February 14, 2009
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Treason’s Harbor

by Patrick O'Brian

It was 3 in the morning. I was dead tired. My gut was unhappy about something I’d had to eat. My bedside reading right then was something very technical, the sort of book you want to read with a fast computer, a pad of paper, and a glass of scotch close at hand. My stomach rebelled at the thought of scotch.

So I grabbed an O'Brian from the shelf — Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin are stowed near the bathroom, along with Robert Louis Stevenson, W. E. B. Griffin, and the complete Theodore Roosevelt. The result: a delightful two-week cruise through Treason’s Harbor and The Far Side of the World.

The timing was poor. I've got a Javascript book to read for the stretchtext project, a pair of sources to mine for 1912, a new historical fiction I can’t wait to start. I’ve got the new Stross, and before I start that I need to read the classic Heinlein on which it’s based. And then there are the novels that friends have told me to read: I’ve been carrying Sarah Water’s Affinity around with me for six months, I've been about to start the Sauerwein’s Sebald since last Spring, and I’ve been about to start the Renowden’s copy of Birdsong for — can it be — nearly three years. I’ve got reading IOU’s that span four continents.