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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

arrival of books

The weather is perfect: sunny, crisp, with a fresh cool breeze ruffling the translucent leaves outside. It was the weather that made up my mind to go running. Today's run, shirtless in navy-blue gym shorts, was flatter than yesterday's errand-run, and much easier. The city was a great blue crystal of promise across the water, the sky a clear, rinsed blue. Back-to-school weather.

Today I was good for two pages. Even at that rate my project will eventually get done.

Yesterday, the coincidental arrival of two books: Emotion: the Science of Sentiment by Dylan Evans from Powell's in Oregon, and Salt: a World History by Mark Kurlansky from Amazon.com. The first I was put on to by a reference in the Grumpy Old Bookman. The second was sparked by my interest in commodities, recently reawakened by my reading of Coal: a People's History by Barbara Freese, which I am halfway through and very much enjoying. Salt of course was an important commodity in the period of my story.

As is my practice, I started both books during my afternoon tea, highlighter in hand. So far, I'm enjoying both. But the coffee-table stack is too tall; even I can see that. Time to chop it down to the eight or ten books I can realistically manage.

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