Weekend report

What a weekend! I don’t think I’ve quite recovered. First, it turns out I didn’t race on Sunday after all. I got about three, maybe three and a half hours of sleep on Saturday night, and I woke up feeling awful. I don’t know about you, but I can’t function on little sleep. I just shut down. On Sunday morning I felt shaky and I knew I wasn’t thinking very quickly and wasn’t capable of good judgment. So I decided to take it easy on myself and sit out this race. The cold temperature and high winds made that decision a little easier.

I did, however, have fun watching the races all morning. Hobgoblin had a great race on the same amount of sleep I got. I have no idea how he does it. I should have been the one out there racing while he took a break because he’d flown in from El Salvador the night before. But anyway, I spent the morning trying to stay warm, chatting with my teammates, and cheering on other racers. Some of my teammates are so enthusiastic about racing and love to talk about their races so much, I can’t help but have fun listening to them.

But I also wanted to tell you about the book club meeting on Saturday. It turned out to be a fabulous time. There were seven of us, and we talked about Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key for what must have been at least 2 1/2 or 3 hours; we were there for four hours total and spent a huge chunk of that time focused on the book. Surely it’s unusual for a book group to be that thorough? It is in my rather limited experience at least.

I want to do a separate post on the book later, so I won’t get into the details of our discussion, but we covered so many aspects of it — our reactions to the characters and particularly the enigmatic main character Ned Beaumont, the ways this novel fits into the tradition of crime fiction (which I didn’t have a whole lot to say about, as I’m not that familiar with the genre), and the novel’s take on corruption and politics and its general hopelessness about justice ever being served.

So, I think I’ll learn a ton about mystery novels/detective novels/crime fiction (is there a clear distinction between these terms?) from this group. Next up is Marjery Allingham’s Sweet Danger. She’s an author I’m not familiar with at all, so I’m looking forward to it.

14 Comments

Filed under Books, Cycling

14 responses to “Weekend report

  1. Oh, man, I’m so-o-o-o jealous! Oh well, one day, maybe this summer, I’ll make it to one of the discussions. And then I’ll make everyone come to Lancaster and have it at my place or something. And good for you for being smart and sitting out the race. I don’t know how Hobs did it, either (but then, he’s the one in the family who has all the accidents, isn’t he? So maybe you’re the wise one :-)! Or maybe Muttboy is the wisest one of all, using only the four legs he was given for his racing around).

  2. musingsfromthesofa

    It was such a good evening. I couldn’t believe it when it turned out to be 11pm. You must make it to at least one meeting, Emily.
    Dor, I think you made a wise choice in not racing! That wind was vicious.

  3. Too bad about the race. Hopefully next week the weather will be better.

    Your book group meeting sounds like loads of fun. I’ve never been to a book group that spent so much time actually talking about the book, an hour – an hour and a half tops is the most I’ve experienced in a group. What fun you must have had!

  4. I’m so envious! I’d love to be able to discuss mysteries/crime fiction in a group–I’m sure there’s so much to learn, so I hope you’ll continue to share your experiences! I did belong to a book group a while back and I think the most time we spent discussing a book was about an hour or so–maybe a bit longer. Sorry to hear you had to sit the race out, but you know best what you body can handle and there’s no sense being miserable and forcing yourself. Besides part of the fun is just the comraderie of being in a group when you have the same interests. Glad to hear Hobgoblin did so well–I know I couldn’t have managed it! :)

  5. My book group also struggles to get much past an hour of discussion about the book. Your group sounds fantastic Dorothy! And I like the idea of the group focussing on a genre.

  6. I feel similarly rubbish on small amounts of sleep, Dorothy, so I think you made a very sensible decision. How awful to have fallen off, or caused a collision because you weren’t on form! And the book group sounds wonderful. I like Margery Allingham – very comforting sort of reading, but Campion is an intriguing detective.

  7. verbivore

    I can’t function on little sleep either so I think you made a wise decision. Glad the book group was fun and am looking forward to hearing more about the discussion!

  8. The book group seems a great idea! Do you plan to revisit all the classics or will you go for contemporaries hard-boiled as well? I read Margery Allingham’s Tiger in the smoke and liked it, but it’s not supposed to be her most representative.

  9. I wouldn’t be able to race on so little sleep, either. Sleeping is both a fraught and delicate situation for me, and too little of it means treating myself with delicacy the next day. I’ve only ever pulled one all-nighter in my entire college/graduate school/working career because I’ve always needed a proper night’s sleep…I’m glad you listened to your body and took care of it!

  10. Kudos to you for even making it to the race! I think I would’ve stayed in bed :)
    One of my book groups is very thorough so we usually go between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. My mystery group is usually just at an hour though and oddly enough we have more members in it. I hope you’ll have a good time exploring more mysteries – I’m sure you already know but there are so many subcategories within mystery… noir, P.I., amateur sleuth, etc. Now I’m in the mood for a mystery!

  11. LK

    Congrats to you and Hob on the race!

    Wow, I look forward to hearing more about your sojourns with your group. I am trying to brush up on the mystery genre myself.

    The Glass Key is such a short book — you must have discussed each page! :) Hope to see your post on the book…

  12. Emily — I hope you do make it to one of our discussions! And having one in PA would be fun. Yes, I’m sure Muttboy is the wisest one among us …

    Musings … it was a great evening indeed. And I’m glad you approve of my racing decision … I’m not wimpy, I’m smart!

    Stefanie — yeah, my book groups have gone on for an hour or so too. That’s probably pretty typical. I wonder if our next discussion will be as in-depth …

    Danielle — yes, it really was fun hanging out with the other races and cheering them on. Sometimes I think I could happily do that and not bother with the racing part!

    Jess — I like my book group’s focus too — this way we can do interesting comparisons and draw some conclusions about the genre itself.

    Litlove — I’m glad you like Allingham! She sounds quite different from Hammett. And yes, I would have felt horribly guilty if I had caused an accident.

    Verbivore — It makes me feel better to know other people suffer from lack of sleep as I do — I’ve canceled class because of lack of sleep, but I say I’m sick because saying I’m lacking in sleep doesn’t sound legitimate. But it should be legitimate, shouldn’t it?

    Smithereens — we don’t really have a plan; I think we’ll make it up as we go along. Maybe a plan will develop along the way.

    Courtney — oh I hear you about the all-nighters; I’ve never even tried it, as I wouldn’t be able to think straight late at night — it would be a pointless endeavor.

    Iliana — the dynamics of groups can vary so much, can’t they? I’m aware of the subcategories, but I’m not always clear on what each one means. Perhaps I’ll learn this as we go along.

    LK — I’m sure I’ll write reports about our meetings regularly — they promise to be so much fun!

  13. Sleep is good! Don’t knock yourself out. Just get training for the next one and hopefully you’ll get your sleep.

    Clearly Hobgoblin must be blood doping. He was probably picking up something on the last minute trip to El Salvador. Peak performance on short sleep is too suspicious. Can you report him for testing? ;) Make sure he gets some sleep, too.

  14. Bikkuri — I feel like I’m all caught up on sleep now, but the weather may be a problem for the next race — snow is in the forecast! And good theory about Hobgoblin … you could well be right …

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