It's an odd combination of reactions, having family come just as I get back from Omaha. My brain is trying to do the "new semester" thing: I feel like running around and checking in on all of you. I loved that new semester feeling. Lots of fresh books, stories to tell from the holidays. What did you get for Christmas? What did you eat? Where did you go? Was it good? If you don't celebrate Christmas, did you successfully keep other people's holidays from ruining your weekend, or was it a struggle the whole way?
I read Charlie Stross's Iron Sunrise, the January F&SF, and Neal Stephenson's The Confusion while I was gone. I've made snide comments about how brave it is to name the middle volume of an epic of that size and topic "the confusion," but I didn't really have a hard time keeping track of who was who and what was what. (Iowa provides surprisingly little in the way of distractions.) I did occasionally have some trouble remembering why the hell I was supposed to care. I believe Clute's review said something like "Yes, Neal Stephenson wrote the Baroque Cycle, but did he read it?" I would concur with that assessment. I'll still read The System of the World, but not this week.
Since getting home, I've read dlandon's copy of Joan Aiken's The Whispering Mountain, which gave me the sense that I know how Joan Aiken children's books go now. Are there some that go differently? Because it was fine, but I know I haven't read it, and I felt like I had. Now I'm reading joelrosenberg's The Fire Duke, or is that joel_rosenberg's? Hard to keep track of who does the writing of what when the same person has more than one lj. Anyway, would you people like to see more book review/book notes here, or only when I feel truly moved, or what?