I have the first really bad cold, complete with ear infection, that I’ve had in almost two years. Other than the throat and ear pain, the coughing, and the congestion, I can tell it’s bad because I’ve stayed home from work for two days, and rather than being my usual Energizer bunny self I have little energy for anything other than light reading …
… which means I am about 40 percent through Neal Stephenson’s new book Reamde, but don’t have the cognitive energy to use this time to dig in! Too bad, because so far I am enjoying it a lot, but in a different way from either Anathem or the Baroque Cycle trilogy. Those two works were intellectually and historically meatier, but Reamde shares with them Stephenson’s telltale characteristic weaving of multiple stories into a witty, wry, and intentionally slightly opaque narrative. It’s definitely primarily a technology thriller along the lines of Zodiac and Snow Crash, and so far I’m enjoying it as a well-told set of interwoven stories with compelling character development.
So this afternoon instead I will couple my Cepacol lozenges and hot tea with Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell; isn’t Victorian fiction a more suitable companion in the sickroom anyway?