Having taken stock of how many Shakespeare plays I still need to read or re-read for next month, I have lots of reading to do this weekend: I am mid-way through Measure by Measure now, and enjoying it, although I cannot help but notice how very many of the puns and jokes the Folger Shakespeare editors let go by unacknowledged and unexplained. If you've read books like Filthy Shakespeare, which I mentioned last year, then at least some of them are obvious, but I'm gonna need to find a better commentary for this one. I have copies of The Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors, The Winter's Tale and Julius Caesar piled up and ready to go. And, of course, I've got non-Shakespeare and non-Austen books piled almost to my own height that I need to read.
That said, I did manage a bit of actual leisure reading earlier this week (extremely late one night/early one morning). I was lucky enough to have an ARC of Touch Blue, the forthcoming novel by my friend Cynthia Lord, and I really had to read it because I shared custody of it with Angela De Groot, and I know Angela has been chomping at the bit to read it.
The book officially comes out on August 1st, but I sure hope that it will sneak into stores early, because seriously, you want to read this one. And look at that lovely cover - you know you'd rather read it in the summer, right? Even more so when you realize that the book itself takes place in summer on one of the small islands off the coast of Maine, when Tess's family decides to take in a foster child in order to help "replace" the children who recently moved away from the island. You see, if there aren't enough kids to justify keeping the school open, more will happen than the school closing: the families with kids will all have to leave the island so the kids can attend school elsewhere (although in real life, I suppose home-schooling would be an option, albeit not one discussed in the book). And eleven-year old Tess sure doesn't want to leave the island she loves so much. But getting used to having a closed-off thirteen year-old foster brother may be too high a price to pay.
Cindy has again drafted a masterpiece. It's a book filled with superstitions ("Touch blue and your wish will come true") and suspicions and misconceptions and mis-starts. It is also full of love and hope and possibility, with humor and tears and just the right amount of luck, and with the sort of lyrical writing that makes the hearts of readers everywhere pitter-pat a bit more quickly. And Monopoly.
Absolutely not to be missed - and that's not something I say lightly. You'll thank me when awards season rolls around and you can say you've read it.