Well, yesterday was kind of a bust. LSU played embarrassingly bad (kudos to Wisconsin for playing well and on their upset win), and I didn't get nearly as much done as I'd wanted, outside of going to Costco and culling the book collection down for donations. It's painful to realize you spent money on books you are never going to read, but it had to be done and the reality is there is I only have so much space, and there are only so many books I can keep. I also need to place a moratorium on buying books for the rest of the year, unless something I really want drops into my lap--like at the used bookseller tables at Bouchercon next week.
I am on condom duty today from 3-6 as well. I am going to the grocery store this morning, and then I am going to try to spend as much time as I can today cleaning and organizing. Tomorrow is my writing/editing day of the weekend, so I need to get as much as I possibly can done today, around the grocery store and the Condom Patrol. I had thought about actually taking the streetcar down there and walking home, but the weather looks iffy; it may rain, and I'd really rather not walk home in the rain. On the other hand, it might be nice. I guess we'll see.
I finished reading Margaret Millar's Fire Will Freeze and Charlotte Armstrong's The Girl with a Secret Friday night. The Millar is not one of her better efforts, even though it is really clever; I think she failed to engage the reader by telling a really short tale from too many different point of view characters. Had it been narrowed down to simply Isobel Seton, who was the primary point of view character, it would have worked better and gained a stronger sense of the Gothic chill I think she was going for. There were also too many characters; it was difficult to keep track of who was who for the longest time. Armstrong's book was more enjoyable; but very much a product of its time. I am frequently amazed when reading these older books how young the female main characters can turn out to be, and how young they get married. Alice, the heroine of The Girl with a Secret, is only nineteen; she turns twenty during the three or four days the book takes place over, and is already married. She has to keep a terrible secret about her husband from his family--a secret that could get him killed--and the maid finds out the secret, so is she place in the position of being blackmailed by the maid and having to behave strangely in front of her husband's pretentious, snobbish family. I wouldn't say this is Armstrong's best novel, either--it's good, enjoyable, and incredibly short--but not on the same level as some of her best. She does manage to capture that desperation on the part of her heroine very well, and build suspense well, and that is also evident in this one.
I also got the first volume of the collected works of Margaret Millar in the mail this week:
While I am thrilled that Millar is finally getting her due, I also wish that her peers--Charlotte Armstrong and Dorothy B. Hughes--were getting the same kind of treatment.
I also started reading a really good ghost story last night--Slade House by David Mitchell--which I am looking forward to reading.
All right, back to the spice mines.
I gave up on FIRE WILL FREEZE, I'm afraid. It was well-written, but too confusing (too many viewpoints) I couldn't figure out not only what was actually going on but who was supposed to sympathize with.
Maybe will try a different book by her (I think I have something else on my TBR stack, although buried low after my not-so-great experience with FWF).