Life is full of tiny joy. Sometimes I forget this and am depressed but every once in a while, something happens and I remember. Today I finished the newest Jacqueline Carey novel–Naamah’s Kiss–which makes me glow and cry as great literature does. There’s something about Carey’s characters which produce this reaction in me; and it’s not just all the sex they have.

I started the book yesterday in Oregon while swinging in a hammock next to the river. Mosquitoes rose above it in clouds and I cursed them ineffectually. The tiny chipmunks that make a nest behind the house scurried underneath my swaying form without fear, gobbling up all the bird seed I’d spread on the sauna’s deck. Sun dappled through the trees and the river burbled away as I read about a girl born in a land almost Ireland who worships a bear goddess.

I read today again while my mom drove us home for hours and hours as Moirin traveled from Terre D’ange to Ch’in for months and months and I fell in love at least four times.

The problem with my ability to finish a 645 page novel in two days is that my ability to read fast outstrips my ability to digest the language. I read so quickly that the words barely register anymore and I tend to come away more with an impression than the actuality of events. I found myself desperately trying to remember exactly how and why she stole into the twilight and pulled out a dragon like a magician with a rabbit. I would flip back a page to re-read a sentence again and again trying to make it compute; to really hear what was happening. If you quizzed me now I could answer you anything having to do with the plot or events but my brain is still processing and will be for at least another day.

Katherine asked me this week how I could start another book so quickly after finishing the last and I was blasé about how easy it is to just go from one to another. Now I remember that actually it is horribly difficult if the book is fabulous. I have a new MacDonald Hall book which was awaiting my return and even though I’d love to devour I can’t actually contemplate entering a different world yet when mine is still so intricately tied up with hers.

I lost track of how many books I read while on vacation this last week–it must have been at least 10. By far Carey’s was my favorite so it is funny that I saved it till the very end–admittedly this is my habit with most things I love; so not so funny, I guess. The MacDonald Hall books by Gordon Korman and Suzanne Collins’ Gregor the Overlander series were both fantastic as well.

Now I will have to wait an interminable and unknown amount of time for the next in the series to come out (no doubt it will be a trilogy like her Kushiel ones [SCOIN]) and I am a little made depressed by this again. But I strive to remember that I can reread Naamah’s Kiss before the new one arrives and be delighted all over again by the bits of language I didn’t manage to ingest this time around. It will almost be like it’s new again and I get to re-meet Jehanne, Snow Tiger, the dragon, and Bao–most of all Bao.