Rocking and rolling news

First, big news that Diane hinted at last week and that finally I found out about a day later. Jane and the Damned was picked as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Horror books of 2011. I’ve no idea who that Stephen King guy is or how he got on it. Here’s Booklist’s blurb:

Mullany rewrites history in more ways than one in this novel, which sets up Jane Austen as a vampire. A fast-paced adventure for those who don’t mind the vampire craze impinging upon historical events and beloved authors.

A mass market edition of Bespelling Jane Austen comes out September 27, available for preorder at Amazon or Bookdepository (where it’s on sale with free shipping worldwide). I really love this cover.

Other than that, the big news here is the earthquake and although I’m becoming anxious for another topic of conversation I did want to talk about it a little. However I think the next topic of conversation will be the storm of the century, year, month, or even week–as the Washington Post eloquently predicts it will be “dumping inches of rain.” I love that precision. Inches, eh. Two inches? Six? I guess wet is wet.

But what I found really interesting was the reaction of people to it, what they felt and heard. I was at work. My office is about three blocks from the White House, so we tend to get rather nervous about the unexpected, particularly on fine autumnal days. My experience was this: there was a tremendously loud bang and a jolt. I noticed my legs were shaking. Much later I realized that it wasn’t my legs. My first thought was that a truck had smashed into our building but we could see nothing outside. Then we noticed everyone else was leaving the building. So we did too. Wrong! Bits n pieces could fall on your head. They didn’t.

So we hung around outside and enjoyed the sunshine. Everyone was on their cell and, naturally, posting to FB. By then we’d figured out it was an earthquake although the only one I’d experienced before was much quieter. After a while our boss ushered us back inside and sent an email that the next time it happened we should huddle with him beneath a table (no thanks).

And that was it. I can’t say I was scared particularly but a lot of people who experienced more dramatic shaking and swaying of their locations were; I was on the second floor of a fairly solid 1930s building. Everyone’s perception of the event was different and everyone’s story of it is changing and will change.

And that’s pretty much what happens when you take on one of the beloved tropes of mass market fiction and make it your own–do it well, and it will change.

In preparation for the rigors of the weekend I went to the library to pick up some reading material in case the power goes out–this is my version of emergency preparedness, folks–and left with that special warm glow you get for paying your fines up to date.

My emergency reading matter–other than a kindle full of Austen–are books I’ve been meaning to get to for some time, so they constitute some sort of guilty pleasure wishlist: Faithful Place by Tana French, North by Northanger by Carrie Bebris (love that title! And I’m meeting her at the JASNA conference in October) and Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner.

What’s your emergency reading matter?

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