BOOK & BLOG
|June 17, 2007
THE TBR PILE: Barry Eisler, Janet Evanovich, Rhys Bowen, Carrie Vaughan, Yasmine Galenorn, Jacqueline Carey, Michael Connelly and Dean Koontz
Most of you are avid readers, like me. You know all about the To Be Read pile. Mines grown to epic proportions because Im reading books for the Edgar awards and because Im in the time crunch to finish the next Sookie. Im staring at it longingly. Whats in it that Im looking forward to with such anticipation?
The next Barry Eisler. No one writes assassins like Eisler, and no westerner I know writes with such assurance and conviction about modern Japan, its politics and customs. His John Rain books are absolutely top-notch.
The next Janet Evanovich. A dose of Stephanie once a year makes everything go down better.
The new Rhys Bowen, the beginning of a new series, Her Royal Spyness. Ive known Rhys for a few years now, and shes a writer of grace and talent and diversity. Im really curious about what shes come up with this time.
Ive got a Carrie Vaughan on the pile, and a Yasmine Galenorn. And a Jacqueline Carey, whose richness in world-building really cant be excelled.
The latest Michael Connelly and the latest Dean Koontz, both writers who are at the top of their game.
Ill get to plunge in sooner or later, and its going to be a happy day.
For all you closet Egyptologists out there, I wonder if youve been watching the reruns of the Discovery Channels shows about the most recent tomb uncovered in the Valley of the Kings, KV 63?
(If that paragraph doesnt strike a nerve with you, you might as well skip the rest of the blog.)
Man, I love mummies. I love sarcophagi, and I love tomb paintings, and I love canopic jars, and funeral masks, and just about everything associated with Egyptian tombs. Reading Robert Gravess GODS, GRAVES, AND SCHOLARS at an early age is possibly responsible; but maybe I read the book because I was already hooked.
I went to the British Museum in London to see the mummies. I went to a pre-Incan Andean exhibit at the pyramid in Memphis to see mummies. Im going to the Pharaoh exhibit thats been circling America for a year and half to see funeral goods. Im going to love it.
Whats the attraction? Looking into faces that last saw light thousands of years ago. Thats at least part of it. I think, What were you like? What did you do every day? What killed you? What amused you? What did you eat? What did you do first thing every morning? Finding out the answers to those questions is what drives archaeologists, I suppose.
My friend Dana Cameron is an archaeologist, and since I know Dana, I know she must be a darn good one. She sent me the most wonderful postcards the last time she went to Scotland. One was a wonderful limestone rendering of Queen Hatshepsut as a lion. The other was more macabre and less obvious. Its a picture of several doll-sized coffins filled with, you guessed it, dolls. They were obviously deliberately created for the caskets, and they are dressed in clothing of perhaps the late seventeen hundreds, early eighteen hundreds. These very interesting objects were discovered, the postcard says, in a rocky niche on the north-eastern slopes of Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh, in June 1836.
What to make of this strange find? A very unusual little girl? A re-creation of the victims of Burke and Hare? Some religious ritual, born of a very strange religion?
I love the postcard. I love to wonder about the burial of these little coffins with their little dolls, dressed so carefully and with such interesting faces. The answer to their mystery will probably never be know, unless some archivist finds a diary that will reveal the answer (Today I was very naughty and buried my dolls. Hope Poppa doesnt find out.)
I like to think that in another life, maybe Ill be an archaeologist.
Oh, for more on KV 63, Google KV 63 Egypt and read the Smithsonian story. Not only is the tomb itself interesting and puzzling, but also the personalities involved are pretty fascinating.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris