Well, I finally finished Nabokov's short stories. I was appalled to log on after a whole month and see that that book had been on my nightstand for so long, but as always, I got distracted. It took a little while to get into Nabokov, anyway. Several of the stories were delightful and entrancing, while far too many others were just Russian. Actually, they were all extremely Russian, but some had other things going for them. I particularly liked the story "A Bad Day", about a boy from the country who goes to a birthday party at his cousin's house. He doesn't want to go, because he knows it will be awkward and unpleasant for him, but of course the grown-ups expect him to want to go. It's an interesting vignette of a child's life--perhaps more depressing than I like to think, but fairly accurate--and the ending was shockingly heartwrenching and unexpected (if you're somewhat oblivious, like me). I also enjoyed the story about the man whose doppelganger makes his life difficult and harried--this one has a good ending too. The best thing was that I got inspired to write some short stories, and in fact started one at work last night. It's based on an odd dream I had, and will perhaps appear in Kate-hill sometime soon.