I'm going to alter the date to make it look as if this was posted on Sunday, although it's really Monday. I'm sneaky that way.
First things first. In the Oh.My.Gosh. category, this box full of chocolate arrived from Nikki in Italy, Saturday afternoon:
Thank you, Nikki!!!!! Only one item was slightly melty, thanks to the fact that the postman walked the box to our doorstep. That would be the slightly mushed-looking KinderEgg on the left, which let me know with a quick sag that it was in need of a chilling. Hubby helpfully marched the box straight to the fridge. The days of chocolate puddles are coming, but not yet here. Good timing, eh?
I was in a hurry to photograph everything before I lost the sunlight, though, and look what I did: plunked the eggs on the grass upside-down. Ah, well. You get the idea.
For Sunday Indulgence, I read bits of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murikami, Life Class by Pat Barker, and The Last Single Woman in America by Cindy Guidry (which is so offensive that I'm tempted to ditch it). I also managed to squeeze in two short stories:
*Warning* I don't give away the endings in the following summaries, but skip both if you plan to read the stories soon, as they may contain spoilers.
Oddy and Id - from Virtual Unrealities: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester. Set in a far distant future, the story describes the strange life of Odysseus Gaul, who was so named "in honor of Papa's favorite hero, and over Mama's desperate objections." In spite of frequently throwing himself in harm's way, Oddy is spared repeatedly by phenomenal good luck. Encouraged by all who know him, a turn comes when one of his college professors, while checking over Oddy's lab work, discovers that Oddy is not just lucky -- he's the opposite of accident-prone: he's good-luck prone. The impossible occurs simply by way of Oddy's desire for it to happen. Aware of Oddy's ability to effect events by mere desire, a group of professors set out to ensure that Oddy is taught in way that will cause him to absorb the best of morals. Imminent war, they reason, will then be prevented by ensuring Oddy's yearning for peace; and, only good will come of his natural ability. Unfortunately, there's more to Oddy's special talent than meets the eye.
Well, gosh. I heart Bester. It was seriously tempted to just toss everything else aside and keep chugging through Bester's short stories, but I kind of like reading short stories by different authors on Sunday, so I think I'll continue to hold back.
13 Phantasms - from 13 Phantasms and other stories by James P. Blaylock. A man by the name of Landers goes up to explore the attic of his rental house, where the widowed landlord has preserved 4 boxes belonging to her late husband and labeled with the single word, "Astounding". Inside, Landers discovers neatly stacked and well-preserved issues of Astounding Science Fiction from the 1940s. After reading one magazine from cover to cover, Landers merrily fills out an order form for a series of books entitled 13 Phantasms, sticks the first of 6 one-dollar installments in an envelope and mails it, expecting his dollar to disappear. Instead, the books soon arrive with a note -- What, the sender inquires, is the meaning of that 50-star flag on the stamp?
*End spoiler warning*
Like the movie The Lake House, 13 Phantasms is a story of time-traveling mail but with a unique twist. Again, I was tempted to ditch everything else and continue reading Blaylock's short stories, but I stopped myself. We'll see if I last till next Sunday. 13 Phantasms is a recent library-sale purchase. I had no idea what a lucky purchase I'd made!
An interesting aside: I have a sneaking suspicion that I read some Star Trek fan fiction by Blaylock in the 70's; the name sort of rings a bell. Since I only bought one book of Star Trek short stories and I still have it (both boys have claimed it at one point or another), I think it's a safe bet I'm remembering the author's name correctly.
And, the lizard invasion . . . The husband and I pulled into our driveway on Saturday and counted 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 lizards peeking out from the window shutters on our garage. Yes, of course I ran for the camera.
Coming up: A review of Persuasion by Jane Austen. But, we have a storm headed our way, so don't hold your breath.
Blogger funkiness: I'm currently unable to update my sidebar layout because of Blogger Gremlins. So, apologies in advance if the book covers don't change in sync with my reading, for a time. I know from experience that these things usually clear up within a week or two; hopefully, the problem won't last long.
Happy "Oops, it's Really Monday" from Bookfool