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My mother recently started a blog about books she's reading, and while I am not likely to write book reviews with that level of thoughtfulness, I thought I could use this heretofore underutilized blog to jot down notes on what I read.

My first books of the year were Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis. Both books are set in the same universe as one of my favorite books of all time, Doomsday Book -- which is to say, the world of c. 2060, in which Oxford grad students study history by making field trips using a time machine. While Doomsday Book is set mostly in the Middle Ages, Blackout/All Clear are set in World War II England.

I'd never though much about the Londoners who didn't evacuate during the Blitz. It's hard for me even to imagine the mindset that would allow you to wake up every morning and go in to work as a shopgirl on Oxford Street while every night your neighborhood is being bombed. Wouldn't you leave? Even if you didn't know anyone outside London or have a job lined up, wouldn't you try heading somewhere else and figure you might be homeless but at least you'd be alive? When I mentioned this to a friend he said, Staying in London wasn't brave; it was stupid. I hadn't actually suggested that it WAS brave; I don't have any idea what to consider it. I just think it's crazy that people are so adaptable we apparently get used to living in war zones.

The other notable thing about these books is that they're looooong. 1147 pages total. That's more than half the TOTAL number of pages I managed to read last year.* So I guess I'm off to a good start.

* At least, if the only books I read were the ones I read on my phone (i.e., The Remains of the Day; Will Grayson, Will Grayson; Hyperion; The Graveyard Book; Never Let Me Go; and Wicked). I may have read other ones on actual paper, but I don't remember.


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