First an update on cycling, with both good and bad news. The good news is that I’ve been riding a ton and have now passed 6,000 miles since January 1st. That’s a record that smashes last year’s total of just over 5,000 miles, and it’s not even December yet. It’s getting colder here, but that just means adding more layers before I head out.
The bad news is that my thyroid has become hyperactive again, so I probably shouldn’t be riding at all, although my doctor didn’t say to back off (and I didn’t ask). The back story here is that my thyroid went bad a little over three years ago; I had a hard month or two, and since then have felt pretty much normal. About a month ago, I started feeling badly again, although nothing as extreme as when I first became sick. But it’s discouraging to be feeling badly at all, when all I want to do is to ride a lot and ride fast. So I ride, but I take it easy and go slowly. Eventually medication will get everything back in line, and then I’ll ride fast again.
As for books, well, I bought a few more the other day. I wasn’t planning on it, but I found myself in two bookstores, and what else could I do? Hobgoblin and I drove to Winchester, Virginia, to visit family for Thanksgiving, and on Friday, to entertain ourselves, we all explored the city, including the Winchester Book Gallery, where I found a copy of Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book for the next Slaves of Golconda discussion. The store was small, but had a great selection for its size. After that, we found Blue Plate Books, a nice used bookstore, where I bought Somerset Maugham’s Cakes and Ale, Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (short stories), Lauren Slater’s Lying (a memoir), and Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which I wasn’t planning on buying, but I found it for $11 and thought why not?
I’ve been buying books like crazy lately, but have had time to read too; right now I’m immersed in Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies, a novel about a boarding school in Dublin. It’s absorbing, and I’ve been glad to have a little more time than usual to focus on it. I’ve also begun reading Virginia Woolf’s The Common Reader, or rather, re-reading it. It’s fabulous, just as I remembered. I’m about 150 pages from the end of Gravity’s Rainbow, which I’ve decided is not so fabulous. Or rather, it’s genius, brilliant, amazing, etc., but I don’t like the experience of reading it. I’m sticking with it, though, because I’m not going to let that thing beat me!