Idol is also why my book-reading slowed down, in addition to some things I started reading and bailed out on. I finished Patricia McKillip's Kingfisher last week, which was an interesting combination of modern setting and older knights-on-quests elements, creating kind of a mystery. Very pleased by that part of it, and how it all worked out. NOT pleased with the parts that are ongoing problems for the author, where I would like to see some growth from her: all the characters appear to be white (true for virtually all of her books), all romantic relationships are hetero-normative (which defies statistics, really), and as for the mechanics of writing itself... she is still burying the climax. While reading, you reach the point where the climax has ended (or you realize you must have passed it), and think, "Wait, that was IT? That's ALL?" Imagine if an author resolved all of their stories via deus ex machina? That gets very unsatisfying before long. Unless McKillip is secretly 80 or something, I would really like her to try harder.
I started the most recent Lynn Flewelling Nightrunner story, and then bailed on it. I used to be a fan of the series, but there's so much good fan-fiction slash I would rather be reading, and given the recent torture!Porn book in the series, and the fact that I can't remember any of the factions or minor characters anymore... eh. I even donated my 3 or 4 series paperbacks to the library a few weeks ago, which should have been a clue.
I thought I'd be done with Harrison Squared by now, but... Idol. I'm about 6-10 pages from the end, so Today For Sure! I found the book in the sci-fi/fantasy section of the library. It's kind of a YA setup: teenager who lost his father to a long-ago sea attack journeys to creepy North Eastern coastal town with his scientist mother, who then disappears at sea. The kid (Harrison Harrison, hence the Harrison-Squared or H2) is convinced his mother was kidnapped by something sinister. Meanwhile, he's stuck in a school full of pale, weird, black-haired children who rarely speak and take classes like "Practical Skills" (which consists of making fishing nets), and non-Euclidean geometry (which consists of word problems thick with non-sequiturs but bereft of actual math). Also? There are mutant creatures. And snark. \o/
By sheer coincidence, we saw Manchester By The Sea last weekend (set in Massachusetts). Very good, heavy with grief and with characters trapped by their mistakes.
I also did some Xmas shopping last weekend, and got some of the Xmas lights up. My part of that effort is usually a multi-day project (we put up a LOT of lights), so even working in the dark on Sunday didn't finish the job. Who knows about this weekend? It's been raining for days (and more is coming). On the plus side, our daughter arrives home for break on Saturday, so if things don't get done, I'm okay with that.
How's your prep coming?