Thursday, September 20, 2007

If you squint your eyes, my job can be seen as entertaining

To keep myself entertained at work, I keep a list of out-of-the-ordinary titles and authors that I see while going through the card catalogs. Here are a few of my top picks.

Interesting author names:

  • Alphonso Elkin Cumberbatch
  • Sir George Dancer
  • Hugh Huger
  • George Newt Best
  • Hugh Playfair
  • Alois Alzheimer
  • Charles Edwin Heartstill
  • Jesse W. Peebles
  • D.S. Rumph
  • Someone with the last name of Boobyer

Interesting/weird/funny titles of books or articles:

  • Know your Oklahoma fishes
  • The world of the wild turkey
  • New ways with partridges
  • A ruffian in feathers: the English sparrow
  • The house sparrow: the avian rat
  • Canary culture for amateurs
  • Monthly hints to canary fanciers
  • Giddiness of cloven-hoofed game
  • Pheasants and their enemies
  • How to live with a parakeet

Funniest publisher:

  • Kinki University

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I'm very sorry for taking so long to post, which I almost spelled "poast". It's hard to feel like writing on a computer when that's all I do at my job, but that's a sorry excuse. I posted two new, very wordy entries with no pictures today (three, I guess, including this one) and have some more in mind for another day. I'll try to do better in the future.

And for those who don't know already, I got another job at the Springville Library. It's ultra part-time so it won't interfere with my other job, and will give me a source of library work with human interaction. Imagine that! I haven't started yet because I got hired right before my surgery and have obviously been out of commission, but hopefully I can start this coming week.

One book a week.....ish

When I first started my job in mid-July I was thrilled to have extra time to read. I suppose I had plenty of "extra" time to read when I was unemployed and sitting at home all day, but I was somehow more motivated by having a schedule to use my time off to broaden (aka use) my mind.

I've amassed quite a collection of books from various book sales and used book stores, always buying books with the most genuine of interest but rarely actually reading them. Mostly this was due to time constraints, but it's really easy to get out of the habit of reading--out of the habit of viewing reading as a top priority leisure activity and not one that you get around to when there's nothing good to watch on TV or your computer is out of commission.

All my books were packed in boxes (and most still are...) so I decided to unpack just one box and read something from that. The first book I read was Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, an author I had heard so much about (which was why I bought the book in the first place) but had never read anything she wrote. I usually don't read stuff by contemporary authors, but I enjoyed her writing style and the story itself. The most basic of summaries: a woman in her late 20s returns to her hometown in northern Arizona for one year to teach at her old high school and look after her ailing father. Mostly it was a phychological reconciliation of her adult perception of her childhood experiences and ideas with the truth of how things really were. Mostly. It's really hard to give the basic premise of a book in a couple of sentences. Anyway, it was good.

Next came A Room With a View by E.M. Forester, which I will not try to summarize but will say that I enjoyed it immensely, especially because I've been on an Italy kick lately. After that, or in the middle of that, came Harry Potter 7, which I read in about 12 hours. I'm sure I have nothing to say about it which has not been said already, but I was impressed with the thoroughness with which Rowling tied everything up. She really did know how she was going to end the series when she started it. I am in no way any kind of Harry Potter fanatic. I've read all the books but I have not memorized characters' lines, I have difficulties even remembering who all the characters are when they're referred to later, and I can only remember a few of the most important spells/charms, and most of the credit for that knowledge can go to my dear nephews. So I don't really feel like I'm in a place to give any kind of informed critique of the book. Like I need to.

This was all followed by The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, who has a special kind of depressing bleakness all his own. I started out this book disliking it intensely, mostly due to the title character and his idiocy, which seemed contagious. I grudgingly slogged through the first half and then, wonder of wonders, I began to like it. I liked it in the way that you like someone who maybe doesn't have a lot of likable traits, but you begin to understand them and appreciate them over time.

I foolishly tried to follow that book with For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway, but that didn't work. I just couldn't get into it. So now I'm happily reading The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, a very interesting and heartbreaking read. I've never thought so much about how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family and privileged upbringing.

Do not read this if...

Ok, I used to have a big long post about a surgery I had in September. But now a lot more people are reading this blog and it seemed kind of weird to have all that personal body function-type information out for anyone to see. So if I know you and you care to hear about why I have a great 4" scar, let me know and I'll tell you. Otherwise, you can be left to wonder.