First, good news in the world of juvenile / YA fantasy: Ingrid Law (author of Savvy) and Laurel Snyder (of Any Which Wall) both have new books out. Law’s Scumble is set in the same family as Savvy but twenty years later in another branch of it; Snyder’s Penny Dreadful is a standalone. From the rviews it looks like it may have the same Edward Eager-ish feel as Any Which Wall; I hope so, though I’m a little put off by the fact that one reviewer mentions a reference to my absolute least favorite of Eager’s books, Magic or Not?, right at the beginning. I’d rather it just be magic, thanks.

Second, I sort of solved my Kindle issue, in my usual ridiculous fashion: I bought an iPad. Unlike a Kindle, I could walk into a store here and buy one of those. (In fact, the big electronics store Media Markt is open until 9 at night – which makes it the only store here that’s open after 6, with the exception of supermarkets, avondwinkels (night market, like a convenience store, open until late) and the local sex toy shop.) I will probably still end up with a new Kindle, because I think it’s much easier to read on, but besides allowing me to read from my virtual TBR pile on this upcoming trip, the iPad can be used for Ted to watch movies, and for either of us as a netbook – there have been quite a few trips in the last few years where one or both of us didn’t take a computer due to weight and wished we had one. I miss watching CNN while I’m getting dressed in the morning, because this new apartment doesn’t have a TV in the bedroom and the one in the living room is up a flight of stairs where I wouldn’t be able to hear it while I’m dressing. So if the CNN (or other news apps) will work that’s another bonus (I have a feeling otherwise Ted might go get a TV, so that could be an actual saving). Also, unlike my phone, the iPad is not locked so when I travel to another country I can put a local pay-as-you-go SIM card in it. It’s a bit unwieldy to be a mobile phone but certainly reasonable for use in a hotel room – I have earplugs with a mic built in.

It doesn’t make omelettes nor manage my wardrobe, but since it can turn its nonexistant hands to so many things, I have named it Bunter.

I called Ted and gave him the opportunity to talk me out of it. That worked roughly as well as when he told me to talk him out of buying a new erg for our Oregon house – that is, once I told him that after this trip I envisioned it as a netbook-sort-of-thing for either of us to use, he began talking about all the times that would have been useful and said “Well, if it’s for both of us to use then I think it’s justified.” (I took this to mean “It’s OK to buy a new toy if _I_ get to play with it too!”) and then told me that I should get at least 32Gb with 3G instead of the basic 16Gb WiFi model I’d planned on. Enabler.