Books 8 – 12, from a brief stay in the hospital

Posted on 20.02.2014

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Before I get into counting out books, let me say that I was only in the hospital due to the Japanese protocol that when you are either a) a new foreigner who needs medication or b) switching medication, you have to go into a hospital for strict observation on the drug, because here they take side effects very seriously. So I was the healthiest, most bored person on floor 5 for a few days, and also the one who probably spoke the least amount of Japanese.

I wrote about it in an earlier post. You can check it out there. The downside to a three-day forced trip to the hospital was the 3-day forced trip to the hospital, when I could have been working. I had tests done just about every hour, was not allowed to leave to go across the street to the donut shop, and could also NOT see Mt Fuji from my window, although others could have, if it weren’t so hazy. Oh and also, even though I was forced to be in the hospital and they KNEW I wasn’t very good at Japanese, the overall hospital was relatively unprepared for someone who didn’t speak Japanese that well… so a lot of un-hilarity ensued.

The worst part of my stay was most certainly the lady sharing a room with me, who spent all of her time in bed watching TV and talking to it, saying ‘great’, ‘yes’ and ‘keep going’, three things that I DO HAPPEN to understand in Japanese. So it sounded like an all-day orgasm. And she was clearly retired. I mentioned this to my nurses and asked if she was ok, and they gave her a sedative the following night, which was great, since she kept me awake the first night. She slept like a rock the second night, so I got to sleep, too.

The upside to a forced 3-day stay in a hospital when you are NOT ill and therefore NOT on excellent drugs is the amount of free time you suddenly find yourself with. I had prepared for this last week on Audible and Amazon’s kindle store, and was glad I’d remembered to bring my headphones once I realised my roommate wouldn’t shut up.

So as soon as I was left alone to my own devices, I got into the audiobooks, in order to drown out the ecstatic ranting coming from 10 feet away. At least we had curtains between us so I didn’t have to give her the stink eye, which I instead gave just to the curtain. I earned 3 badges on Audible for all of the time I spent listening…

Breakfast-at-Tiffanys

Yeah, it’s from the movie… so?

8. Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Truman Capote (Feb 18)
I’d been meaning to read this one for a while, and I offing LOVED In Cold Blood. In fact, we JUST watched Capote the other night as a tribute to the late/great PSH :-/

I got an email from Audible about a sale, and this was on crazy discount. So I picked it up. I’d already seen the movie, so why not? What’s funny is that I haven’t seen the movie in quite some time, so I don’t quite remember what, if anything, was left out in the film. Either way, it was a great listen/read, and I think I might have got a lot more out of it by doing it now, rather than reading the book first, then the movie, THEN reading In Cold Blood. I’m glad I might have done it backwards.  I had a clear image in my head of what Holly Golightly looked like, because of that, and I don’t mind that happening.

I forgot the part about her being married young, and the bartender at the bar, though, so I feel the need to go back and watch the movie again, now that the book is fresh in my head. I EFFING LOVE the way Capote wrote.

172067959. The Death of Death, KN Parker (Feb 18)
This one is technically a short story, albeit a longer one. I think the lady across from me was asleep or out of the room when I read this one, because otherwise I wouldn’t have read it.

It’s funny, but since I was reading this as an ebook, I forgot about the cover image and the early description of the main character, which stated that they wore a mask. It wasn’t until just before the reveal at the end that I remembered that part of it, which I guess was supposed to be the point.

There was a moment just before the reveal, when I figured out what was happening, that I actually had to stop reading and take a moment, because I was sad about the realisation of what had happened to the main character.

I love when that happens.

I don’t remember why I bought this one on Amazon, but I’m glad I did:)

00110. A Horseman in the Sky, Ambrose Bierce (Feb 18)
I also dug into both volumes of The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, so the lady must have been out for tests.

I had listened to an archive of Desert Island Discs  from way, way back, which featured Roald Dahl. At the show goes, the contributor chooses a few songs that they would want with them on a desert island, and there is a lot of talking and chatting between, if the person happens to be a celebrity. Dahl chose a bunch of classical tunes, of course, but during the interview he mentioned that he had been hugely inspired by the work of Ambrose Bierce.

I immediately wrote his name down and made it a point to look him up when I got around to it. I was cursing ebooks on Amazon a while back and found the collected short stories, so I grabbed them both, since they weren’t too expensive.

After reading this first story, it was clear to me that they were in the same vein. There is, however, a slight problem for me with reading Bierce: since I’ve already read just about ALL of Dahl’s work, Bierce’s work is not nearly as shocking to me as it must have been when first published, or as it should be. That being said, I still like the work. I’m not going to write about every short story I read by him, but I will say that this one should probably be read twice.

615FIa2tiDL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_11. Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce (Feb 19)
The fact that I got through this entire book by the middle of the next day can attest to exactly how much free time I had to lay around, doing nothing. I think this was over 10 hours of read time? It won me a ‘binge listener’ badge on Audible, along with the ‘all nighter’, ‘marathoner’, and ‘high noon’ badges as well.

The book had got a lot of good reviews, and I’d had it on my Audible wish list for a while, as I don’t like to buy more than one book per month with my subscription, since they are about as expensive as normal books. So I got this one with my free credit last month and was just waiting around to listen to it. I’m not a huge fiction fan and this wasn’t dark like Dahl, but it was fine.

I have a nasty habit of trying to figure out the ending before the book gets to it, and the nice thing about audio books is that it’s hard to peek at the last page. So I had no clues, although I figured out how it would end at about the midway point.

12. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Chickamauga, Ambrose Bierce (Feb 19
I did these two back to back, and to tell you the truth, I am not a fan of American HIstory, or the Civil War… so at the end of these I didn’t really want to read more, because I wanted to skip ahead to the ‘Civilians’ part of the book. I’ll get back to all of that later on. But these weren’t bad. I didn’t dislike them. But as I said earlier, I’ve already read Dahl, so I am not properly shocked or surprised when I finish them, and I almost feel bad for that.

I’m trying to tear through all of the books I have, so then I have allowance to buy more:) So expect to read more about me reading now that I have a commute to work:)

Posted in: books, health