I seem to be having trouble blogging regularly this week. It’s low motivation partly, which surprises me, as I’d expect to have all kinds of energy because it’s summer and my schedule is much slower than usual. But instead I feel sluggish. It’s also harder to blog this summer because I’m spending more time online than usual with my online class. After an afternoon of grading papers on the computer, I just want to put the thing away. Posting may be light for a while, although generally when I write such a thing here, my motivation comes back almost instantly.
My online class is going well, by the way, although summer courses have such a fast pace, I can tell my students’ energy is flagging, as is my own. It will be over in a week, which is hard to believe, as I feel I’ve just gotten started. I’ve had a few students not appear in the class at all, and some are there only occasionally, but the ones who are into it are doing a great job. It’s fun to look through the discussion board and see them politely agreeing or disagreeing with each other, backing each other up, debating things. I’m generally a nice person in the classroom (sometimes with some effort), but it’s even easier to be nice and friendly online, when I don’t actually have to see people. I like seeing people, I really do, but it’s nice sometimes not to have to
As for reading, I’m almost finished with Nam Le’s The Boat, which I will write more about later, but for now I’ll say that I’m amazed at the range of material he’s got to work with. The stories are set in various places all over the world and deal with an incredible variety of people and situations. I’m curious what places and experiences the author has had himself, what ones he has learned about from other people, what ones he learned about solely through research, or what it was he did to get all that material. I suppose what I want to know is the answer to that obnoxious question I would never ask an author: where do you get your ideas?
Finally, I realize I never wrote my final thoughts on Fingersmith. I don’t suppose there is any real need for another review of the book, though, as it’s one that most people out there seem to have heard a lot about if not read themselves. So I’ll just say that it’s a fabulous story, very well told, and if you like historical fiction at all, you’ll be likely to enjoy this. I thought there were a few places where the pacing was a little off and a few places where the action was implausible, but that was very minor compared to all the pleasure this book offers. If you read it, you will enjoy the story, but you will also learn interesting things about 19C London and how thieves operate and what it was like to be a woman at the time. I’m looking forward to more Sarah Waters already.