An obligation or just a custom?

It is clearly customary for the proprietor of a website-with-blog to make occasional comments on what one is reading, watching, partaking of, and/or otherwise consuming to enrich one's life. Customary, or an actual obligation? I've been unable to find any clearcut guidance in the various terms of service to which this site is subject, so let's say customary, and leave it at that.

So, herewith:

Books underway:

Reaper's Gale. A quantum level of complexity beyond any fantasy ever attempted. The undertow from the previous six books has now built to mind-sucking magnitude, making it increasingly difficult for me to move quickly through the text. On the other hand, the meaning behind certain important matters is stated clearly for the first time.

From a writer's standpoint, reading Erickson makes me feel like a gnat staring up at the expanse of Mount McKinley. Of course, just about anything short of War and Peace (or the speculative fiction equivalent, Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy) is a miniature compared to the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Wintersmith (US,UK). The Tiffany Aching books by Mr. Pratchett, who occupies near-divine status in our household, have been chosen by the nine-year-old in the household as our current read-out-loud project. She particularly enjoys the verbal contortions of her father as he attempts the quaint native dialect of the Nac Mac Feegles, and has also taken to spicing her conversations with the occasional "Ach, crivens!"

Books queued up for near-term attention (or about to be delivered):

Precious Dragon
Red Seas Under Red Skies
First Among Sequels
Spook Country
I Am a Strange Loop

Theater and music:

Ratatouille, which is just so miraculously good it leaves me dazed. Can anyone say "instant classic" with a straight face? If so, this one deserves it. Potentially my favorite Pixar, right there with Toy Story 2 and The Incredibles.

The Decemberists with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl: when a rock (or rock-adjacent) group performs with symphonic backup, the result is typically somewhere between forced and embarrassing, with an overriding sense of unnecessary. For the Decemberists, who already have a least a few toes in the sea of larger orchestral ambitions, the string and brass arrangements felt as though the music was being fulfilled rather than straight-jacketed into compliance. Perhaps their next studio album will have a budget large enough to include more than "hour after hour of trying to reconstruct orchestras in the studio out of one string player."

Update: an additional note on the Decemberists: Time Magazine (I think) once referred to The Who on tour as "chamber music in the middle of a commando raid." That same neighborhood, taken down a few notches, could have applied to this concert.

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