Warning: falling debris.

? I finished Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book in
one sitting, from 8 in the evening to 4 in the morning. I dropped exhausted
beside Lucien and closed my eyes and couldn’t sleep for thoughts of time travel
and the Black Plague. Doomsday Book first came out in 1992. According to the
blurb, it was five years in the making. One of the crucial plot points happens
when Badri, the technician responsible for punching in the coordinates to send
Kivrin the heroine back to the year 1320, rushes to the pub to find Dunworthy,
Kivrin’s mentor, to tell him that something went horribly wrong. I had to keep
reminding myself, throughout the novel, that in the late 80s cellphones were a
rarity. Otherwise my inner editor kept shrieking, “Why did they have to run
through the rain and infect everyone? Why is everyone lining up for one phone?
Why can’t they get in touch with the professor at the dig? Doesn’t anyone in the
22nd century have a cellphone?” For some reason, a book set in the same
universe, “To Say Nothing of the Dog,” did not trigger any incongruity

? I’m rereading The Order
of the Phoenix before tackling The Half-Blood Prince. My, Harry is a quite a
testy adolescent, isn’t he.

? Luc
really thinks he can stand on his

? This evening I went shopping
with Bit, looking for an outfit for a presentation tomorrow. I couldn’t believe
the number of things I didn’t buy.