Posted by: Mish | April 22, 2009

Booking and Musing

This past week I was playing tour guide to a couple friends who enjoyed themselves and may come back to Montreal for the Jazz Festival. Since they live in NYC we don’t get to see each other nearly as much as we’d like. Now that I’ve tended to daily matters I can catch up on a couple memes guilt free.

btt2Yesterday, April 15th, was Tax Day here in the U.S., which means lots of lucky people will get refunds of over-paid taxes. What would you spend an unexpected windfall on? Say … $50? How about $500?

I try to travel and/or catch some music if I can. Back in February I spent a few days in NYC. In brief, I saw friends, art gazed, walked a lot, and attended the release gala for Catherynne M. Valente’s Palimpsest and its soundtrack Quartered by S.J. Tucker. It was a fun-filled artsy adventure, to say the least.

Musing MondaysWhat’s the favourite book you’ve read so far in 2009? What about your least favourite?

I think I’ll be surprised if anything I read the rest of this year will top Palimpsest or Ursula Le Guin’s the Lathe of Heaven. Both were exceptionally phenomenal for their ideas, the imagery, and the writing. At times, they were also horrific in their own way. I highly recommend both of them.

So far this year my least favourite is Margaret Atwood’s Bodily Harm. The story trudged along until about page 100. If it weren’t for that or the jumping back and forth incoherently between current and past events it would probably be better. I know I’m not the only one to say that if one wants to read Atwood, skip this one. The Handmaid’s Tale is far better.



  1. Since you enjoy Catherynne Valente so much, I have a recommendation: The Etched City by K.J. Bishop. Her writing is reminiscent of Valente’s, and they write on similar “New Weird” themes. It’s Bishop’s only novel, and I loved it very much. I’ve reviewed it here.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve jotted it down so I don’t forget.

  3. I did not finish Bodily Harm when I tried it some years ago either, I don’t blame you. I love the Gabriel Roy quote. I hadn’t heard it before. My husband grew up in Montreal by the way and we love it. We’ve been there when the Jazz Festival was on and loved that too. My Musing Mondays post is up.

  4. If I didn’t know Atwood’s writing is better than in that dreadful piece, I’d stop reading her all together.

    Thanks, I believe I found it on one of the bills. It’s a great place to live. I’m looking forward to the Jazz Fest, which starts tomorrow…hopefully with less rain than today.

  5. If you haven’t already read Cat’s Eye, The Edible Woman, Oryx and Crake, The Robber Bride & The Blind Assassin. Also her new work The Year of the Flood is coming in September.

  6. Oryx and Crake is already in the queue, but I’ll keep the others in mind for possible reads. Thanks for the suggestions and stopping by.

  7. Thank you for the recommendations. Will check them out.

    I loved Handmaid’s Tale. Pity that Bodily Harm wasn’t that great. Didn’t have that one, but do have Oryx & Crake and The Blind Assassin waiting in the queue.

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