It’s that time again! Time to see what endlessly nerdy things I’m reading! But guess what? Guess what I abused my magic librarian powers to obtain from another university library instead of waiting for months on a waiting list for?
As you all know, Pendergast is superior to all other modern detectives, by dint of being Southern and making obscure literary allusions that most people won’t get. When we last left our intrepid hero, he had just solved an old case involving deaths made to look like suicides, and had developed a grudging respect for his reluctant partner, Coldmoon. This book has Pendergast and his, er, “ward” Constance vacationing on a remote island in the Florida keys while waiting for the Brokenhearts case to wrap up. The FBI assistant director, Pickett, arrives to inform Pendergast that yet another weird thing has happened in Florida. Pendergast isn’t particularly interested; this is Florida after all. But it doesn’t take long for Pendergast to be sucked into the investigation, which involves dozens of severed feet in hospital booties washing up on the shore of a local tourist spot.
I haven’t got much farther than this, but so far it’s been intriguing since this is partially based on something that has actually happened in Florida (and continues to happen occasionally). We’ve already been informed, much to Pendergast’s consternation, that he will be forced to take Coldmoon on as a partner again, so it will be entertaining to see their squabbling once more.
Per my determined Tolkien re-read, I’m now on The Book of Lost Tales, which goes more in-depth on some of Tolkien’s original concepts for his mythology. The book is essentially a series of tales told to Eriol, a descendant of Earendil, when he happens upon The Cottage of Lost Play. In Tolkien’s original ideas, the cottage of lost play was a place where children, both Elven and human, would wander at times in their dreams. The difference between this and Tolkien’s later ideas, which stated that humans would never come to Valinor, is rather interesting. Some other differences include the idea of the Maiar being children of the Valar, a pair of warlike Valar that support Melkor, and Melkor originally helping to fashion the lamps of Valinor (and making them out of ice, which no one noticed until they melted; one can see why Tolkien abandoned that idea pretty quickly). One thing I enjoy about seeing these developments is the reminder that no story appears full-fledged on the page. Concepts, names, and even characters alter as the writing continues, and it’s a good reminder for anyone wanting to write that writing is always a work in progress.
This is another one of my Goodreads giveaway wins. As the author himself points out, we don’t really have anything that goes into detail about how Franklin and Washington’s collaboration affected the founding of America, so this is a nice addition to the history we have available on these two men. I’ve enjoyed it so far, not only in learning about the two men individually, but also how their need to collaborate time and time again before the Revolution led to the ideas of the revolution being spread through both New England and the South. They were two very different people that grew up in two very different cultures, but both held the same values of liberty and self-governance. I am so far up to the discussion of the Stamp Tax and how the previous declaration of “no taxation without representation” swept the colonies at this time.