I think my reading experience here suffered from a case of inflated expectations. I’d heard nothing but praise for Octavia Butler and so my expectation was that even if the subject matter wasn’t what turned my crank personally, this book would introduce ideas from outside my comfort zone and the writing itself would be excellent.
A few years ago I was at a bar with a friend of mine named Kate, ignoring the other patrons and talking books, as is our wont. We got on the subject of books we'd enjoyed as teenagers, and she ended up telling me about what she called her Canon of Kate — these were more than just the books that she'd liked, or even loved; they were the ones that had shaped her whole literary aesthetic, that had introduced the tropes and themes that resonated with her, the ideas that she would pursue and revisit in later reading and writing. Beyond that, even, these were the books that had shaped her as a person.
Still on my desultory quest for books that bring new ideas to vampire fiction, and The Vampire Tapestry seemed, by all accounts, to be one such book.
I probably should have posted sooner, just to say that no, my plane did not go down over the Pacific, and yes, I got out of Japan (three weeks) before the quake. But mostly I’ve been busy, what with all this READING, HOLY MOLY, there are BOOKS EVERYWHERE and they’re in ENGLISH and if I want to read a particular book I can go to a LIBRARY where they have books in ENGLISH and I can go CHECK IT OUT, RIGHT NOW, oh my GOD.
Oh yeah, and I got a job translating smartphone apps. That means I can work from home, and also I can wear eyeliner and never shave. Happy days!
Back to the books. So there’s a distressing trend I’ve noticed recently, namely that nothing thrills me anymore. When I was a teenager I had terrible and indiscriminate taste in books so I could read anything, all the time, and be perfectly content. These days, the bar is set so high that I find myself not bothering to finish half the crap I pick up, on account of it being crap, crap, mediocre, or offensive and also crap. Oh, to be young and stupid and not know the difference again. ;_;