moratorium on any kind of fluid writing. I apologize in advance.
First up: Running. I bought a knee brace but I don’t think I’ll be able to use it. My knee has gotten used to not having a PCL and isn’t quite ready to leave its crazy moving-all-over-the-place ways. It actually hurts with the brace on, whereas before I didn’t notice anything untoward. So knee-brace-free it shall be. However, I have discovered that the knee is the least of my problems. Breathing is kind of an issue as well. Although, really, perhaps breathing is overrated. I have never been this out-of-shape before, and I’m not enjoying it one little bit. But the only way to go is up, right? Baby steps…
Second: I have discovered two books that I just have to have. No really! They twisted my arm, bullied me, you name it. I tried to resist, but found that I couldn’t hold out. The first book that captivated me is The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective. Mr. Whicher was the detective investigating the Road Hill murder in 1860, in which a young child’s body was found stuffed in a well. Whicher suspected the killer lurked amidst the family members (and he was later proved correct). The murder horrified England, and it also inspired a wave of “detective fever” as Wilkie Collins describes it. Indeed, this case–and Mr. Whicher in particular–is seen as the inspiration for many sensation fiction novels (such as Collins’s The Moonstone and Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret). Last week I read Collins’s lesser-known anti-vivisection novel, Heart and Science, and at this point in the semester my brain is craving more mysteries/sensation fiction. This looks like the perfect book to dive into once my final paper is turned in.
The second book I’m interested in is Pearl S. Buck’s Peony. I am ashamed to admit that I have never read The Good Earth, but Peony is one that I can’t pass up (I discovered it through Nextbook, which has a review essay by Jennifer Cody Epstein here). Ezra ben Israel is the son of a Jew and a Chinese Concubine. He is married to a Jewish woman, and their son, David, has been raised as an observant Jewish youth who is, nevertheless, firmly rooted in Chinese culture. I cannot wait to get this in my hands!
Finally: I joined a couple of academic associations this weekend. How nerdy is it that I practically jumped up and down when I realized that one membership would allow me to claim a discount at Oxford UP? Oy.